Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB)

Assistant Superintendent for Planning Services

Location: Minneapolis, MN
Download Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) - Assistant Superintendent for Planning Services BrochureDownload Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) - Assistant Superintendent for Planning Services Brochure

                    Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board 
                     Assistant Superintendent for Planning Services

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is an independent, semi-autonomous body responsible for maintaining and developing the Minneapolis Park system to meet the needs of citizens of Minneapolis. This unique structure allows independent decision-making so the MPRB can efficiently oversee a diverse system of land and water. Nine Park Board Commissioners are elected every four years: one from each of the six park districts within the city and three that serve at-large. The policy-making Board of Commissioners appoints the Superintendent to provide high-level oversight and leadership to the nationally renowned park system. Five Assistant Superintendents, all appointed by the Superintendent, oversee administration, development, operations, planning and recreation with a staff of 485 full-time and 1200 part-time employees and an annual operating budget of $54 million. The MPRB is one of five Minnesota park agencies and one of only 97 agencies in the United States that is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board shall permanently preserve, protect, maintain, improve and enhance its natural resources, parkland and recreational opportunities for current and future generations.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board exists to provide places and recreation opportunities for all people to gather, celebrate, contemplate and engage in activities that promote health, well-being, community and the environment.

Residents Recognize Value of Parks

Minneapolis residents recognize the value of parks - 99 percent think the Park System plays an important role in serving the public, 96 percent think the parks and lakes play a key role in the physical health and wellness of city residents, and 94 percent say the Park System contributes to the economy by increasing the value of properties near parks.

Minneapolis Distinctions

  • Tops the list for best bike cities - Bicycling Magazine 2010
  • Named the Best U.S. City for Young Professionals - Today Show 2010
  • Second fittest city in America - Men's Fitness magazine 2008
  • One of the world's top biking cities - Travel and Leisure magazine 2009
  • Among top-10 best cities in the nation - Outside Magazine 2009

Fast Facts

  • 1883: Year MPRB established
  • 15.4 million: Estimated regional park visits
  • 5 million: Estimated neighborhood park visits
  • 182: Park properties
  • 6,732: Acres of parkland and water
  • 200,000: Boulevard trees
  • 49: Recreation centers
  • 27: Computer labs open to the public
  • 6: Skate parks
  • 215: Playgrounds
  • 60: Wading pools
  • 2: Water parks
  • 12: Authorized beaches
  • 7: Fishing piers
  • 6: Boat launches
  • 4: Canoe launches
  • 345: Sailboat buoys
  • 438: Canoe/kayak racks
  • 4: Outdoor performance stages
  • 55: Miles of parkways
  • 43: Miles of Grand Rounds walking paths
  • 43: Miles of Grand Rounds biking paths
  • 5: Dog off-leash recreation areas
  • 12: Gardens
  • 2: Bird sanctuaries
  • 7: Golf courses
  • 3: Golf driving ranges
  • 1: Winter recreation area
  • 2: Indoor ice arenas
  • 48: Outdoor ice rinks
  • 396: Multipurpose sports fields

Position Responsibilities and Requirements

The Department of Planning Services is responsible for applying land management practices consistent with the Park Board's mission and policies. It programs, designs and constructs capital improvements to regional and neighborhood parks; conducts community research and development for projects and programs; leads comprehensive planning; and coordinates organization-wide implementation and work plan development and system-wide sustainability initiatives. Planning applies for and receives millions of dollars annually from local, regional, state and federal funding sources to fund capital improvements. Extensive community engagement is done during the decision making process for Park Board services, programs and facilities.

Essential Job Duties

  • Responsible for the overall management of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Planning Services.
  • Providing strategic leadership and management for Planning Services to include highly responsible planning and administrative work for all activities of the department.
  • Demonstrate leadership building a collaborative environment including working across department lines and forming partnerships that foster better citizen services, eliminate barriers to achieving results, build alliances with key decision makers, and take full advantage of available resources.
  • Direct and manage the activities of the Department to assure that thorough planning, design and high quality facilities are compatible with the Park Board's mission and in compliance with all regulatory bodies. These activities include long-range and current land use planning, community assessment and engagement activities, capital project management, real estate management, construction project management, and environmental and sustainability practices.
  • Develop and update the Park Board's Comprehensive Master Plan, ensuring that the Park Board's Master Plan is incorporated into the City of Minneapolis's Master Plan, and ensuring that the Comprehensive Master Plan is incorporated into Park Board and City planning and development processes.
  • Develop and implement new systems to improve and streamline planning work processes that are integrated and coordinated across the organization.
  • Demonstrate political acumen.
  • Hire, supervise, train, evaluate, develop and discipline subordinate employees for development of a professional and support staff with a high degree of competence and sound judgment.
  • Staff representation to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Committees and other citizen and governmental boards and committees to further the objectives of the Park Board.

Related Work

  • Prepare and administer the Planning Services budget and corresponding revenue; analyze and recommend appropriate fees for programs and services.
  • Implement Park Board and City policies and guidelines.
  • Determine and implement Planning Services policies and processes and make difficult technical and administrative decisions.
  • Oversee the documentation of all planning related processes and projects using best practices and assure regulatory compliance and compliance with the Park Board retention plan.
  • Develop and maintain effective communications and relationships with other Park Board staff, public agencies and the general public to assure understanding and coordination of planning activities.
  • Confer with and advise staff on issues relating to land use planning, various code interpretations, plan review, permit issuance inspections and administrative matters.
  • Respond to administrative and Board requests.
  • Analyze and compile technical and statistical information and prepare technical reports.
  • Demonstrate continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly to provide quality seamless customer service.
  • Oversee incorporation of technological improvements in Planning Services.
  • Work to proactively resolve problems and conflicts that surface with planning issues.
  • Keep the Superintendent promptly informed of matters as they relate to the Department and Park Board.
  • Perform other related duties as apparent or assigned.

(position requirements at entry)

The Assistant Superintendent for Planning Services will have the knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of state-of-the-art park and urban planning.
  • Contemporary principles and best practices of public administration.
  • Modern principles and best practices of design, construction and scheduling involved in building and related site development projects.
  • Multi-disciplinary construction and site plan requirements.
  • Contemporary principles and best practices of personnel management and supervision.
  • Contemporary principles and best practices of accounting, budget preparation, organization management and analysis of data.
  • Computers and software applications used in business settings and planning work (e.g. word processing, spreadsheets, AutoCad, GIS, including workflow management software systems).
  • Outstanding customer service principles and practices.
  • Basic contract laws and regulations.
  • Pertinent federal, state, county and city laws, codes, ordinances and regulations.
  • Economics, municipal finance and sociology as applied to city planning.

The Way We Work

The Employees of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board:

  • Work and accept responsibility to search for, create and execute new and innovative approaches to improve the performance of Park Board services and objectives.
  • Assist external and internal customers to serve their needs and take responsibility for continuously improving customer service.
  • Foster meaningful interaction among people through the exchange of information to produce understanding.
  • Continuously develop and use effective strategies and interpersonal styles to engage and guide others toward the accomplishment of identified objectives and goals in the best interest of the Park Board and community.
  • Consistently work toward the common good of the organization and encourage others to do the same.
  • Conduct themselves at all times in a professionally appropriate and respectful manner.
  • Apply the proper safety/security practices according to established protocols, guidelines and policies.

Skills and Ability
(position requirements at entry)

The Assistant Superintendent for Planning Services will have the skills and ability to:

  • Understand, correctly interpret and effectively communicate with others codes, plans, construction and specifications.
  • Critically analyze operations, collaboratively design and institute improvements without disruption of existing operations.
  • Imaginatively and effectively identify and evaluate plan alternatives in relation to trends, costs and social pressures and needs.
  • Thoughtfully organize and creatively administer the functions of current and long-range planning.
  • Thoroughly evaluate program alternatives and make recommendations for improvements in business programs and service delivery.
  • As Department Head, provide comprehensive support to assure the successful and effective performance of all department staff.
  • Provide both oral and written communication that is easily understood and direct in its content.
  • Analyze pertinent data and provide meaningful reports pertaining to the operations of the work unit.
  • Establish and maintain effective, respectful and productive working relationships.
  • Negotiate effective and appropriate solutions to difficult conflicts.
  • Listen effectively to understand thoroughly the intended message.
  • Set appropriate priorities while coordinating multiple projects and meeting critical deadlines.

Training and Experience (position requirements at entry)

  • Bachelors Degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Urban Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Public Administration or closely related field. (Master's Degree Preferred)
  • Increasingly responsible experience in park, city or regional planning: at least five years
  • Experience in planning administration, including inspections: at least four years
  • Experience in leadership, management, and administration: at least four years
  • Experience supervising others: at least seven years
  • Experience supervising unionized employees: at least four years (desired)

Compensation and Benefits

The salary and benefits are competitive, with an anticipated starting salary of $125,257.


Application Process

Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:

Reference: MPRB

Affion Public
20 North 2nd Street, Suite 200
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Fax: 717-214-2205

Deadline to apply: February 18, 2011