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Assistant Town Manager/ Planning Director

Job Title

Assistant Town Manager/ Planning Director


  • The Town of Elon, North Carolina, operating under a Council-Manager form of government, seeks an experienced Planner to serve as the Assistant Town Manager/Planning Director.  The Assistant Town Manager/Planning Director function is a new role approved by the Board of Aldermen in this busy and growing “Town and Gown” community. The successful candidate will work with internal and external stakeholders to deliver the community's vision and must be an excellent communicator, collaborator, and strategic thinker who will be part of the management team providing leadership and oversight to carry out organizational goals.  This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has a track record of managing successful planning projects, experience in participating in the development of comprehensive land use plans and ordinances, and who is looking for the next career progression in serving as Assistant Town Manager/Planning Director while helping to shape the community’s future.


    About the Community: Elon (pop 10K) is home to Elon University and the Twin Lakes Retirement Community.  It is a vibrant university town within the Triad Piedmont metropolitan region which is home to multiple universities and colleges. The interaction of active and engaged community members, and university students, faculty, and staff makes Elon a center of culture, academia, diversity, and ideas.  The community is conveniently located within a few hours of the coast and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.


    As a growing community located between Charlotte and Raleigh, there are opportunities for development, redevelopment, and infill. The Town is focused on refining its vision and updating its regulatory environment through the development of a comprehensive land use plan and a new land development ordinance to protect and promote the best aspects of the Town. Other key initiatives that are in progress  include implementing the Downtown Master Plan Vision, fostering regional connections with pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure,  promoting green spaces, and deploying Mobile 311.


    Throughout its history and continuing today, Elon has retained its small-town friendliness; its sense of place and historic roots; evidence of care for the natural environment; and the exuberance and interchange of ideas that are fostered by the University. Through creative and innovative thinking and careful planning, Elon is preparing for the future. We have an active and ongoing interest in enhancing what is unique about our town. We are forward-looking and focused on protecting the best of our community while embracing the social, economic, and environmental future of Elon.


    About the Organization: The Town consisting of five square miles, is governed by a Board of Alderman utilizing a council/manager form of government. Reporting to the Town Manager, the new Assistant Town Manager/Planning Director will support the Town Manager in leading six departments employing 57 FTE employees and assisting with a total budget of $10.7M.  Solid Waste, recycling, information technology, engineering, and legal services, are outsourced.  Building on the vision of ensuring that the Town is a “vibrant and progressive community for all residents,” the Town has recently undertaken a strategic planning process. The adopted strategic plan can be found here.


    About the Position: The newly created Assistant Town Manager/Planning Director position will also have the key responsibility for the town planning functions which include planning, zoning, land development, code enforcement, and GIS  activities. Inspections are handled through Alamance County via a service agreement. In addition to the planning functions, the Assistant Town Manager/Planning Director will supervise the Public Works and Downtown departments as well as participate on the management team.


    This position oversees the town’s municipal and extraterritorial jurisdiction planning functions and plays a key role in managing development projects through the coordination and administration of the town’s planning policies in coordination with other town departments. The Assistant Town Manager/Planning Director will be responsible for promoting a strong community, preserving and enhancing Elon’s diverse neighborhoods; fostering quality environments; providing excellent customer service and involving stakeholders in planning for the town’s future.  This is an advanced, professional position. The successful candidate will appear before the Board of Aldermen, Planning Board, advisory boards and commissions, and public groups; and assists the Town Manager in carrying out Board of Aldermen directives and Planning Board recommendations. Key initiatives are to support the Board of Aldermen’s strategic plan and goals, implementation of the Land Development Ordinance and related policies, development of information, data, mapping and analysis, administration, and enforcement of regulations for building, zoning, land subdivision, planning, and preservation.


    Qualifications:  Qualified candidates will have a Master’s degree in public administration, civil engineering, urban planning, landscape architecture, or related field from an accredited university with a minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience in a supervisory, managerial and administrative capacity; Local government experience, GIS proficiency and AICP Certification are preferred.  More information about the Town can be found at  


     The Successful Candidate:

        successfully builds partnerships with community, regional and inter-governmental stakeholder groups;
        embraces and enjoys engagement in the community to clearly and proactively communicate town values and initiatives to stakeholders;
        excels at innovative problem solving, seeking win-win solutions while keeping strategic goals in mind;
        communicates excellently including one on one, in small groups, and public speaking to citizens, elected officials, community groups, and staff;
        is knowledgeable about and will administer sound planning, land use management, and community and economic development programs and public works operations
        has an extensive track record of successfully building and collaborating with cross functional teams, removing barriers and building bridges to achieve organizational goals;
        evaluates existing organizational and service  structures and works  to maximize clear and coherent practices both internally and externally to meet the strategic town objectives;
        is a principled leader who values accountability while holding realistic and fair expectations of self and others; and,
        is an excellent and effective communicator, including one on one, small groups and public speaking, who confidently and persuasively engages citizens, community groups, staff, and the Board of Aldermen.


    The salary range for the position is $86,410 to $129,614. Salary and compensation are negotiable within the range based on experience and qualifications.   


    To apply, you must complete an online application via Developmental Associates’ online system (or copy and paste into your browser). Applications will not be accepted through the Town’s system.   Resumes and digital portfolios may be uploaded to the system but will not be accepted in lieu of a fully completed application.    All inquiries should be emailed to  The application review begins March 15, 2018.  On site interviews and skill assessment will be held in Elon for selected finalists April 11-12, 2018.  The Town of Elon is an Equal Opportunity Employer.