Job Opportunity: Planner III – City of Salem

SALARY:  $5,480.80 – $6,735.73 Monthly

OPENING DATE: 04/28/17

CLOSING DATE: 05/19/17 11:59 PM


We are seeking a highly motivated professional with a passion for public spaces and an expertise in parks planning to join our Parks Planning and Natural Resources Section in the Public Works Department. The successful candidate will have a proven record of identifying park needs and opportunities; developing concepts and options; conducting public engagement processes; setting goals and establishing priorities; and consistently delivering high quality products. The position requires knowledge and experience in parks planning, public processes, project management, landscape architecture, and urban natural resources. Familiarity with National Recreation and Park Association professional practices is desirable. The successful candidate will have excellent communications skills and have an interest in broadening his or her areas of expertise.

The Parks Planner works both independently and collaboratively under the general supervision of the Section Manager. A member of a diverse and highly talented team responsible for a wide range of programs and projects, the Parks Planner will work closely with other City staff, elected officials, boards and commissions, state and federal agencies, consultants and contractors, volunteers, community organizations, and the public at large.

The work of the Parks Planner involves high visibility projects, programs, and plans, the development of which entails significant public engagement with many and diverse stakeholders. Examples of this position’s responsibilities include:

Creating, updating, and implementing master plans for Salem’s neighborhood, community, and urban parks;
Responding to inquiries and interacting with senior managers, elected officials, and the public in all aspects of park planning;
Leading and supporting public outreach for parks and natural resource-related programs, plans, and projects;
Preparing staff reports, policy analyses, graphics, and other material to support approval processes, public information, and stakeholder outreach;
Making presentations to senior managers, elected officials, and public groups;
Identifying opportunities for grants and preparing competitive applications to the granting body;
Serving on multijurisdictional teams and representing the interests of the City related to parks and natural resources;
Providing technical review for private development and public projects that may impact parks or natural resources;
Implementing existing strategic plans, such as the Comprehensive Parks System Master Plan, the Migratory Bird Conservation Strategy, the Community Forestry Strategic Plan, and the Minto Island Conservation Area Plan;
Assessing projects for compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements for parks and natural resources;
Conducting research, compiling data, and preparing concise and clearly written reports;
Developing and implementing plans and policies for natural resources in the City; and,
Crafting scopes of work, supervising consultants, and managing project budgets.

About Us:
The City of Salem has 93 park properties consisting of approximately 2,270 acres of parklands, of which 1,620 acres are developed and 650 acres are undeveloped. Salem’s parks include neighborhood parks, community parks, urban parks, linear parks, natural areas, historic areas, and special use facilities. Our parks range in size from the 0.34-acre Gracemont Park to the 1,200 acres of Minto-Brown Island Park, which includes 300-acres purposefully set aside as a nature conservation area. The City of Salem also encompasses 88 miles of streams, as well as a section of the Willamette River, all containing important habitat for a variety of species.

Salem’s Public Works Department delivers drinking water and wastewater treatment services for the region and provides stormwater, transportation, parks, recreation, and project delivery services for the capital city of Oregon. The department has an operating budget of approximately $138M, a construction budget of $87M, and 415 employees.

Minimum qualifications

Must pass the pre-employment background check
Must have a valid Oregon Driver’s License (position will require an Oregon Driver’s License within 30 days of hire)
Must have a driving record that meets the City of Salem’s driving standards

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in landscape architecture, or other related planning or natural resource field; AND

Four (4) years of experience in a related field; OR, Any combination of experience, training, and education that demonstrates possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities as listed, and the ability to perform the essential functions of the class.

Certifications and Licenses:

Professionally licensed as a Landscape Architect is desirable.


Knowledge of park planning, principals, and practices.
Knowledge of local government practices such as organization, public processes, budgeting, and systems development charges.
Knowledge of local natural resources, regulations, and permits.
Skill in explaining technical information to people with non-technical backgrounds, including what the information means and how it can be used.
Skill in interpreting construction and development plans in order to assess relationship to parks and natural resources.
Ability to establish effective working relationships inside and outside the organization.
Ability to organize and manage multiple and on-going projects, set priorities, meet critical deadlines, and follow up on assignments with a minimum of direction.
Ability to manage projects, develop project scopes of work and budgets, and oversee consultants.
Ability to work a varied work schedule – including weekdays, evenings, and weekends.
Ability to operate word processing, spreadsheet, and database software typical to office environments.
Ability to develop maps, plans, and other graphics utilizing Geographic Information System or other computer graphic programs (e.g. AutoCAD)
Ability to apply logical and creative thinking to solve problems or accomplish tasks.


Express or exchange ideas by means of the spoken word.
Receive detailed information through oral communication with or without accommodations.
Visual acuity necessary to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; expansive reading and writing; visual inspections of environmental conditions.
Work is performed where employees are subject to both internal and external environmental conditions.

How can I apply?

Go to and click on the Planner III position and complete your application, making sure that you specify how you meet the qualifications outlined in the class specification and answer the supplemental questions as required.

The listed work examples are illustrative of the classification level and not intended to list all duties typically assigned to this classification. Employees may do all or some of the listed duties, or other related duties. The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned this classification. It is as well intended to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Planner III Supplemental Questionnaire –  *Required Question

*1. Discuss how your education and experiences have qualified you for this position. Address the degree to which your qualifications include: developing park master plans, managing projects, interpreting design and construction drawings, and working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

*2. Elaborate on your process for evaluating a site and developing a park master plan for that site. Describe any key steps in the process and what makes a successful master plan and process.

*3. Describe your experience in working with the public and with diverse stakeholder groups. What types of communication and outreach techniques did you use and how successful were they?

*4. If your experiences and qualifications do not fully align with those required of a senior planner, but the Selection Committee has determined you would still be an excellent addition to the Parks Planning and Natural Resources Section, would you consider accepting the position of Planner II rather than Planner III? (Note: The answer to this question is not scored)

*5. Your application must support your answers to the supplemental questions. If your answers are not reflected in the work experience section your application may be removed from consideration. Have you demonstrated your education, training, and experience in your application to support your responses above?

*6. Do you have a valid Oregon Driver’s License? Yes or No

*7. Do you understand you must have a driving record that meets the City of Salem’s Driving Standards? Yes or No

*8. Your application must support your answers to the supplemental questions. If your answers are not reflected in the work experience section, your application may be removed from consideration. Have you demonstrated your education, training and experience in your application to support your responses above? Yes or No