Covington seeks community development leader to manage ‘Island of Misfit Toys’; deadline to apply September 30

Covington is looking for a community development leader to replace Ken Smith as head of the town department, jokingly referred to as “the island of unsuitable toys.”

Smith – recently appointed Covington City Manager – arrived at Town Hall in April 2018 as head of the newly reorganized Neighborhood Services Department, whose nickname is a tribute to its five seemingly independent divisions:

• Solid waste and recycling.
• Parks and recreation.
• Code enforcement (whose inspectors protect the health and safety of residents against material risks).
• Federal subsidies / housing assistance.
• Housing Choice Voucher program.

Parks and Recreation is one of the divisions reporting to the City’s Warden Services Director. (Photo by City of Covington)

But that narrative is out of place, Smith said. The department’s disparate divisions and programs are all dedicated to improving the physical appearance of Covington’s neighborhoods and protecting and enhancing the quality of life for its residents and visitors.

“It’s a great department because you can see a direct impact on people’s lives,” Smith said. “I call it ‘the people department’ because it runs services that represent some of the fundamental aspects of daily life: helping people find affordable housing, making sure apartments are safe, protecting neighbors. against health risks, provide recreation and ensure garbage is collected.

Interested parties can apply online at Applications will be accepted until September 30.

Applicants should have a university degree and five years of experience, including three years in a management role.

Smith said the best candidates should be able to juggle many issues, supervise a wide range of managers and employees, have an interest in community development, and know and engage with the town of Covington.

In addition to the basic operations of the five divisions of neighborhood services, the director also oversees programs that include the Read Ready Covington early literacy initiative, the neighborhood grants program, the city-owned real estate program, permits rental, temporary housing regulations and risk reduction of lead-based paint.

“There’s a lot going on in Neighborhood Services, but you have a great team full of dedicated professionals,” Smith said. “If you want to make a difference at Covington this is a good opportunity.”

Town of Covington

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