Water Agency Senior Programs Specialist - Community & Government Affairs

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Full-time     Other
Posted on January 15, 2022
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The Water Agency Senior Programs Specialist plans, directs, and implements community relations activities for the Water Agency including planning, leading, and documenting public meetings and other events. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Acting as a Water Agency representative by providing information at community events, coordinating press coverage, and speaking in television, radio, and print media interviews
  • Participating in public outreach related to emergency events that affect Water Agency facilities or resource management and issuing press releases, public service announcements, and media placements as needed to keep the public informed about Water Agency activities
  • Coordinating and implementing timely website updates and regular review and maintenance of Water Agency website
  • Coordinating and directing programs with other Water Agency staff and departments
  • Developing positive working relationships with personnel from public media as well as fielding questions from the public, government officials, Water Agency contractors, and others regarding Water Agency policy, programs, and contracts
  • Researching, writing, reviewing, designing, and editing staff reports, news releases, brochures, pamphlets, bulletins, and other publicity or educational materials
  • Promoting awareness of Water Agency projects and programs through designing, implementing, and maintaining the content of a variety of media including intranet, internet, and social media platforms
  • Planning and implementing appropriate communication strategies to advance integration of water resources, and developing and implementing social media outreach and website content

The ideal candidate will bring their team collaboration and project management skills, and possess:

  • Experience planning, implementing, and managing public meetings and outreach initiatives, as well as coordinating and directing programs in conjunction with stakeholders
  • Training in website development and maintenance
  • Experience promoting projects through design and implementation of a variety of digital media tools
  • The ability to research, write, review, and edit and design staff reports, news releases, brochures, pamphlets, bulletins, and other publicity or educational materials
  • Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office Suite programs
  • Strong problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills

What We Offer

Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better our communities. You can also look forward to excellent benefits* including:

  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance up to $500 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • Significant portion of health care premiums paid by the County and access to several health plan options
  • County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment
  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range

About Sonoma Water

Sonoma Water is a special district formed by the California State Legislature in 1949 and is responsible for providing a safe and reliable water supply to its customers in Sonoma and Marin counties. Sonoma Water also maintains 75 miles of flood control channels and provides sanitation services. Employing approximately 230 employees, Sonoma Water consists of five divisions including Engineering and Resource Planning, Environmental Resources and Public Affairs, Water/Wastewater Operations, Maintenance, and Administrative Services. Sonoma Water supports the concept of environmental sustainability, focusing on renewable power sources, and strives to be a leader in its water conservation and fishery restoration programs.
Employees of Sonoma Water are employees of a special district and are not subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Ordinance of the County of Sonoma.
The Formal title for this position is Water Agency Senior Programs Specialist.

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can found in the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 Memorandum Of Understanding (SEIU MOU) and our Employee Benefits directory. Qualified County employees who wish to be considered for future positions should consider applying to this recruitment.  



Minimum Qualifications


Education & Experience: Any combination of education, training, and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities listed. Normally, this would include a four-year degree in water related science, environmental studies, education, political science, communications, public relations, or a closely related field; and three years of experience, which includes at least one year at the level of Water Agency Program Specialist II, or equivalent, that has included experience in the implementation of water-related programs in one or more of the following areas: community relations, public outreach, media, water use efficiency technology, teaching methods consistent with state-wide educational standards, and/or legislative processes at the federal or state level.

Desired Certifications: Possession of a Grade II Water Use Efficiency Practitioner certificate from the CA/NA Section of the American Water Works Association for persons in the Water Use Efficiency specialization.  Possession of a California teaching credential for persons in the Water Education specialization

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


Thorough knowledge of: Operation of water supply facilities, water treatment facilities and water distribution systems; methods of water treatment and recycling; environmental regulations and environmental enhancement and restoration methods related to operation and construction of water supply, flood control, renewable energy, recycled water, and wastewater treatment facilities; fundamentals of communication, public speaking; data analysis and statistical forecasting methods; best practices for community outreach; English grammar, composition, vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation; standards and practices for workplace safety; and office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and applicable software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, search tools, social media services and database applications.

Ability to: plan, develop, organize, and implement a wide variety of water-related programs; negotiate agreements with various agencies and special interests to facilitate program activities; speak effectively and persuasively before diverse groups; establish effective working relationships with other staff and with persons possessing a wide variety of divergent views; plan, organize, train, lead, and direct the activities of Water Agency staff and employees of participating municipalities, specials districts, the public, and outside agencies; create, innovate, develop, implement, and manage a variety of programs and projects related to water use efficiency, water education, community affairs, or government affairs; write and edit written materials for publication; compile concise reports, letters, newsletters and other written materials; coordinate educational and informational seminars and workshops; prepare and disseminate information to media and others; prepare a wide range of clear, concise, and informative reports, correspondence, and brochures; operate office equipment including computers and supporting word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications; use the internet and social media to enhance public outreach.

Specialized assignments require the following:

Water Use Efficiency
Working knowledge of: Principles, practices and methods of water use efficiency and natural resource conservation; methods of conservation program implementation and monitoring; plumbing efficiency; building code requirements; landscaping and turf water efficiency; methods for urban and non-urban water reuse; landscape design and installation practices; regulatory framework and reporting standards for water efficiency in California including State Water Board requirements and urban water management plan specifications.

Water Education
Working knowledge of: Strategies and methods for effective educational programs; current state and federal standards for science education; strategies for effective behavior management; methods for outdoor education and natural interpretation, strategies for curriculum development and implementation; methods to analyze educational effectiveness.  

Community Affairs
Working knowledge of: Principles and techniques for establishing and maintaining effective public relations; media operations and effective media relations;  techniques for effective use of social media; principles of graphic design and production; techniques and methods of research, report writing and preparation of informational materials; strategies for conflict resolution and mediation;

Government Affairs
Working knowledge of: Basic principles of the state Water and Government Codes and related laws; state and federal legislative procedures; regulatory requirements governing legislative advocacy; communication methods for legislative advocacy; strategies for developing multi-agency coalitions.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying

  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.