Isla Vista Recreation and Park District is looking for a unique candidate for the Assistant General Manager’s position, in a unique district, in a unique community.
Isla Vista is located in the unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County nine miles west of the City of Santa Barbara. It is bordered by the University of California Santa Barbara on 3 sides, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The community of approximately 20,000 people consists of an estimated 14,000 college students (including UCSB and Santa Barbara City College), 4,000 members of low income families, and approximately 2,000 retired or working professionals.
Essentially an island on the UCSB Campus, with the vast majority of its residents being students, Isla Vista's small size and unique demographic provides a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Isla Vista has forged a tradition of community activism and civic engagement by residents who are passionate about their community and preserving its unique quality of life. Isla Vista teems with thousands of students looking for activities to escape the rigors of academic life. Youthful enthusiasm, outdoor festivals, and an active and generally upbeat environment have come to be synonymous with Isla Vista.
The Isla Vista Recreation & Park District (IVRPD) is a Special District that was established in 1972. It is funded by and governed by the residents of Isla Vista and not beholden to any other entity. It has five locally elected Directors which reflect the demographics of the community. Typically at least 3 of the 5 Board members are students.
IVRPD maintains 52 acres of rich land with native flora and fauna, consisting of 25 parks including 5 beach access points, and natural open spaces with sensitive habitat and vernal pools.
Parks amenities include children’s play structures, an outdoor amphitheater and stage, outdoor basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, disk golf, a soccer field, bluff-top parks with stunning ocean vistas, a peace monument, native plant specimen garden, and walking trails.
The central downtown parks are gathering places for concerts, community fairs and large events. Most recently there has been an emphasis on arts and cultural programming in partnership with the UCSB Arts Department, Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, and various student and community groups.
All parks within district boundaries have been maintained in accordance with IVRPD’s organic policy, in effect since 1972. IVRPD is one of the few park agencies in the nation with such a long commitment to organic methods. In years past, the district has been recognized with grants and awards for pioneering these methods in public parks.
IVRPD programs include:
- A Children’s Recreation Program primarily serving low-income at-risk kids between the ages of 5 and 12. The program includes a free afterschool drop-in program, and also facilitates approximately 350 fieldtrips annually.
- The Channel Islands YMCA operates a teen center located in IVRPD’s Estero Park.
- The popular Community Gardens are being considered for expansion.
- The Adopt-A-Block volunteer street cleaning program removed over 25 tons of trash from Isla Vista Streets in 2016.
- The Isla Vista Mural Project.
- The Isla Vista Graffiti Abatement Program.
The Assistant General Manager (AGM) reports directly to the GM, and with the GM has oversight of 9 full-time positions. Full time staff includes the Bookkeeper/Fiscal Officer, Executive Assistant, Recreation Coordinator, Adopt-A-Block Supervisor, an experienced team of 5 Grounds Leads, Park Ranger, and a varying number of part-time student and casual labor employees.
In collaboration with the GM, the AGM directs the activities of the administrative staff, insuring government compliance at all levels, facilitates Board Meeting preparation and execution, identifies and applies for grants for Board approved projects.
The AGM is responsible for day-to-day work flow including but not limited to park maintenance and project oversight, and oversees park rentals and special events as directed by the GM.
The Ideal Candidate
First and foremost, the new AGM will need to be a strong and confidant leader. The successful candidate will be a quick study, straightforward and even-handed, and know how to motivate staff to strive for excellence. This position requires a combination of vision and “big picture” thinking, along with a practical and hands on style. Therefore, it will be essential for the new AGM to understand and support the District’s tradition of environmental consciousness and community responsiveness.
The AGM will be involved with and visible in the community, demonstrating a commitment to positive engagement with elected officials, neighborhood citizen groups, student groups, the business community and staff. This position requires a candid and open communicator who is politically astute, but operates in an apolitical and objective fashion, and is diplomatic but direct. The ideal candidate should demonstrate an inclusive approach with sensitivity to Isla Vista’s diverse demographics and unique needs of the District’s residents. http://www.ivparks.org