Company: City of Somerville

Job description:

A senior leader in the Mayor’s administration, the Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD) is responsible for directing and managing the city’s economic development and planning organization. They are a strategic thinker with strong management and communication skills. The ED directs 6 divisions and an administrative unit with the overarching responsibility for the growth and development of the City of Somerville’s urban environment. These divisions include housing, housing stability, planning, economic development, transportation, and parks and public spaces. The ED has familiarity with each of these areas, along with a strong background in fiscal planning. Most of all, the ED is skilled in promoting equity and in creating a strategic vision for Somerville’s future that maximizes the benefits of development for all residents.

Essential Functions:

The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

  • Leads the administration of all urban economic development, housing, and community development functions of the City.
  • Oversees strategic planning initiatives to guide private development and public investment, zoning and planning activities and the coordination of approvals for major, multi-phased new construction projects, the design, financing, and construction of parks and major transportation and infrastructure improvements.
  • Manages and supervises a multi-disciplinary staff organized into the following divisions: Economic Development; Housing; Housing Stability; Mobility; Planning and Zoning; Public Space and Urban Forestry; and the department’s Administration & Finance unit. Additionally, supervises the work of professional consultants, senior management staff, technical and clerical employees.
  • Speaks on behalf of the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development and the Administration before the City Council; relevant boards and commissions, local resident groups; and advocates and presents proposals to the above groups.
  • Directs staffing support to multi-member bodies, including but not limited to:
    1. Affordable Housing Trust Fund
    2. Community Preservation Committee
    3. Condominium Review Board
    4. Conservation Commission
    5. Historic Preservation Commission
    6. Licensing Commission
    7. Planning Board
    8. Somerville Pedestrian & Transit Advisory Committee
    9. Somerville Redevelopment Authority
    10. Urban Forestry Committee
    11. Zoning Board of Appeals
  • Meets with developers and business representatives and develops marketing strategies for the purpose of attracting investment in the City.
  • Serves as chief negotiator with private development interests and project proponents with respect to financial reviews, project mitigation, and community engagement.
  • Supervises and directs the administration of the Community Development Block Grant program including the HUD-mandated performance evaluation of the program.
  • Formulates and implements new financing strategies for urban development initiatives; leverages alternative funding sources, including State and Federal funding based on availability.
  • Develops, administers, and evaluates the Department’s budget.
  • Serves as a senior advisor to the Mayor, particularly on major economic development issues, programs, and projects.
  • Other duties as necessary and assigned by the Mayor.

Recommended Minimum Qualifications:

Education and Experience: Master’s degree in urban planning, public administration, business administration or related field with more than 10 years related work experience at an executive level; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Knowledge, Abilities, and Skill:

Knowledge: Extensive knowledge of urban planning, public administration and finance, business administration, architecture, law or real estate; extensive knowledge and experience in all facets of urban planning and development; strong background in economic development, housing, transportation, and other relevant content areas highly desired. Multi-sector competency preferred and a strong background in planning and implementing efforts that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Abilities: Ability to integrate planning, design, finance and implementation tasks into a coherent strategy for complex multi-faceted economic development projects; consensus building ability; ability to lead and manage cross-disciplinary teams including professional staff and consultants on complex planning and development projects.

Skill: Skilled at managing a complex team and communicating with others; negotiating with developers and business representatives; skilled at public speaking and making effective and persuasive public presentations to large audiences. Multilingual skills preferred.

Work Environment

The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of indoor environments such as office settings, with infrequent exposure to outside elements.  Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant.  Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours in response to attend evening meetings.

Physical and Mental Requirements

Physical Skills: Little or no physical demands are required to perform the essential functions of this position. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. There may also be some occasional lifting of objects such as office equipment or photocopy paper (up to 30lbs.).

Motor Skills: Duties may involve assignments requiring application of hand and eye coordination with finger dexterity and motor coordination. Examples include operating a phone system or a personal computer.

Visual Skills: Visual demands include constantly reading documents for general understanding and analytical purposes.

Hours: Full-Time
Union: Non-Union

Job type: Full Time

Fully remote: No

Salary range: $151,540.50 annualized + benefits

Location: Somerville Massachusetts


Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.