Position Description

Conservation, Planning & Zoning Director
Location MC - Wausau
MC Department County Administration
Application Deadline Date 10/19/20
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Marathon County in Northcentral Wisconsin is a great place to live, work, visit and conduct business. Our county government is highly regarded and contributes to a high quality of life by:

  • ensuring public safety;
  • protecting natural resources;
  • preparing for emergency and disaster responses;
  • protecting vulnerable populations;
  • creating and maintaining a high quality infrastructure for transportation; and
  • providing education and fostering economic development

Marathon County full and part-time employees enjoy competitive salaries, flexible schedules, and a range of excellent benefits,  including:

  • Health insurance
  • Post Employment Health Plan
  • Dental insurance
  • Wisconsin Retirement System Defined Benefit Plan
  • Flexible Spending Account to set aside pre-tax dollars for childcare and medical expenses
  • Optional life insurance
  • Optional long-term care insurance
  • Income Continuation Insurance
  • Educational Reimbursement Program 
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Generous Paid Vacation, Sick Leave, and Holiday Time Off
  • Perfect Attendance Program
  • Employee Recognition Programs and a Positive Workplace Culture




The purpose of this position is to lead and direct the operations of the Conservation, Planning, & Zoning Department, by developing strategies to protect our community’s land and environment.   Leadership will focus on the three primary program areas:   

  1. Land and Water Services

Responsible for the implementation and administration of County policy established to protect land and water resources, balance sustainable land use with economic opportunities, promote community health and safety, protect public infrastructure, and minimize land use conflicts. Programs specific to Land and Water Services includes:

Animal waste storage and nutrient management, comprehensive zoning, farmland preservation, lakes and rivers classification and management, land division, livestock facility siting, managed grazing, non-metallic mine reclamation, metallic mining, private on-site wastewater treatment system management, shoreland, wetland, and floodplain protection. ,

  1. Planning Services

Provide planning leadership and expertise to Marathon County, local officials, municipalities/ communities, and advocate groups to develop policies and plans to address community and resource concerns and promote community and economic development. Programs specific to Planning Services includes:

Community development, comprehensive planning, strategic planning, farmland preservation, hazard mitigation, lake and river management, land and water resource management, land division, re-districting, storm water management, transportation planning & the Wausau Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Wausau area sewer service and other planning endeavors as directed by County Administration.

  1. Land Information Services

Provide relevant services related to land information related data, data analysis, maps and tools to support the implementation of policies that will improve public safety/emergency response, economic development, land use, and resource protection efforts through a countywide Geographic Information System (GIS). Programs specific to Land Information Services includes:

Property mapping, community mapping, digital orthophotography, county-wide (departmental) mapping and database support, data distribution emergency services mapping (addresses, response districts, dispatch location, etc.), floodplain mapping,providing public access to land related data, resource and watershed protection mapping/analysis .In addition, County Surveyor required programs (Public Land Survey System remonumentation, land division, etc.) and responsibilities of the Land Information Office.



A Bachelor’s degree from an approved college/university in Public Administration, Planning, Natural Resources or related field, and 5 years of experience in planning, zoning, and/or land conservation with administration of a wide variety of land use regulations, budgeting, personnel management, and code development.  Previous supervisory experience preferred.   Master’s degree desirable.  Equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.

NECESSARY SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS:  Possession of a valid driver’s license and a driving record that meets County standards or ability to obtain reliable transportation.



  • Leads, directs, administers and manages the operations and personnel of the Conservation, Planning, and Zoning Department and its services as listed above.  Develops and monitors internal policies; develops and administers the annual department budget, oversees requests for proposals, contracts and other administrative duties as required. 
  • Lead, support, and sustain the CPZ culture by demonstrating and embracing the department’s and county’s core values. Monitors and evaluates department culture, develops and implements strategies to continuously improve the working environment and service of the department.
  • Responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of the Comprehensive and Strategic Plans of Marathon County.  This includes coordination of department reports on annual progress to standing committees and County Board.
  • Directs the development and implementation of long range plans (Land and Water Resource Management Plan, Sewer Service Area Plans, Land Information Plan, etc.) and work plans for functional areas of the department and monitors the results of these plans to ensure outcomes are achieved.  Direct and provides administrative oversight in developing new departmental plans, ordinances and programs.
  • Builds, engages and participates with strategic partnerships and multi-disciplinary teams of stakeholders in land and water management programming to build and enhance the community capacity in achieving goals.  This includes but is not limited to the following: USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, UW-Extension, Department of Natural Resources, WI Department of Agriculture, county departments, municipal governments, lake groups, and various associations, to further the Department and County’s mission.
  • Collaborates with County Departments to review/improve County services, and/or processes especially the following departments whose activities directly relate to CPZ programs:  Parks, Recreation and Forestry; Health, Highway; UW-Extension; Solid Waste, Sheriff and Emergency Management.
  • Responsible for the administration of county regulatory programs including:  comprehensive zoning; wetland, shoreland, and floodplain zoning; exclusive agricultural zoning; nonmetallic mine reclamation; land division; private onsite wastewater treatment, and airport height limitations.  Continuously monitors and leads community discussions to ensure regulatory programs are in alignment with Department mission, County overarching goals and the needs of Marathon County. This includes oversight of the investigation of ordinance related complaints, preparation of notices of noncompliance and orders; referrals to Corporation Counsel and proper enforcement.
  • Lead staff person for the Environmental Resources Committee.  Serves on County and other community committees to promote cooperation and improve services to County residents including the Land Information Committee, Landfill Siting, and other Boards and Committees as assigned. 
  • Directs, administers and oversees the Metropolitan Planning Organization.


  • Knowledge of Conservation, Planning & Zoning issues, regulations and best practices.
  • Skill in  business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Ability to communicate orally and in writing with the County Administrator, other county department directors and staff, Judges, Chamber of Commerce Director, County Board members, WI Department of Transportation, city and municipal officials, legislators, architects, engineers, vendors, the news media and the public.
  • Ability to exercise the judgment, decisiveness and creativity required in critical and /or unexpected situations involving moderate risk to the organization.
  • Ability to engage people, departments, and partners in developing goals, planning, and delivering results.
  • Skill in communicating the department’s mission and vision, and providing leadership for staff to achieve defined outcomes.
  • Ability to direct a major organizational unit that has significant internal and external interaction.
  • Skill in building a strong organizational culture.
  • Ability to analyze systems, eliminate processes which do not add value, and implement actions to improve performance.
  • Ability to interact effectively with State, County, and other local government officials.
  • Skill in effective communication techniques, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to establish clear performance expectation and hold employees accountable.


Salary Range D63:  Minimum $72,587 - Control Point $90,735 - Maximum $112,148.   



Selection of the successful candidate may be made by assessment of experience and education, criminal record check, data-entry test; oral interview; review of references, written background inventory, and other appropriate job-related selection procedures.  All applicants will be notified as to the status of their application.



Marathon County will make arrangements to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary and reasonable to afford an individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in the recruitment process. Please notify the Employee Resources Department office or phone (715) 261-1451 to request special accommodations prior to the application deadline.



Wisconsin Statutes, Sections 19.36 (7), 64.09 (5), and 64.11 (7) require public employers to treat the following items as a public record: Each applicant’s application, records, recommendations and qualifications except as provided in Section 19.36 (7), Wis. Stats. that allows the identity of an applicant to remain confidential if the applicant requests in writing that the County not provide access to this information.

If you choose not to have this information become a public record, you must make such a request in writing to the Employee Resources Department. If you become a finalist for the position, your identity may be disclosed as required by law.

APPLICATION DEADLINE :   October 19, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

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