The Santa Cruz Port District is an independent special district formed in 1951 to construct and operate Santa Cruz Harbor, located 70 miles south of San Francisco and 35 miles north of Monterey in the City of Santa Cruz, California. The District is now seeking a Port Director – a strong, broadly intelligent, focused, and hard-working individual to manage and direct all activities of the Santa Cruz Harbor and Port District. An approachable and well-rounded individual with presence, strong business acumen, and a proven track record in community engagement will be ideal. A background in public agency administration that includes public works, parks and recreation, community/economic development, or similar experience, is a plus. Any combination of experience and education equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, or a relevant field from an accredited college or university, and five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience in a management or supervisory capacity involving the operation, maintenance, and security of a harbor, marina, municipal waterfront, or similar operation, maintenance, and security program and which involves a diversity of disciplines including general administration, personnel management, intergovernmental and public relations is qualifying. Candidates must possess, or be able to obtain, a valid California Driver’s License and be insurable for the operation of Port District vehicles. The annual salary range for the incoming Port Director is dependent upon qualifications. The Port also offers an attractive benefits package.
The Santa Cruz Port District is an independent special district formed in 1951 to construct and operate Santa Cruz Harbor, located 70 miles south of San Francisco and 35 miles north of Monterey in the City of Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz Harbor was constructed in 1964, and expanded in 1973. It provides over 800 permanent slips for recreational, commercial, and research opportunities. Additionally, the harbor provides a launching facility and access to the Monterey Bay, a national marine sanctuary, and secure storage for kayaks, rowing shells, paddleboards, and trailerable vessels.
For coastal mariners, the harbor is maintained as a year-round harbor of safe refuge coupled with visitor berthing. The harbor also offers RV camping, a public beach, and scenic walking trails. Numerous charter operations provide fishing, whale watching, pleasure cruising, kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing instruction opportunities.
Santa Cruz Harbor is home to ten major concessions, including 5 restaurants, and more than 30 other smaller businesses which operate directly from harbor property. There are also many other marine-related businesses in the vicinity which contribute significantly to the local economy.
Santa Cruz, with a population of nearly 64,000, boasts some of California’s best beaches along with 29 miles of coastline, redwood-covered mountains, laid-back towns and organic farms. The area’s beach boardwalk, museums, art galleries, steam train rides, and numerous local events, combined with a mild climate means boundless activities for residents and visitors throughout the year.
The Port District operates as a government-owned business, funded almost entirely by user fees. With an annual operating budget of over $8.5 million, the Port District provides for nearly all of its own services including maintenance, dredging, security, financial, and administrative functions. It is very much like a small city, operating within the City of Santa Cruz boundaries. The only outside services required are for major fire suppression, and occasional assistance from the City of Santa Cruz Police and Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department in jail transports and booking for criminal offenses committed in the harbor. The Port District voluntarily acts as a “Good Samaritan” using its harbor patrol boat to assist the Coast Guard and local agencies in year-round emergency ocean rescue and law enforcement services. Over the harbor’s 50+-year history, it has experienced and recovered well from natural disasters including earthquakes, damaging storm events and shoaling, tsunamis, and fish kills.
Twenty-seven full-time employees provide all the necessary harbor services seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, year-round. In addition to this, approximately 20-50 seasonal and part-time employees are hired during peak periods.
The Santa Cruz Port District is governed by a five-person Board of Commissioners. The Commission is elected at-large by the voting residents of the Port District. Commissioners receive no pay for their service, and are elected to four-year seats. The basic responsibilities of the Port Commission are to set the policies of the Port District, approve the yearly operating budget, govern land-use questions, and act as judge for any tenant disputes over policy or enforcement of Port District regulations. The Commission directly hires the Port Director to act as an officer of the municipal corporation.
Under the direction of and reporting to a five-member elected Board of Port Commissioners, the Port Director plans, organizes, coordinates, and directs the activities related to the operation, security, law enforcement, maintenance, dredging and improvement of the Santa Cruz harbor. The Port Director is responsible for accomplishing the Port District’s multiple missions which include a full array of marine and general services and facilities for commercial and recreational boaters and the general public, and for managing the harbor in a manner that benefits its wide variety of users.
Essential functions of the Port Director may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Administers and directs activities of the Port District, including Operations, Facilities Maintenance and Engineering, and Administration departments.
- Develops, recommends, and implements policies, programs, and fiscal management for the effective administration and operation of District functions.
- Responsible for identifying and securing public and/or private financing for improvements to Port District facilities.
- Designs, establishes, and maintains an organizational structure and staffing to effectively accomplish the District’s goals and objectives.
- Develops and implements long-range plans for infrastructure improvements, capital projects, and ongoing maintenance and repairs.
- Administers the District’s annual budget and manages operations to achieve established objectives within available resources.
- Oversees commercial and property management leases and contracts.
- Serves as the District’s Risk Manager; acts to limit District’s liability and administers District’s insurance policies and claims.
- Interacts with District’s legal counsel to ensure compliance with regulations, address legal challenges, and maintain confidentiality.
- Represents the District in labor negotiations.
- Provides leadership and direction to District employees by setting organizational standards, promoting communication between District departments, and projecting a strong customer service orientation.
- Represents the District before elected officials, public agencies, harbor user groups, media, and community organizations; promotes positive public relations and interagency cooperation.
- Serves as the primary liaison between the District and the media, disseminating appropriate information in a timely, efficient, and professional manner.
The Santa Cruz Port District is seeking a strong, broadly intelligent, focused, and hard-working individual to manage and direct all activities of the Santa Cruz Harbor and Port District. An approachable and well-rounded individual with presence, strong business acumen, and a proven track record in community engagement will be ideal. A background in public agency administration that includes public works, parks and recreation, community/economic development, or similar experience, is a plus.
The Port District and the Board of Port Commissioners seeks a flexible, level-headed individual who is approachable and capable of developing good rapport with staff, community members and the general public, as well as the media. He or she will be someone who demonstrates and promotes open communication and transparency throughout the organization.
The Port Director is the face of the District. As such, to be successful in this highly visible role, he or she must be an experienced presenter with excellent oral and written communication skills. The incumbent will be expected to establish and maintain effective working relationships with commission members, staff, government officials, regulatory agencies, tenants, customers, and the general public. He or she will be someone who actively stewards the Harbor and takes interest in the District and the community it serves.
The incoming Director will be a hands-on manager, unafraid to roll up his or her sleeves to accomplish the District’s goals. He or she is expected to cultivate a teamwork environment where employees feel valued and are treated with dignity and respect. He or she should embrace the role of mentor and be capable of motivating, developing, and evaluating staff at all levels within the organization. Diplomacy, a calm demeanor, and the courage to make tough decisions will prove key to success in this role.
Candidates for this position should demonstrate related experience and the ability to learn and develop skills in the areas of public administration practices and principles, public budget administration, financial planning, fund balance management, capital investment planning, and commercial development; leadership principles and personnel management; labor negotiations; emergency response and recovery practices and principles; lease administration and negotiation practices; contract administration and the California Public Contract Code; strategic planning and project management principles.
Any combination of experience and education equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, or a relevant field from an accredited college or university, and five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience in a management or supervisory capacity involving the operation, maintenance, and security of a harbor, marina, municipal waterfront, or similar operation, maintenance, and security program and which involves a diversity of disciplines including general administration, personnel management, intergovernmental and public relations is qualifying. Candidates must possess, or be able to obtain, a valid California Driver’s License and be insurable for the operation of Port District vehicles.
The annual salary range for the incoming Port Director is dependent upon qualifications. The Port offers an attractive benefits package including:
Retirement The Port participates in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) under a 2.5% @ 55 or 2% @ 60 formula for Classic members, and under a 2% @ 62 formula for PEPRA members. Placement is dependent upon CalPERS’ member status.
Medical/Dental/Life Insurance All management employees and their dependents/spouses are eligible to receive CalPERS’ medical insurance, and dental, life insurance and long-term disability insurance by other providers. The Port District pays 100% employee only costs of the medical and dental premium; 95% based on an average of two CalPERS plans for employee plus one (1) dependent ($1,717.89 per month in 2017); and 90% based on an average of two CalPERS plans for employee plus two (2) or more dependents ($2,115.72 per month in 2017). Employees who opt out of medical coverage are eligible to receive in lieu payment of $250 per month.
Medical Reimbursement All regular employees receive $700 per year (or equivalent proration) for medical expenses.
Retiree Medical All regular employees who retire under the provisions of the Port District’s contract with CalPERS would be eligible to continue CalPERS’ medical coverage. The Port District will contribute the minimum required monthly amount for retirees to CalPERS pursuant to GC Section 22892 of PEMHCA.
Vacation Employees accrue vacation hours according to the following schedule:
1-5 Years of Service; 80 Hours Per Year (or equivalent proration)
6-10 Years of Service; 120 Hours Per Year(or equivalent proration)
11-20 Years of Service; 160 Hours Per Year(or equivalent proration)
21+ Years of Service; 200 Hours Per Year(or equivalent proration)
80 hours of vacation can be carried forward into the next calendar year.
Holidays 12 paid, 8-hour holidays per year (or equivalent proration).
Administrative Leave 40 hours of paid Administrative Leave per year.
Sick Leave All regular employees shall accrue one sick day (8 hours) per month (or equivalent proration). Unused sick time can be used towards service retirement.
Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above. The most qualified candidates will be invited to personal interviews with Bob Murray and Associates. Candidates will be advised of the status of the recruitment following finalist selection. Finalist interviews will be held with the Santa Cruz Port District. A select group of candidates will be asked to provide references once it is anticipated that they may be recommended as finalists. References will be contacted only following candidate approval.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Gary Phillips at: (916) 784-9080