Des Plaines, IL (population 58,364) is a diverse, strategically located community just 17 miles northwest of Chicago, adjacent to the beautiful Cook County Forest. Preserves. The area of the city covers approximately 15 square mile and is located just north of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Established along the Des Plaines River, the city is a hub for employers, recreation, entertainment and urban/suburban living. The community is a combination of longtime residents and young families, reflecting Des Plaines appeal to people of all ages. Des Plaines has undergone a renaissance in its historic downtown with new multifamily housing that supports the businesses and restaurants in the central business district. Capitalizing on that momentum will provide a great opportunity for the new Director. As a result of its convenient location, robust new commercial and industrial development continues to support the economic profile and long-term financial health of the community.

The City is seeking highly professional, forward thinking candidate interested in serving as its next Director of Community and Economic Development. Located in Cook County, Des Plaines has a reimagined downtown, and over 1463 businesses in a variety of business districts.  Home to many corporate headquarters, the community has established neighborhoods, extensive recreational opportunities, and excellent schools all just a short distance to downtown Chicago.  The new Director will report to the City Manager and serve as a liaison to the Planning and Zoning Commission and support the City Council on development related issues.

The Community and Economic Development Department is responsible for oversight of three divisions: planning and zoning, economic development, and building and code enforcement with a departmental budget of approximately $2.6 million, TIF expenses of $3.7m and a CDBG budget of $505k as well as management and leadership of 16 full time and 2 part time employees; AFSME represents the majority of the employees.

Qualified individuals will be expected to have:

  • A minimum of seven years’ progressively responsible experience including at least two (2) years in a supervisory position in a community of comparable complexity with knowledge of municipal planning, zoning and building code compliance or an equivalent combination of education and experience.  Exposure to development in a community where flood plain management is helpful.
  • A bachelor’s degree in urban planning, or closely related field; a master’s degree and AICP certification is strongly preferred.
  • A customer service focus and team-oriented leadership style with knowledge of and practice in modern management concepts, principles, strategies, practices, and techniques.
  • An innovative, champion of continued process improvement with an understanding of a progressive Community Development department operations with a demonstrated interest in technology; experience in software implementation is a plus.
  • Skilled and resourceful in resident and business engagement; comfortable responding to complex issues while navigating policies and procedures with a focus on building a stronger, resilient Des Plaines.
  • A creative, problem-solving approach and well developed interpersonal and oral/written/presentation communication skills.  

Starting salary range is +/- $140,000, depending on qualifications and experience. Residency is not required. Apply online with résumé, cover letter, and contact information for 5 professional references by August 13, 2021 Attn: Kathleen Rush, GovHR USA, 630 Dundee Road, Suite 630, Northbrook, IL 60062. Tel: 847/380-3240.

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