Senior Office Assistant

City of Novato

SALARY: $23.83 - $28.97 Hourly 
$4,131.00 - $5,021.00 Monthly 
$49,572.00 - $60,252.00 Annually 


Senior Office Assistants are experienced administrative support personnel responsible for performing a wide variety of complex, highly responsible professional, analytical, and administrative support activities including participation in department and City-wide administrative processes, procedures, and programs, research and analytical reporting, policy development, and special projects and studies.

The Community Development Department has two current openings for Senior Office Assistant. The Development Permit Center desk position assists clients with the processing and payments for approved residential and nonresidential building permits, planning and code enforcement applications. Technical duties include assisting permit applicants by phone and in person which include completion of building forms, processing payments, coordinating building plan reviews with staff and plan submittals for the City's permit process. Greet and direct visitors at City-wide reception desk. 

The Planning Division position provides support to staff planners and appointed commissioners, including preparing public notice mailings, formatting and publishing agenda packets, and transcribing minutes for the Planning Commission, Design Review Commission, and Zoning Administrator. Typical duties include the formatting and publishing of staff reports, preparing and updating website content, processing consultant invoices and tracking contract budgets, coordinating records management and document control, and maintaining various planning related policy documents (e.g., zoning ordinance). 

The ideal candidate will possess excellent customer service and administrative support abilities including advanced computer software skills in the Microsoft Office suite. Positions within this class typically work in specialized records management and online applications in the maintenance and posting of city records, agendas and webpage development.  Good customer service skills are essential as these positions are typically the first line of contact for Novato customers. 

One of the Bay Area's premier communities, Novato is located in Marin County 29 miles north of San Francisco. The second largest city in the County, Novato has a current population of about 56,000 and covers 28 square miles. Existing land use in Novato is predominately residential in the valley areas west of Highway 101 and in neighborhoods east of the freeway. In the last decade, the re-use of the Hamilton Army Airfield added over 2,100 new homes to Novato.

Novato residents enjoy a thriving and family-oriented community with abundant educational, recreational, retail, and business opportunities. The residents are actively involved in important local decisions about quality of life issues and the future direction of their city as the City Council encourages a high level of interaction between its citizenry and city government so that important issues are vigorously debated and discussed. The community fosters a small town atmosphere due to its low population density, high amount of open space and parks, vibrant downtown, and engaged community members. With an abundance of natural beauty, a rich history, comfortable neighborhoods, a diversified economy, and a promising life sciences industry, the City is well-positioned to continue to thrive into the 21st century.



To perform the most difficult and complex clerical support duties involving the interpretation and application of policies, rules and regulations, issuance of permits, and preparation of meeting agendas and meeting minutes, consistent with legal requirements; to function as liaison between the department, citizens, and other departments in the City by researching and responding to questions and solving complicated and sensitive problems; and to provide administrative support to an assigned supervisor.


This is the advanced journey level class in the Office Assistant series.  Positions at this level are distinguished from other classes within this series by the level of responsibility assumed, complexity of duties assigned, independence of action taken, by the amount of time spent performing the duties, and by the nature of the public contact made. Employees perform the most difficult and responsible types of duties assigned to classes within this series, including interpreting and applying complex policies, procedures, rules and regulations in the performance of duties and may provide technical and functional supervision over assigned personnel.  Employees at this level are required to be fully trained in all procedures related to assigned area of responsibility.

Employees within this class are distinguished from the journey level by the performance of the full range of duties as assigned requiring a higher level of independent judgment in the interpretation and application of policies, procedures, rules and regulations. Employees at this level receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise, and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies of the work unit.


Receives general supervision from a higher level supervisor or manager.


ESSENTIAL AND MARGINAL FUNCTION STATEMENTS - Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Essential Functions:

  • Perform the most complex and difficult clerical duties involved in the support of an assigned department or program and the provision of customer service.
  • Maintain the more complex and difficult records, master lists, historical binders, databases, and filing systems; verify accuracy of information; research discrepancies and record information; scan and index files.
  • Provide and explain information, policies, and procedures to the public regarding the assigned area of responsibility in person or over the telephone; refer the public to the appropriate department as necessary; research and resolve the more complex discrepancies.
  • Design, create and coordinate the publication of flyers, brochures, invitations, activity guides and special event publications; seek, develop relationships, and coordinate with donors and advertisers.
  • Participate in a variety of departmental programs; coordinate activities, interviews and special audits; arrange for delivery of equipment/supplies/food.
  • Review applications for completeness and accuracy; calculate fees, accept deposits, and balance at end of day; prepare and distribute permit submittal for approval and issue permits; receive and respond to the more complex and sensitive customer service issues; monitor and control the intake process by working with clients/applicants.
  • Track building permit status and consultant charges; verify applicable school, permit, consultant, fire and development impact fees.
  • Prepare, format and post agenda; prepare and deliver meeting documents; transcribe, type, and prepare resolutions and meeting minutes, ensuring compliance with legal requirements.
  • Register staff and others for various conferences, seminars, trainings, and workshops; prepare travel and hotel arrangements; process post-travel reimbursements.
  • Create, maintain and revise a variety of forms and templates for department use; create, revise and implement procedures related to work assignment.
  • Receive, type, review, process, and file various insurance certificates, contract amendments, invoices, applications, memberships, refunds, and forms; provide information and forms to the public; apply departmental policies and procedures in determining completeness of applications, forms, records, and reports.
  • Schedule routine appointments, events, and various commission meetings for assigned department; schedule and book meeting rooms and facilities.
  • Prepare, track and log invoices; obtain appropriate signatures on documents; enter data into logs and spreadsheets.
  • Compile information and data for statistical and financial reports; maintain a variety of statistical records; check and tabulate statistical data.
  • Contact the public and outside agencies to acquire and provide information.
  • Plan, prioritize, and review the work of staff and volunteers assigned to a variety of clerical accounting duties.
  • Develop schedules and methods to accomplish assignments for staff and volunteers, ensuring work is completed in a timely, accurate, and efficient manner.
  • Participate in evaluating activities of staff and volunteers, recommending improvements and modifications.
  • Provide and coordinate training for employees and volunteers; work with employees and volunteers to correct deficiencies.
  • Review work products to ensure accuracy and quality; ensure work products are in compliance with department policies and procedures.
  • Build and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other City employees and the public using principles of good customer service.

Marginal Functions:

  • Order, receive, and organize office materials and supplies.
  • Receive, sort, and distribute incoming and outgoing mail; process outgoing mail for special deliveries.
  • Participate in a variety of special projects as assigned.
  • Perform related duties and responsibilities as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles and procedures used in recordkeeping and maintaining filing systems.
  • Business letter writing and basic report presentation.
  • Complex file and record maintenance.
  • Advanced customer service principles and practices.
  • Organization, procedures, services, and operating details of city government.
  • Basic mathematics.
  • English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Methods to motivate, train and utilize volunteers within regular business operations.
  • Principles and practices of technical and functional supervision.
  • Modern office equipment and procedures including use of word processing, database and spreadsheet applications, and desktop publishing and graphic layout applications.

Ability to:

  • Perform the most difficult and complex duties related to general office support.
  • On a continuous basis, know and understand all aspects of the job; intermittently analyze work papers, reports and special projects; identify and interpret technical and numerical information; observe and problem solve operational and technical policy and procedures.
  • Understand, interpret and apply principles, laws and procedures related to assignment and in support of customer service.
  • Manage multiple deadlines.
  • Proofread documents and ensure accuracy and completeness.
  • Design, layout and publish a variety of outreach and advertisement publications.
  • Work courteously with the general public on the telephone or in person.
  • Correctly interpret, apply, and explain departmental policies and procedures.
  • Work independently in the absence of supervision.
  • Type and prepare forms, letters and other correspondence.
  • Perform mathematical calculations quickly and accurately.
  • Type at a speed necessary for successful job performance.
  • Provide technical and functional supervision over assigned staff; effectively train staff.
  • Operate a computer using word processing and business software and other office equipment including databases and desktop publishing applications.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective, tactful and positive relationships with those contacted in the course of work including various cultural and ethnic groups.
  • Foster and contribute to a work environment that supports and exhibits honesty, diversity, integrity, trust and respect.
  • Demonstrate teamwork by contributing to the overall success of the organization with flexibility, cooperation, and communication.
  • Provide high quality and fiscally responsible services to the Novato community, while delivering responsive customer service.
  • Demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit by generating new, innovative ideas and development of better methods to accomplish tasks and complete projects.
  • Use principles of effective office safety including use of equipment in a proper and safe manner, use of preventative personal ergonomic techniques, and maintaining safe personal and common workspaces.

Experience and Training Guidelines

Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


Three years of increasingly responsible clerical experience similar to an Office Assistant II with the City of Novato.


Equivalent to the completion of the twelfth grade. Specialized clerical and computer software training is desirable.

License or Certificate:

Possession of a typing certificate showing ability to type 45 words per minute net of errors may be requested.


Environmental Conditions:

Office environment utilizing computers. Duties require positions to, on a continuous basis, sit at desk for long periods of time; intermittently twist to reach equipment surrounding desk; perform simple grasping and fine manipulation; use telephone, and write or use a keyboard to communicate through written means; and lift or carry weight of 10 pounds or less.

It is important to complete all required application materials, including the supplemental questionnaire and any required additional documents. All applications will be screened for completeness and possession of minimum qualifications. Qualified applications will be reviewed in detail to identify the most qualified candidates to continue in the selection process which may consist solely of an application screening, or may include a written examination, skills assessment, oral appraisal interview, assessment center, or other activity selected by the Human Resources Department and the hiring department. It is anticipated that oral appraisal interviews will take place on August 17, 2018. Please save the date.

As a result of the selection process an eligibility list of qualified candidates will be established to fill the current vacancy and may be used to fill future vacancies as long as the eligibility list remains active. Candidates who score the highest in the selection process will be required to pass a reference and background exam prior to receiving a conditional job offer. Candidates receiving a conditional offer of employment will be required to pass a pre-employment medical and drug screen examination prior to receiving a final job offer. 

To be considered for this exciting opportunity, candidates must complete an online application and the required supplemental questionnaire. The supplemental questionnaire is part of the application; please provide sufficient detail to enable your answers to be rated. To apply for this position, please click

DEADLINE TO APPLY: August 6, 2018 at 5:00 P.M.
All required application materials must be submitted and received by the above date and time to be considered. Neither Regional Government Services nor the City of Novato are responsible for failure of internet forms or email transmission in submitting your application. Additional inquiries about the position may be directed to Barbara Duncan at

Applicants with a disability who may require special assistance in any step of the selection process should advise Human Resources by emailing upon submittal of application.

The City of Novato is an Equal Opportunity Employer


Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 17:31

Last month, MuniServices / Avenu published a legislative update that focused on over 50 bills, which impacted local revenue streams or administration in one way or another, that had made it to the