The City of Albany, Oregon, is seeking an innovative and experienced leader to serve as the Parks and Recreation Director upon the retirement of the long-serving incumbent. The successful candidate will bring not only the technical skills and knowledge in the areas of parks and facility management and recreation programming, but also the emotional intelligence, leadership qualities, and cooperative team skills needed to advance the City’s mission and vision for our community and citizens. The Parks and Recreation Director leads the department by planning, organizing, and directing activities of a full-service Parks and Recreation department.

Department Profile

The mission of the Albany Parks and Recreation Department is to promote healthy living through recreational experiences and serve as stewards of Albany’s public parks and facilities. Residents have access to nearly 900 acres of parks and open spaces throughout the city, featuring children’s playgrounds, sports fields, rentable picnic shelters, disc golf courses, and miles of hike/bike paths. The Willamette and Calapooia rivers course through the city and are integral to many of Albany’s parks and open spaces, offering fishing and boating access to the water. The department offers a wide array of year-round recreation opportunities for residents and visitors, including an active Senior Center, aquatic activities at the Albany Community Pool (indoor) and COOL! Pool (outdoor), classes for all ages, a vibrant Trips & Tours program, sports leagues, day camps, a pre-school program, and more. Of special note are Albany’s award-winning Northwest Art & Air Festival, River Rhythms, and Summer Sounds Concert Series, which collectively attract 150,000 attendees throughout the summer.

The City of Albany’s public art program is coordinated by Parks and Recreation through the City Council-appointed Albany Arts Commission. The department’s Building Maintenance division maintains all City buildings accessible to the public. In addition to traditional parks and recreation offerings, the department also manages Albany’s urban forest, having been named a Tree City USA for 24 straight years.

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Position Overview

The Parks and Recreation Director is directly accountable to the City Manager and is responsible for providing leadership and management oversight for all divisions within the Parks and Recreation Department. The Parks and Recreation Director will be responsible for a department budget of $9 million and 34 FTE. The chosen candidate will be expected to work collaboratively with other department directors as part of an Executive Leadership Team under the direction of the City Manager. The new director will be expected to establish relationships and communicate directly with City staff, citizens, businesses, and others regarding the Parks and Recreation Department’s practices and policies.

Candidates should have an extensive knowledge of the principles and practices of modern parks and recreation programs; equipment and facilities required in a comprehensive park and recreation program; funding of parks capital projects, programs, and operations; the principles and practices of maintenance, construction, and use of public buildings and park facilities; and community recreation needs and resources. The Parks and Recreation Director will be adept at effective public relations and skilled at building relationships with community groups, employees, City officials, private businesses, non-profit organizations, and other levels of government.

Candidate Profile

The new Parks and Recreation Director will be an experienced administrator who possesses outstanding interpersonal, organizational, and leadership skills. The ideal candidate will be expected to demonstrate and promote the highest standards of personal and professional conduct. The candidate will be expected to practice an open style of management and to work collaboratively with members of the Parks and Recreation Department to foster a positive working environment that encourages individuals to excel in their areas of responsibility.

The successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record of forming effective partnerships. The candidate will possess a balance between assertiveness and diplomacy, be a good listener, and be willing to discuss matters candidly and openly. The Parks and Recreation Director must possess a strong management presence, combined with the flexibility necessary to reach compromise for the benefit of the City of Albany, its employees, and the entire community.

The selected candidate will be a person with imagination and vision that will ensure continued progress for the City of Albany. They will appreciate the city for its quality of life, sound leadership, and a Parks and Recreation Department comprised of skilled and dedicated employees. They will be willing to take reasonable risks to guide the organization to new levels of achievement and will share the credit for successes with others.

Education and Experience

The successful candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in parks and recreation management or administration, public administration, business administration or management, or a closely related field; and seven years of progressively responsible experience in parks and recreation services; or a master’s degree in the fields listed above, and five years progressively responsible experience will be accepted as equivalent.

Residency Requirement

The Parks and Recreation Director holds a vital public position within the community, and the new director will be expected to become actively involved in and engaged with the community upon arrival. This will include the requirement to establish residency within the Albany Urban Growth Boundary within six months of hire should the new director currently live outside of commuting distance. A director who, upon hire, lives within commuting distance shall, upon moving residences, agree to establish and, thereafter, maintain residency within the Albany Urban Growth Boundary while employed by the City.

Opportunities & Challenges

A variety of operational and administrative issues await the new Parks & Recreation Director’s attention. Briefly summarized, some of those issues include:

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Employee Relations

Providing a positive, supportive, and safe work environment that fosters employee participation, productive working relationships, open communication, and labor-management cooperation is a priority for the City. The new director must begin immediately to establish positive relationships with employees at all levels. The new director must value the experience and contributions of employees throughout the organization and place a high value on the professional development of staff. The Parks and Recreation Director must also be willing to mentor subordinates, share information, delegate decision-making when appropriate, and openly support staff members in their day-to-day activities. The new director must also communicate an expectation of high standards for performance and be willing to hold individuals accountable for their individual actions and performance.


There has been significant turnover in the department’s key positions over the last couple of years, due primarily to retirement and voluntary departures. Given the department’s constrained resources, several employees have taken on new and expanded roles to cover the vacated positions. While creating opportunity for individual development and resulting in personnel savings, the moves have also strained the capacity of the current staff to address service needs. These circumstances may afford the new director an opportunity to realign staffing.

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The department works with two 501(c)3 foundations to generate funds to support department programs and facilities. The Albany Area Seniors Foundation and the newly established Albany Parks & Recreation Foundation currently generate modest resources for the department, but they may present important and significant financial partners in future years.


Operating revenues continue to increase incrementally year-to-year but may not be sufficient to sustain current services, let alone cover the cost of desired new programs and facilities. New strategies will be required to continue a balance between adequate service levels for a growing community with sustainable operating resources.


The Parks and Recreation Department boasts more than 190 sponsorships and partnerships with local businesses and community organizations, generating $700,000 annually in cash donations and in-kind services to support its activities. Community members contribute nearly 38,000 volunteer hours, roughly equivalent to 18 FTE. This support must not only continue but expand to continue services at existing levels.

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Growth & Diversity

Albany’s population is projected to continue its steady growth of about 1 to 1.5 percent annually. This growth will bring more diversity to the community, which will drive demand for expanded and new services over time. The Hispanic population of the city is currently estimated at 12 percent of the total population and growing, followed by smaller communities of Asian, Native American, and African American residents. Better engagement efforts will be needed to ensure the department’s effectiveness in serving these community members.

The new director must also demonstrate significant leadership in recognizing programs designed to recruit and retain a workforce that is reflective of the community it serves. In addition to supporting outreach efforts to attract applicants from affected classes, the Parks and Recreation Director must ensure that the organizational culture welcomes and values diversity. Ensuring that policies are followed, and employees attend regular training on gender- and diversity-based issues.

Master Plan

An update of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan is projected for completion in late 2019. The new plan will likely project the need for substantial investment in facilities to keep pace with future growth, as well as an expanding list of deferred capital replacement and renovation projects for an aging parks system. The new director will be challenged to design capital funding strategies that will receive community and political support.

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Compensation & Benefits

The current annual salary range is $101,722 to $127,236. Appointment to be made within the range, depending on qualifications. The City also offers a very attractive benefits package.

View Executive Benefits Summary

Strategic Plan

Mission, Vision, and Values

The City of Albany’s Strategic Plan is guided by three fundamental elements: our mission, our vision, and our core values. Our Mission Statement is based on the principles of high quality and continuous improvement. Our Vision Statement presents a compelling future toward which our Strategic Plan is directed. Both our mission and our vision are founded on the following basic values that guide all of our actions and that reflect what we expect from our employees and our elected officials.

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About Albany, Oregon

Recognized as the center of the Willamette Valley because of its ideal geographic location, Albany is a community where a strong work ethic, community pride, and many links to Oregon’s history have blended into a vibrant home for more than 53,145 residents. Located in both Linn and Benton counties, Albany is the second largest city in Benton County, and is the largest city and county seat of Linn County (122,315).

About Albany, Oregon

Albany Parks & Recreation homepage

Application Process

Apply for the Albany Parks & Recreation Director position

Applications will be accepted until February 17, 2019, or until a suitable candidate is selected for appointment.

If you are interested in applying for this career opportunity, want to work in a community that has tremendous community support, a supportive City Manager and City Council, and you match the candidate profile, please click the button to complete an application.

Please attach the following to your application: cover letter, resume, writing sample and a list of five professional references.


It is anticipated that application screening will begin the week of February 18, 2019. Video interviews are anticipated for March 12, 2019, and formal interviews are tentatively scheduled for the week of April 15, 2019. Once a finalist has been determined, the City will conduct a full pre-employment background investigation to begin by the week of April 29, 2019.

The anticipated start date for our new Parks and Recreation Director is beginning to mid-July 2019.

Contact Information

All inquiries relating to the recruitment and selection process are to be directed to the City of Albany Human Resources Department.

Katie Forsman
Human Resources Programs Coordinator
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Danette Jamison
Human Resources Director
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