Parks & Recreation Deputy Director

City of Boulder | Boulder, CO

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Posted Date 6/06/2022

Salary: $131,560.00 - $146,224.00 Annually

Close: 7/3/2022 at 11:59 PM 

With over 300 miles of dedicated bikeways and more than 150 miles of hiking trails, Boulder values active lifestyles and access to nature. Forty-six thousand acres of protected land provide open space for passive recreation, natural environments, and a green belt around the city. With world class restaurants and art and music venues, The City of Boulder values diverse culture.

Respect is one of our five City Values (including Customer Service, Collaboration, Integrity, and Innovation) and we are committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion. We celebrate and support our differences across all spectrums, including but not limited to ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexuality. Through our focus on Racial Equity, our employee benefits, and the many programs resources we offer our staff, we continually strive to weave respect for one another into the fabric of our organization. 

Add your voice and talents to the City of Boulder and help us grow in service excellence for an inspired future.


Under general direction of the Director of Parks and Recreation, the Deputy Director assists in providing vision and quality leadership to support a successful and high-performing department. This role will be responsible for assisting the Director in planning, supervising and administering the activities of the City of Boulder Park System and specifically, recreation facilities (such as recreation centers, outdoor pools, Boulder Reservoir, Flatirons Golf Course, Valmont City Park), recreation programs such as aquatics, health and well-being, sports and gymnastics, and fostering health equity with a focus on community benefit programming for people with disabilities 

Specifically, this position supports and leads day-to-day operations; providing leadership and ensures effective collaboration and consistency among the department’s functional divisions and with the city organization; embodies a problem-solving orientation toward effective and efficient service to customers; facilitates implementation of master and strategic plans; assists the Director in staff and team development and overall staff learning for improved performance. 

A primary responsibility of this role is overseeing public-facing services to support the mission, vision, values and master plan of the Parks and Recreation department. This position serves on the department’s leadership team, responsible for delivering all parks and recreation services to the community by facilitating a culture of service delivery focused on operational excellence, driven by data, and built on a foundation of trust, teamwork and leadership at all levels. 

The ideal candidate will be a strategic, solutions-oriented and diplomatic business partner able to build the trust and support of staff and the community. Strong leadership, diplomacy, and interpersonal skills are necessary to engage with the public, staff, and other departments to ensure thoughtful and effective community engagement, collaboration, and implementation of best practices that benefit community programming and services. The successful candidate will be skilled in business practices and project management, serving as a sponsor for the design, delivery and pricing of BPR services. 

A cover letter and resume are required in your application to be considered for this position.

The starting pay for this position is $131,560.00 - $146,224.00 annually, commensurate with experience. 


1. Works in partnership with the Department Director in providing overall leadership and direction to all aspects of Parks and Recreation, including: 

  • Develops and helps execute plans and strategies for long- and short-range agency goals and specifically, ensures that BPR’s work addresses the city’s commitment to racial equity and addressing the climate emergency. 

  • Supports all actions of the department master plan, related strategic action plans, and the development of an annual action plan to achieve those goals and advance the department/city priorities 

  • Supports departmental projects and initiatives as outlined in the city’s Racial Equity Plan and in partnership with the city’s racial equity office, including but not limited to assisting in the development of recommendations, performance metrics, policies, and processes that advance the department’s equity priorities and goals and utilizing city racial equity tools to embed a racial equity focus in departmental policies and practices. 

  • Coordinates and supports the daily operations of the department, including providing support to emerging and urgent operational challenges; 

  • Coordinates and manages complex and high-profile projects involving competing interests and multiple objectives, including:   

  • Solves problems and resolves issues in difficult, complex and/or contentious situations. 

  • Effectively represents diverse interests, and objectively evaluates alternative approaches.   

  • Takes a strategic, creative, and innovative approach to issues and problems and takes calculated risks.   

  • Develops and manages effective and inclusive public and team processes. Demonstrates business savvy and political astuteness.   

  • Formulates budget strategies; analyzes data to determine appropriate levels of funding and identifies appropriate funding models; supporting annual budget development and execution to be consistent with city and department-wide goals -including ensuring city racial equity tools are utilized in recommendations; forecasts trends and future issues. 

2. Manages, Mentors, and Supports assigned staff as follows: 

  • Selects, leads, evaluates, and mentors staff based on standards of excellence and continuous improvement, department norms and city values;  

  • Furthers the city’s Leadership Philosophy, which acknowledges our greatest results are achieved when we create a respectful, trusting and supportive environment, rely on, invest in and celebrate each other’s perspectives, skills, talents and accomplishments, consult and collaborate with each other to make timely and quality decisions, and share responsibility for and learn from the processes and outcomes of a creative culture; 

  • Develops and promotes department and city strategies that support employee learning and growth; 

  • Fostering a positive team culture that encourages department and citywide coordination and promotes a climate where teammates can do their best work; 

  • Ensures a welcoming climate and recruits for a diverse workforce, including evaluating new and existing position descriptions to reduce barriers to access (e.g. higher education, professional associations). 

  • Fosters a climate of innovation and continuous improvement, directing the initiation of new structures, programs or procedures to improve productivity and efficiency.  


3. Supports the Department Director in all areas of the department, including:   

  • Acting as Director in their absence. 

  • Represent the Director and department at meetings with other city agencies, state and federal agencies, community partners, stakeholders, and at public meetings.  

  • Represent the Director and lead initiatives of the department, coordinates work programs and projects within the department and among other departments to ensure work is completed effectively, cooperatively and efficiently, and ensuring resources and assistance are provided as appropriate. 

  • Provides guidance and serves as a policy advisor, in coordination with the Department Director, to the City Council, PRAB, City Manager, Deputy City Manager, and other boards and commissions. 

  • Facilitates public processes and manages complex and sometimes contentious community issues. 

  • Annually, identifying department-wide goals and a measurable Action Plan that aligns with and contributes to city-wide goals; establishing and monitoring performance measures to achieve results that further master plan and City Council goals; 

  • Supports departmental projects and initiatives as outlined in the city’s Racial Equity Plan and in partnership with the city’s racial equity office, including but not limited to assisting in the development of recommendations, performance metrics, policies, and processes that advance the department’s equity priorities and goals and utilizing city racial equity tools to embed a racial equity focus in departmental policies and practices. 

  • Implements and sustains accreditation for the department; assists with department-wide accreditation functions.  


4. Ensures responsiveness and continuous improvement of the organization, including: 

  • Development of partnerships, supports and reinforces open-minded and solution-oriented staff response to customer needs.  Looks at issues and problems from the customer’s point of view and finds ways to address these issues and concerns while balancing the needs of the department/city and ensuring consistency with adopted policies and provides excellent customer service.
  • Produces high quality results relative to work plans, operations, and initiatives.  Thinks ahead, recommends management priorities to the director, anticipates issues and proactively develops response plans.   
  • Ensures staff compliance with regulatory safety protocols of department safety committee and coordination.  
  • Analyzes input from various consultants, professional advisors, and staff for continuous improvement. 


5. Stays knowledgeable of trends and current thinking in the fields of parks and recreation services, park planning, leisure programming and service delivery models, sustainability, public administration, project management, leadership and employee management, and uses all forms of data and information to analyze and present viable choices and alternatives.  
  • Responsible for knowing and complying with all city and department policies; participating in professional trainings and development; and adhering to attendance and workplace attire policies 


6. Other: 

  • Performs related duties as required to meet the needs of the department and city organization. 


Generally duties are listed from most to least critical or time consuming. 


All city supervisors are responsible for appropriately incorporating the principles of community sustainability and inclusiveness into work on a routine basis; understanding and enforcing relevant collective bargaining agreements and management policies; hiring and firing supervised employees or making related recommendations in a respectful and appropriate manner; ensuring employees are trained initially and on an ongoing basis, as needed; providing appropriate feedback to employees by monitoring day-to-day performance; completing performance evaluations on time; correcting problems in employee work habits or performance in a timely manner; prioritizing and scheduling work functions and vacations; ensuring adherence to established safety standards; ensuring the timely completion and submission of all paperwork required by the City to process employee transactions, insurance or injury claims, etc.; maintaining related records; and ensuring the accuracy of reported time use. 




The City of Boulder is committed to service excellence for an inspired future and the following values:  

Customer service - We are dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our community and our co-workers by demonstrating consistent and professional service with a solution-oriented approach  

Respect - We champion diversity and welcome individual perspectives, backgrounds and opinions. We are open-minded and treat all individuals with respect and dignity.  

Integrity - We are stewards of the public's trust and are committed to service that is transparent and consistent with city regulations and policies. We are honorable, follow through on our commitments and accept responsibility.  

Collaboration - We are committed to organizational success and celebrate our shared dedication to public service. We believe community collaboration and the sum of our individual contributions leads to great results.  

Innovation - We promote a forward-thinking environment that supports creativity, calculated risks and continuous improvement. We embrace change and learn from others in order to deliver leading-edge service. 




(1) TITLE OF IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR:  Director of Parks and Recreation 

(2) NUMBER AND TITLE(S) OF POSITIONS(S) OVER WHICH THIS POSITION HAS DIRECT SUPERVISION:  To be determined based on background and qualifications, three or more Parks and Recreation Senior Managers. 




Bachelor’s degree and six years of experience in administration, management and progressive leadership in areas such as park development and facility planning, recreation programs and services, natural resource and grounds maintenance operations, department administration or an equivalent combination of education and experience in a relevant field.  





As a key leadership position within the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Deputy Director should have and utilize the following competencies: 

  • Dealing with Ambiguity: has the ability to work well within an evolving environment; remains effective when the vision, direction and/or path is vague or unclear, and performs within an acceptable level of risk. 

  • Strategic Agility: continuously adapts and adjusts; can create strategies for innovative solutions that best fit the organization; actively monitors possible implementation problems and evolving needs, and selects efficient and effective alternatives. 

  • Political Savvy: creates consensus through good inter-personal skills and has a strong understanding of political issues; maintains high ethical standards while working subtly and effectively with the organizational structure; avoids missteps by calculating the outcome and consequences of alternative courses of action based on a realistic assessment of the situation; is fully aware of the political landscape and adjusts actions, as necessary, to avoid pitfalls.  

  • Organizational Agility: has the ability to perform within all levels of the organization and obtain successful outcomes; interacts with internal and external stakeholders and customers in a manner that supports organizational values. 

  • Motivating Others: facilitates a positive work environment that supports peak performance; has the ability to determine what encourages others; and demonstrates an ability to delegate while fostering independent decision-making.  

  • Innovation Management: actively solicits and fosters the ideas of others, evaluating those ideas for their practical and creative merits as solutions to current and future problems and to improve the services valued by customers. 



DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS – In addition to the required minimum qualifications: 


Bachelor’s degree in a related field, Master’s degree in one of the following: parks and recreation management, public administration, business administration or a similar field, and at least eight years of demonstrated leadership and management experience and work in an active, highly engaged community.  Demonstrated experience in engaging and leading staff and helping to shape a positive culture within an organization and the ability to communicate complex issues, lead successful initiatives and direct staff with clarity.  Experience with Parks and Recreation in the areas of strategic planning, performance based management objectives, recreation program and partnership development, sustainability efforts involving economic, social, and environment policy development and implementation. Bilingual in Spanish.    


 Critical skills and background experience should include: 


  • Excellent communication skills and interpersonal skills including diplomacy, listening, verbal, written, presentation and public speaking skills. 

  • Ability to discuss complex technical and administrative issues, develop feasible alternatives and explain options to the Parks and Recreation Board, Planning Board, City Council, associates and the general public. 

  • Ability to work well with members of Boards and Commissions and maintain good working relationships with officials, associates and diverse employee/public groups. 

  • Proven skills as a pragmatist who can get things done.  A track record of solving problems and resolving issues in difficult, complex and/or contentious situations. 

  • A strong commitment to and the ability to addressing structural racism in local government and integrating the broader perspectives of the city economic, environmental, and social sustainability into a larger bodied vision and working product.   

  • Excellent employee management and development skills.   

  • Demonstrated history of producing high quality results relative to work plans, operations, and initiatives.   

  • Well-developed customer service skills and demonstrated history supporting and reinforcing an open-minded and solution-oriented staff response to customer needs.   

  • Proven ability to be strategic, creative, and innovative, taking calculated risks, setting bold performance goals, and bringing about positive change in an organization.   

  • Demonstrated ability to think ahead, anticipate issues and proactively develop responsive plans, strategies and actions.   


WORKING CONDITIONS - Required Physical and Mental Effort, and Environmental Conditions: 


Physical and Mental Effort: Sufficient clarity of speech and hearing or other communication capabilities that permits the employee to communicate effectively on the telephone and in person.  Sufficient vision or other powers of observation that permits the employee to review, evaluate and prepare a variety of written documents and materials.  Sufficient manual dexterity that permits the employee to operate computer equipment and other office equipment.  Sufficient personal mobility and physical reflexes, which permits the employee to work in an office setting.  Work may include extended periods of time viewing a computer video monitor and/ or operating a keyboard.  Ability to work under stress from demanding deadlines, public contact, and changing priorities and conditions.  Upper body strength to lift and carry supplies and equipment. 

Work Environment: Works primarily in a clean, comfortable environment.  Works in a setting subject to continuous interruptions and background noises.  

Machines and equipment used include, but are not limited to the following: Frequently uses standard office equipment including personal computers, telephones, calculators and copy/fax machines. 


ACCOMMODATIONS: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position. 

The City of Boulder provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, or any other status protected under federal, state, and/or local law.      

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Local Government
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