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Parks and Recreation Director - City of Mercer Island

Company name
City of Redmond

$150,000.00 per year

Mercer Island, WA
13 hit(s)  


Department Focus

The Parks and Recreation Department consistently receives exceptionally high customer satisfaction survey ratings for parks availability, parks maintenance, and recreation programs. Fundamental to this mission is providing affordable and accessible parks, facilities, programs, events, and other social opportunities. Partnerships with community agencies, schools, businesses, and institutions are actively solicited to provide expanded services to all populations of the community. Luther Burbank Park (a 77-acre waterfront park) is the home of the Department’s administrative offices.

The Parks and Recreation Department assumes a major role in the development of a sense of community and enhancing Mercer Island residents’ quality of life. The Department offers over 150 recreational programs and events annually and manages the award-winning 42,000 square foot Mercer Island Community and Events Center. Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department is nationally recognized as a Playful City USA and as a Let’s Move City.

A few areas of focus for the Department and the new Parks and Recreation Director over the next biennium include:

- The development of an updated and expanded comprehensive plan for parks, recreation, open space, and arts. Since the current Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan will expire at the end of 2019, the new Director will be positioned to shape the future of facilities and services.

- Creation of the Aubrey Davis Master Plan. The Director will join in a partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation and other agencies to create a Master Plan for the Aubrey Davis Park, an 80 acre recreational and transportation facility with a multipurpose trail system, boat launch, athletic fields and passive use areas. Aubr

About Our Community

Just over five miles long and two miles wide, Mercer Island is a true island community consisting of high quality residential areas, preserved parks and open space, as well as miles of developed shoreline. Incorporated in 1960, the “Island” has its own sense of identity, distinct from its neighbors, Seattle and Bellevue. It is just 10 minutes from downtown Seattle via the I-90 floating bridge, and a similar distance from the burgeoning businesses and residential communities of the Eastside.

Mercer Island is widely recognized as one of the premier residential communities in the State of Washington. In fact, Mercer Island was recently selected as the best place to live in the State by Money Magazine. The City currently has over 470 acres of parks and open space, which contributes to the Island’s natural beauty. The result is quiet, forested neighborhoods and parks, which are complemented by stunning views of Seattle, the Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier and Lake Washington. It is an active community where the many volunteers, boards, and commissions work closely with the City Council and staff. The City of Mercer Island is known for providing quality customer service to its 24,000 residents. Sustainability is taken seriously on the Island: for over a decade, green choices have been part of City operations, and numerous community programs ranging from solar power to forest restoration to bicycle trails help maintain a healthy environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Mercer Island School District has an outstanding reputation and is a source of community pride. The District serves approximately 4,500 students and consists of four elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and one alternative high school. In addition, the Island is home to St. Monica’s Catholic School, the French American School, and Yeshiva Jewish High School. The Mercer Island School District ranks among the top 10 districts in the State. Approximately 90% of the Island’s high school graduates continue on to post-secondary education.

About the Candidate

Parks & Recreation Director

The Parks and Recreation Director is expected to carry out the vision and goals of the City in a manner that is accessible, sustainable, flexible and reliable to both internal and external customers. The Director currently reports to the Assistant City Manager and serves as part of the City’s 14 member Executive Leadership Team. The Director oversees day-to-day operations of the Department and a full-time staff of 31 FTEs. In addition, the Department employs approximately 50 part-time/summer personnel. Each biennium, the Director is also required to develop and present to Council the Department’s operating budget , which currently totals $5.9 million annually.

The Director is responsible for:

- Serving as the principal advisor and staff support to the City Manager for development of a broad range of policy/programs and procedures.

- Coordinating programs and activities of the Department with other City departments, local agencies, citizen groups and other regulatory bodies to ensure viable activities meet the community’s needs.

- Establishing outreach and liaison programs that are responsive to input from citizens and to speak in a wide variety of forums, including making frequent presentations to the City Council, the Arts Council, Library Board, and the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board, as well as citizens and other organized groups.

- Preparing and monitoring the annual/biennial budget and developing master plans, and strategic plans. The new Director also will be expected to assist with the development of specifications, the design and review of such new plans and related maintenance.

- Recommending planning, redeveloping or enhancing existing park facilities and related buildings, as well as developing new recreational opportunities and programs. Directing the management, selection and training of all departmental personnel, overseeing the Department’s risk management practices, as well as the maintenance and improvements to system-wide performance issues.

Candidate & Leadership Profile:

The Parks and Recreation Director is a highly visible position, requiring well-developed and established leadership, operations, budgeting, communication, and marketing skills. Candidates for this position must be forward-looking, visionary leaders who coach and mentor staff. Additionally, the ideal candidate will possess the following attributes:

- Possess outstanding budget management skills in an environment of limited resources.

- A sensitivity and appreciation for both political and public processes while displaying a willingness to meet the needs of community leaders, citizens and interest groups in an open, honest and constructive manner.

- Must be receptive to change and willing to encourage and motivate staff toward achievement of collectively agreed upon goals and objectives.

- A strong commitment to promoting diversity and equality in the workplace, as well as sharing this commitment with employees and citizens of the City of Mercer Island.

- Must be an experienced professional who is credible and knowledgeable in a wide variety of social, leisure time, recreational, and park maintenance programming disciplines.

- Must be a forward thinking, positive, energetic and a highly committed professional with strong communication skills.

- Possess a value structure that encompasses shared leadership, an appreciation for quality-of-life and environmental issues and a strong appreciation for community involvement.

- Must be assertive, intelligent and articulate. Must be able to conceptualize and present ideas to elected officials, community leaders and citizens.

- Must be a proven and effective leader of people and processes. Must be able to recognize, motivate and encourage the talents of staff and convey a clear vision for the Department. Must be fair and equitable in approach to leading others and must be willing to encourage individuals to grow professionally as well as personally.

Education & Experience Requirements:

- Degree from an accredited four-year institution in Parks and Recreation Management, or related field. A Masters of Public Administration or closely related field is preferred.

- Minimum of ten years’ experience in the parks and recreation field in a senior-level management position.

- Experience managing capital improvement projects and budgets.

- Experience working in a unionized environment is preferred.

- Proven ability to plan, develop and implement policies and programs.

- Demonstrated record of outstanding customer service delivery.

- Knowledge of management concepts and ability to apply them within the organization.

- Ability to work effectively with others, and have effective interpersonal, customer relation, and presentation skills.

- Proven ability to motivate and lead employees and encourage decisions to be made within a team environment.

Compensation and Benefits

The 2018 salary range for the Parks & Recreation Director position is $150,000 to $165,000, dependent upon experience. An attractive package of benefits is available to the successful candidate, including a $6,500 deferred compensation employer-contribution, 200 annual hours of vacation, excellent insurance benefits, as well as annual pay-for-performance award eligibility.

Application and Selection Process

The closing date for this position is March 19, 2018. To be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume by applying online at Visit our website for more information about the City of Mercer Island and the Parks & Recreation Department at

Following the closing date, resumes will be screened in relation to the criteria outlined in this brochure. Candidates selected for the interview process will be notified and reference checks will follow after receiving candidate’s permission.

The interview process will be held at the City of Mercer Island on April 26th & 27th. The interview process is expected to span two days, with the finalist(s) meeting with the City Manager and Assistant City Manager on day two of the interview process. For more information, contact Kryss Segle, Human Resources Director at or (206)275-7792.

Mercer Island is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity at all levels of its workforce.

Applicants selected as finalists for this position will be subject to a criminal history/driver’s license check prior to the interview process.



Parks & Recreation Admin Bldg

2040 84th Ave SE

Mercer Island, WA 98040

The City of Mercer Island is committed to providing a work environment that is free of discrimination and promotes a diverse work force. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. ADA Accommodations made upon request.

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