Director of Community Development

Cape Girardeau, MO
August 30, 2022
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Job Type


Cape Girardeau, MO (pop. 39,540) - The City of Cape Girardeau is searching for a talented and resourceful leader to become its next Director of Community Development.  Cape Girardeau is beautiful and historic community located along the banks of the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri about 100 miles south of St. Louis.   Having been incorporated in 1808, it is today a wonderfully diverse and vibrant community which serves as a regional center for culture, commerce, healthcare, and education to a multi-county region in both Missouri and Illinois.  Cape Girardeau is also the proud home of the Southeast Missouri State University and its 10,700 students and 550 faculty & staff.

The City of Cape Girardeau operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The municipality has 501 FTE employees and a total annual budget of $79.3 million.  The City provides a full complement of municipal services to its residents including a regional airport with commercial air service.  The City is governed by a seven (7) member City Council including the Mayor, elected at-large, and six (6) Council Members, each elected by wards.

The City is seeking applicants for the position of Director of the Community Development Department.  The Department consists of 31 team members who are assigned to one of four divisions including Engineering, Planning, Inspections, and GIS Mapping.  The Department has an annual operating budget of $6.2 million.   The mission of the Community Development Department is to partner with the residents and the development community to maintain and strengthen Cape Girardeau’s position as a regional leader, ensuring economic prosperity, public health and safety, and community resilience. The staff is committed to providing exceptional customer service that is respectful, fair, honest, reasonable, and consistent.  The goal of the Department is to incorporate innovative solutions, trends, and technologies to ensure an efficient, cost effective, and predictable development process.

The Community Development Director is appointed by and reports to the City Manager.   The City is requiring applicants for the position to have at least seven (7) years of increasing responsible managerial experience in local government or in some other related field or industry including real estate sales and/or development, construction management, engineering, etc. Some experience with community development related activities is  desirable but is not required.    A post-graduate degree in public administration, engineering, urban planning, business administration, real estate, geography or some other related field of study is desirable.

In the new Director of Community Development, the City is looking for the following:

  • A collaborative, analytical, creative, and experienced professional with outstanding communication skills.
  • A proven leader with the ability and desire to build positive working relationships with a diverse array of community stakeholders.
  • A professional who can quickly gain an understanding and appreciation for the culture, values, and diversity of the community.
  • A manager/administrator possessing a general knowledge of most of the activities that typically take place in a  municipal community development department and a familiarity with the various aspects of real estate development and construction.
  • A strong and steady leader who can effectively oversee a large group of professional staff members and provide them guidance and support, and one who can establish clear and consistent performance expectations and hold all staff members accountable to those expectations.
  • One who is comfortable and confident in making public presentations before the City Council and large groups of community members.
  • A person who can be flexible, adaptable, and is willing and able to consider the points of view of others.
  • A professional who is frequently called upon to represent the City in important meetings with local, state, and national leaders, and one who is well-equipped to serve as the City’s lead representative in complex negotiations involving important and consequential projects with private investors, developers, and/or contractors.

The starting annual salary range for the position is $90,000 to $100,000 DOQ/E.  The City also offers a wide array of outstanding fringe benefits.  Residency within the City of Cape Girardeau is encouraged but not required.

Interested candidates should apply online with resume, cover letter, and contact information for five (5) work related references to to the attention of Mark R. Peterson, Vice President, GovHR USA.   On-line application submittals are required. The position will remain open until filled. Please direct all questions about the position, the community, and/or the selection process to Mr. Peterson at (309) 825-5091.  The City is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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Joe McKinney has served as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations since 2012. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Land of Sky Regional Council in Asheville, North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. Under his leadership, Land of Sky became recognized nationally for its innovation in program areas including planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, aging services, volunteer services, and geographic information systems. Joe has also held various other roles in city, county, association, and government management. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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