Parks, Recreation, and Libraries Director

City of Westminster, CO | Full-time

Apply

The Position

The Parks, Recreation, and Libraries (PRL) Director is a City leader who serves as a key member of the Executive Leadership Team, translating the City’s strategic plan into action through the development of policies, financial management, leadership, care of people, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit. The position directs department activities in fulfillment of the City Mission Statement, which is: “Our job is to deliver exceptional value and quality of life through Service, Pride, Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation, and Teamwork (SPIRIT).”

The Director oversees all administrative and professional work in planning, organizing, and directing the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Libraries. In support of departmental goals, the Director collaborates to enhance the quality of life for all Westminster residents by providing diverse leisure, recreational and informational services, resources, and acquiring, developing, and maintaining first-class parks, golf courses, facilities, open space, trails, and libraries. Parks and open spaces are a significant brand of the City. The Director delivers facilities that set a national standard for parks and open space brand identity in a municipality.

The PRL Director is responsible for establishing major departmental policies, planning long-term programs, and making executive-level decisions that are consistent with the direction of the organization. The Director develops and manages the departmental budget and actively pursues a variety of funding sources. The Director fosters a collaborative work environment and leads a staff that effectively manages and administers twenty-first century year-round parks, open space, golf, recreation, and library facilities and programs.

The Director collaborates with City Manager’s Office, Executive Leadership Team, and City Management Team members to develop innovative solutions that support and promote a high-performing organization. The PRL Director is a visible leader and actively develops and fosters relationships and partnerships with city, county, school, special district, non-profit, and business leaders. Importantly, the Director supports and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusivity goals and represents the City and the Parks, Recreation, and Libraries Department in a professional manner and positive light.

Priorities

  • Ensure internal connectivity and further integrate the divisions of Parks, Recreation, and Libraries. Collaborate effectively, recognize where the work intersects, identify a shared vision and common goals, and work towards them. 
  • Actively recruit new leadership team members, filling current vacancies that positively contribute to effective operations and align with the City’s vision, mission, and values while also preparing for the future. 
  • Champion employee development and support a culture of opportunity. Identify pathways for employees to grow and develop, focusing on employee engagement, cross-training, mentoring, education, and succession planning.
  • Continue planning for a sustainable future. Encourage creativity, innovation, and cross-functional collaboration to provide award-winning services and meet the ongoing needs of the community. 
  • Prioritize natural resources and open space. Identify opportunities to acquire land, develop greenspace, and enhance trail connectivity while focusing on conservation, cleaner water, and improved air quality. 
  • Complete an asset inventory and develop a plan for updating or replacing the aging infrastructure throughout the Parks, Recreation, and Libraries portfolio. 
  • Embrace partnerships and leverage regional collaboration that support the ongoing needs of residents and the community. Explore out of the box and innovative opportunities that positively impact food insecurity, wrap-around services, education, music, arts, and overall community wellness. 
  • Prioritize projects and move initiatives forward. Identify the proper balance, determine where to focus the staff’s time and energy, and the City’s investments to ensure equitable outcomes and promote the greatest impact to the community. 
  • Become an active member of the Executive Leadership Team and collaborate on citywide discussions and programs. Proactively engage with colleagues and internal partners in support of Parks, Recreation, and Libraries projects and initiatives. 

The Successful Candidate

The Parks, Recreation, and Libraries Director brings a proven track record of success in developing innovative, creative, and community-focused programs that expand beyond traditional parks, recreation, and library services. As a visionary leader, the successful candidate brings a fresh yet experienced voice and perspective to the Department with a strong ability to see the interdependencies between all divisions. The Director brings their own set of diverse experiences that add value and perspective while promoting solutions that address the City’s ambitious goals.

The successful candidate encourages creativity and innovation in unconventional ways and collaborates to grow and evolve the City’s ability to meet the needs of the community. The Parks, Recreation, and Libraries Director actively nurtures an open and welcoming environment that continues to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion while maintaining a commitment to continuous improvement and service excellence. The preferred candidate has an entrepreneurial spirit with a track record in support of the community’s economic and social goals through innovative and extraordinary park development. The ideal candidate champions environmental values and supports conservation efforts in parks, recreation, open space, and library initiatives. The Director quickly identifies trends and problems hindering progress and develops and implements best practices to drive necessary change and evolution.

The Director is an effective communicator and people-oriented leader with the right amount of passion, energy, and accountability to move the Department forward. The successful candidate genuinely encourages and supports collaboration and employs a leadership style that invites participation and gathers input while remaining decisive and results-oriented. It is essential that the Director thoughtfully identify opportunities and implement changes that support an organizational culture built on trust and mutual respect and effectively leverages the team’s talents to ensure Parks, Recreation, and Libraries continue to meet the community’s evolving needs.

A visible leader, the Director is an active member of the community and enjoys engaging with the public. The successful candidate recognizes the importance of relationships and partnerships at all levels, values diversity of thought, and proactively seeks opportunities for collaboration. The ideal candidate is deeply committed to further developing partnerships with key intergovernmental, regional, and non-profit partners to equitably support the needs of the community. The Parks, Recreation, and Libraries Director is politically astute and fosters mutual respect at all levels while effortlessly balancing internal needs with external initiatives.

Qualifications

A minimum of ten (10) years of senior management and administrative experience overseeing any combination of parks, open space, golf, recreation, and/or library operations in a public-sector, non-profit, higher education, or military environment is required. Direct leadership experience with extensive knowledge of the principles and objectives of public parks, open space, golf, recreation, and library administration and activities which make up community programs is necessary. Strong managerial experience and the ability to develop effective partnerships are essential. A sound financial background with a strong understanding of budgets, financial management, and complex funding models is required. Experience managing a complex, customer-focused organization and the affiliated programming in a growing community with a diverse constituency is preferred.

A bachelor’s degree with major coursework in Parks and/or Recreation Management, Public Administration, Library Science, Business, Landscape Architecture, or a related field required. A master’s degree in Public Administration, Parks and/or Recreation Management, Library Science, or a related field, is preferred. Any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience, which would provide the required knowledge and skills, may be considered.

Inside The City of Westminster

Incorporated in 1911, Westminster’s City Council-Manager form of government is consistently recognized for excellence in the management and delivery of full services to businesses and residents. The City’s strong financial position allows it to enjoy excellent bond ratings, including AAA and AA+.

With policy direction set by a seven-member City Council, the City organization is led by the City Manager and three Deputy City Managers, one of which also serves as Chief Financial Officer. City services are provided through 11 departments, two offices, and 1,063 full-time employees with an annual budget of $237 Million.

The City of Westminster, a full-service city, is a values-driven organization. The organization is firmly committed to maintaining and growing its winning culture through collaboration, partnership, and unity. The City’s values are embodied in SPIRIT: Service, Pride, Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation, and Teamwork.

Westminster Vision: We are a thriving community of safe neighborhoods and beautiful open space that is sustainable and inclusive.

Westminster’s 2021 – 2022 Strategic Plan includes the following goals:

  • Foster and maintain a beautiful, desirable, safe, and environmentally responsible city.
  • Cultivate a thriving, inclusive, and engaged community through access to opportunity and a resilient and diverse economy.
  • Provide visionary, effective, and collaborative government.
  • Advance the City’s long-term sustainability to provide ongoing excellence in the City’s services and a well-planned community that meets the needs of residents now and in the future.

Inside the Parks, Recreation and Libraries Department

The Parks, Recreation, and Libraries Department is a nationally known innovator and leader in providing diverse leisure, recreational, and informational services. Focused on a commitment to excellence and community involvement, the Department is a three-time winner of the coveted National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Parks and open spaces are a significant brand of the City, with residents continuing to place a high value on the services provided.

The Department collaborates to create exceptional opportunities for a vibrant community committed to nature, wellness, and literacy. Through a talented and dedicated staff of over 200 and a budget of $21.6 Million, the Parks, Recreation, and Libraries Department provides services through five divisions.

Library Services

Library Services meets the cultural, informational, intellectual, and social needs of residents of all ages at the College Hill and Irving Street Libraries and through online services. The Division also administers two kiosks at the City’s recreation centers that contains hundreds of books for all ages and are available for checkout with the Westminster Public Library card.

Open Space/Standley Lake

The Open Space/Standley Lake Division constructs and maintains the City’s trail system (over 150 miles of trail), over 3,700 acres of open space, and the urban forestry inventory with over 14,000 trees. It also acquires and preserves open space land and strategic land parcels. The Division operates Standley Lake Regional Park and collaborates with the Public Works and Utilities Department to support a high-quality water resource for the City of Westminster. In addition, the Division provides environmental education, outdoor recreation, stewardship, and sustainability opportunities to the public.

Operations

Operations provides the overall management of the Parks, Recreation, and Libraries Department, including human services related to homelessness and food security, administration, financial oversight, and personnel management.

Park & Golf Services

Park & Golf Services manages the 60 developed parks and performs all park, median, and right-of-way maintenance, and manages the City’s two golf courses, athletic fields, and greenhouse. The Division also provides resources for the ongoing operation of the City’s two high-quality championship golf courses, Legacy Ridge and Walnut Creek Golf Preserve.

Recreation Services

Recreation Services operates City Park Recreation Center, City Park Fitness Center, Swim and Fitness Center, West View Recreation Center, The MAC, the Westminster Sports Center, and seasonal operations for Countryside outdoor pool. The Division provides a wide range of recreation programs and activities, including fitness, outdoor programming, youth programming, sports, and other specialty programming.

The Community

Centrally located between Denver and Boulder on the US 36 high-tech corridor with a population of 117,000, Westminster is a well-planned community with superb recreation opportunities, beautiful neighborhoods, and thriving businesses. As Westminster continues to grow, the City has maintained more than 30% of its land for open space, parks, and recreation. Westminster is a thriving, sustainable, and inclusive community known for its high quality of life, safe neighborhoods, and beautiful open spaces.

Already known for its great use of open space and abundance of parks, Westminster is augmenting its traditional neighborhoods with the thoughtful redevelopment of key focus areas across the City, including its new mixed-use hub, Downtown Westminster. A unique and lively center for living, shopping, dining, and entertainment coupled with 18 acres of parks and public spaces, these uses will foster a dynamic, vibrant, compact, and walkable Downtown creating a center of economic, cultural, and social activity for the community.

There are over 4,000 businesses in Westminster, including small family-owned businesses, service companies, high-tech manufacturers, and national and international headquarters. Companies like Ball Corporation, Maxar, Zimmer Biomet, and Trimble have put down roots in Westminster and are now stretching out. This strong and diverse business community attracts more amenities such as local, regional, and national restaurants, hotels, and shopping and entertainment experiences.

By car, bus, bicycle, rail, or international airliner, Westminster moves easily. The City has an extensive multimodal transportation network, including an enhanced public transportation system, two well-maintained highway systems, and a superior regional trail system that connects to over 145 miles of trails. With the arrival of commuter rail, the Westminster Station transit-oriented focus area is quickly maturing and adding excellent connectivity to downtown Denver. Add in magnificent retail and entertainment districts and a historic neighborhood that is the true heart of the City, and Westminster has a place for everyone.

Located in both Adams and Jefferson counties, Westminster offers three excellent public school systems, charter schools, and private schools. Advantages of a Westminster education include low student-teacher ratios, gifted-and-talented programs, International Baccalaureate programs, STEM programs, and challenging curricula and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of students. Major universities, colleges, and professional schools in metro Denver and Boulder are served by mass transit and a quick commute from Westminster.

Quick Facts

  • 117,832 Population
  • 46,137 Households
  • 37.2 Median Age
  • 145 Miles of Trails
  • 3,787 Acres of Open Space
  • 60 Developed Parks

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for the Parks, Recreation, and Libraries Director is $156,443 – $195,554 and will depend on the qualifications of the successful candidate. The City of Westminster is a high-performing organization that continues to invest in its employees and offers an exceptional compensation and benefits package, along with a dynamic training program and quality work environment.

The City has recently updated its retirement benefit to include a 401 (a) defined contribution plan in lieu of Social Security contributions. Employee contributions of 10% are pre-tax and fully vested and the employer contribution of 10.25% vests at 60% in year three, 80% in year four, and fully vests in year five. For a complete list of all the City’s benefits, please visit Employee Benefits. Relocation assistance is available.

How to Apply

The City of Westminster is a caring, courteous, team-oriented organization committed to public service excellence. Employees thrive in a culture that is respectful, professional, and diverse. The City’s work culture encourages passionate, positive, and enthusiastic employees.

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Candidates complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply early, with applications accepted through September 13, 2021.

Questions

For more information or questions regarding the City of Westminster or the Parks, Recreation, and Libraries Director position, please contact Heather Gantz at hgantz@thenovakconsultinggroup.com.

Download Recruitment Brochure