County of San Mateo


County of San Mateo

Annual Salary Range: $163,862 - $204,838


The mission of the Department of Parks is to provide residents of San Mateo County with recreational opportunities in a safe and effective manner, and to protect and enhance the County’s natural resources. The Department operates 17 separate parks, three regional trails and numerous other county and local trails encompassing 15,680 acres. They are located throughout the County and represent a wide variety of natural settings, including a coastside marine reserve, a bayside recreational area, coastal mountain woodland areas, and urban sites.


Reporting to the Assistant County Manager, the Parks Director oversees the operations, resource management and planning of the County’s parks system, including urban and rural parks, a marine reserve, regional trails, a marina and historic sites/buildings. With a budget of $16.1 million and a staff of 51 (2 Parks Superintendents, 1 Harbormaster, 1 Program Coordinator, 1 Senior Planner, 1 Equipment Operator, 1 Electrician/Maintenance Worker, 1 Gardener, and 43 Park Rangers), the Director works with the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Parks Foundation, the Parks for the Future Committee, the Friends Groups, numerous volunteers and other stakeholders to meet the diverse recreational needs of County residents.


The County has beautiful, unique parks with a diversity of landscapes in many locations throughout the County. The Parks staff and volunteers are knowledgeable, dedicated and committed to protecting and enhancing the natural resources of the County while at the same time, providing the public with safe and effective recreational opportunities. With strong support and interest from staff and the community, the new Director will be able to help shape the future of the parks system. Several issues will be at the forefront of the agenda, including:


  • Funding for Parks – Continued difficult budget years require creative and innovative ideas for alternative funding sources
  • Resource Management – Integrating the management of resources with Parks maintenance and operations requires careful planning and balance
  • Succession Planning – With key positions anticipated for retirement in the next few years, current and new staff must be trained to assume leadership positions
  • Marketing the Parks - Strategies for effectively marketing parks services need to be continued
  • Grants Management – Given the large number of grants awarded to Parks, balancing the workload while meeting project deadlines remains a challenge


The successful candidate will have five years of increasingly responsible professional park management and development experience with at least two years of experience in a managerial capacity within a political environment or equivalent experience. The ideal Director is an approachable, politically astute leader with a management style that quickly fosters trust, loyalty, respect, commitment and partnership from the community, other county managers and employees; a passionate leader with a clear vision for the future of the organization that is balanced with realism; a strategic thinker and planner with innovative yet practical solutions to problems that contribute towards the County and the community's vision who is willing to take risks and pursue new creative ideas; an experienced manager with sound understanding of parks systems, operations, management and funding who also understands field staff needs and provides clear direction relative to department goals and objectives; a collaborator, consensus and team builder who can foster and build coalitions and work effectively with a variety of stakeholders; a highly focused and organized individual capable of integrating programs, services and resources towards a common goal; and a confident, excellent problem-solver with superior communication skills who can communicate the value of parks to the community.


San Mateo County is located in the heart of the San Francisco Peninsula, offering a wide range of recreational pursuits, economic opportunities and numerous attractions. The 700,000 residents of the County enjoy a diverse, multi-cultural citizenry, cosmopolitan ambiance, temperate climate, clean air, rural open space and a geographic location in the heart of the San Francisco peninsula.


Final Filing Date: June 13, 2017

To apply for this exciting career opportunity, the following materials must be electronically submitted in PDF format using the County's online application system by 5 PM on June 13, 2017: resume and detailed cover letter that includes a summary of your qualifications for this position, specifically your executive leadership and parks management experience AND what you consider to be the most challenging aspect of parks administration. Submit your resume and cover letter by applying online at Electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your application materials will be forwarded to you upon receipt of your application materials. EOE 


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