Position Description

Conservation, Planning & Zoning Director
Location MC - Wausau
MC Department Conservation Planning & Zoning
Application Deadline Date 12/7/20
Apply Now




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 Conservation, Planning and Zoning (CPZ) Director is responsible for taking actions to develop and implement comprehensive and strategic plans that drive organizational success, as well as formulate and enforce county policies in compliance with state, federal, and local regulations, while maintaining an open dialogue with stakeholders in the community. Through leadership, accountability, community engagement, and collaborative partnerships, the CPZ Director will promote thoughtful and deliberate use of resources, and innovative solutions to ensure healthy people, a healthy economy, and a healthy environment in Marathon County, now and in the future. 
The position is responsible for leadership and management of three programmatic areas: 
1. Land and Water Services
Responsible for the implementation and administration of policies 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. 
2. Planning Services
Provide planning leadership and expertise to internal and external stakeholder groups including preparation and implementation of Comprehensive Planning; Transportation Planning Services (MPO), Sewer Service Area and Storm Water Management for the metropolitan area; Groundwater Protection Planning, and Census/Redistricting.
3. Land Information Services
Lead and oversee services related to gathering, managing and analyzing land information data.  Evaluate and continuously improve the County’s Geographic Information System (GIS) maps and tools that directly impact public safety/emergency response, economic development, land use, and resource protection efforts. 




A Bachelor’s degree from an approved college/university in Public Administration, Planning, Natural Resources or other suitable field and 5 years of experience in planning, zoning, and/or land conservation preferably in a management or leadership role preferred.  Experience with the administration of a wide variety of land use regulations, budgeting, grant management, and code development is desired.  A Master’s degree is desired.  Any other combination of education and experience that provides equivalent knowledge, skills, and abilities will 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.



  • Develop and implement strategies to maximize employee engagement and productivity while supporting a positive work environment.  Promote teamwork and collaboration, establish and prioritize clear work expectations with specific outcome measures, reinforce shared values, foster a sense of urgency, ownership, and personal commitment.
  • Leads, directs, administers and manages the operations and personnel of the CPZ 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. 
  • 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, Metropolitan Planning Organization, etc.) and work plans for functional areas of the department and monitors the results of these plans to ensure outcomes are achieved.  Provide administrative oversight and direction in developing new departmental plans, ordinances and programs.
  • Builds, engages and participates in strategic partnerships and multi-disciplinary teams of stakeholders in conservation, planning and zoning matters to build and enhance the community to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. 
  • 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 monitor and lead community discussions to ensure regulatory programs are in alignment with Department mission, as well as the needs and overarching goals of Marathon County. This includes oversight of the investigation of ordinances related complaints, preparation of notices of noncompliance and orders; referrals to Corporation Counsel and proper enforcement.
  • Serves on County and other community committees to promote cooperation and improve services to County residents including the Land Information Committee, Landfill Siting, Environmental Resources Committee, and other Boards and Committees as assigned. 


  • Knowledge of Conservation, Planning & Zoning issues, regulations, and leading 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 in a welcoming and effective manner with diverse groups of people.
  • Ability to remain calm and exercise the judgment, decisiveness, and creativity required in confrontational or high-pressure situations. 
  • Ability to engage employees, departments, and partners in developing goals, planning, and delivering results.
  • Ability to enthusiastically communicate the department’s mission and vision and motivate staff towards those goals.
  • Skill in building and maintaining a strong organizational culture.
  • Ability to analyze systems, eliminate processes which do not add value, and implement actions to improve performance and efficiencies.
  • Ability to establish clear and measurable performance expectations.
  • Skill in fostering relationships by understanding the highly visible role of the position and the actual/perceived impressions upon the public resulting from personal conduct and interactions with others.


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, background check, oral interview, review of references, written management assessment, 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 :   December 7, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Back Apply Now