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Director of Community Development

Kitsap County

Port Orchard, WA United States

Kitsap County is seeking an experienced leader and director for its Department of Community Development (DCD). The DCD Director, reporting directly to the three-member Board of County Commissioners, provides accessible, visible leadership, and strategic direction to the 73 employees of the department and the department's myriad of customers, partners, and stakeholders.

About the County

Small communities, friendly people, and miles of waterfront – it's a great place to live, work and play!

As more people move to Kitsap County, known for its natural beauty and livable communities, the County faces a range of new challenges, requirements, and responsibilities. Kitsap, a short ferry ride across the Puget Sound from Seattle, has over 200 miles of saltwater shoreline, snow-capped mountains, estuaries and lakes, and forests and parklands. Diverse and growing communities, including the County's largest urban growth area, Silverdale, rely on DCD for its permitting and land use.

About the Department

We foster the development of quality, affordable, safe, and environmentally sound communities. DCD is a nationally recognized, high performing governmental organization focused on the development of quality, affordable, safe, and environmentally sound communities. Its services include comprehensive planning and implementation, land use, crafting and implementing reasonable codes, fire investigations, code enforcement, and permitting. DCD has 73 employees and an operating budget of $10.1M for 2019.

The Department has four main divisions: Building and Fire Safety, Planning and Environmental Programs, Development Services and Engineering, and Administrative and Permit Services. DCD has earned national awards for its permitting system, risk check fire inspection program and public records request response system. It has received two Governor's Awards for comprehensive planning efforts and is recognized for its Natural Resource program by federal and state agencies as the "go to" organization for Puget Sound Restoration efforts. The department has worked to develop a lean culture and continuously improve its processes. The DCD staff's customer service and expertise are well-regarded.

About the Position

The Director reports to the Kitsap Board of Commissioners. The role is both outward facing and internally focused. First, the Director is the face of the department, engaging with community stakeholders over key planning and land use initiatives. Second, the Director must ensure staff are well-resourced to execute the department's strategic plan.

The Director is regularly required to solve problems having far-reaching impacts on and consequences for Kitsap County. This position is perfect for those who relish a challenge, value public service, and who want to make a visible and lasting impact on local communities.

Opportunities and Challenges

Kitsap is poised to grow exponentially in the coming decade, as more residents leave the surrounding Puget Sound counties to enjoy Kitsap's relatively affordable housing market. The new director will be partnering with external and internal stakeholders to recommend to the Board of Commissioners ways to address some of the department's key challenges, and to take advantage of its opportunities. Some of the challenges include working to implement new state regulatory requirements in a way that balances regulatory needs with maintaining affordability of housing. Further, as the impacts of climate change become clearer, climate hazards will need to inform planning efforts to foster resiliency. Finally, as communities want to achieve a more integrated, livable built form, the department needs to pivot from the current, conventional zoning code to a more efficient, flexible code. The Director will be at the forefront of meeting these challenges.


Successful candidates will have a demonstrated combination of education and experience that provides the knowledge, skills, and ability needed to perform the duties and responsibilities. Candidates should have at least eight years of progressively responsible executive leadership experience, ideally in community planning, development engineering, and/or construction management. Experience with Washington's Growth Management Act is preferred.

Ideal Candidate:

  • A positive, approachable, and collaborative leader, comfortable navigating the relationships between the County, its complex codes, the public, design professionals, builders and developers, attorneys and County officials and staff
  • Ability to develop and maintain a high functioning team and foster a work environment that promotes and enhances collaboration, empowerment, and respect
  • Ability to generate new, innovative and visionary approaches to thorny, long-standing challenges and new threats. Bring a fresh perspective on emerging planning/building trends and best practices while being responsive and appreciative of Kitsap's unique and valued communities
  • Ability to inspire, persuade, engage and speak straightforwardly about complex planning and development issues, make tough decisions and manage conflict well
  • Ability to marshal and organize resources to get things done
  • A commitment to embrace and love Kitsap County!

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Directing the day-to-day operations of the department to achieve the Board's stated goals and policy direction
  • Managing the preparation of the department's budget with a focus on aligning resources with strategic priorities and evolving work load
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders, and effectively and proactively communicating with customers on the status of major projects and initiatives
  • Fostering a culture of innovation with a strong sense of how to continuously improve on meeting current and emerging customer needs
  • Utilizing internal and external resources, technology and continuous improvement techniques to report metrics, improve process, create more capacity and deliver greater value

Application Process

Submit a cover letter and resume to mtayman@co.kitsap.wa.us. This position will remain open until filled but we intend to move the recruitment process quickly.

Kitsap County is committed to upholding and promoting equal opportunity in employment. We encourage people of all background, cultures, and religions to apply, knowing that a diverse workforce is a strong workforce. We will provide aid in the recruitment, application and selection process to applicants with disabilities who require such assistance.


Benefits include generous leave, highly subsidized health insurance and participation in the Washington State Public Employees Retirement System. The County also provides access to the State's Deferred Compensation Program and is providing matching funds in each of 2019 and 2020.

Search Schedule

  • Resume deadline for first consideration: February 18, 2019
  • Preliminary interviews (phone screening): February 22 and March 1
  • On site panel interviews: March 11 - 15
  • Finalist Interview process: March 19th – 20th

The finalist interview dates are confirmed with the Board of County Commissioners, so please hold them on your calendar.

Experience Level
Executive (10+ years)
AICP Level
None Selected
Community Development
Salary Range
$114,545.60 - $161,886.40 Annually

Contact Information

Michael Tayman