Director of Economic Development and Planning

The City of Biddeford, Maine - commercial center of York County and suburban community of Portland - is seeking an experienced and passionate Director of Planning and Economic Development. Biddeford is a premier community committed to providing a safe, resident and business-friendly environment, with high quality services, excellent schools, and a responsive, transparent government. The City is an innovative leader that has experienced economic revival in its downtown, an incredible evolution from mill town to a youthful, vibrant community.  Biddeford is often featured in national magazines and the news for its amazing transformation and incredible food scene, as well as its new boutique hotel.

Biddeford is a coastal community, which includes the neighborhoods of Biddeford Pool, Fortunes Rocks and Granite Point, where families want to live, work and play. Spanning a total area of 59 square miles, Biddeford provides a full range of municipal services with a budget of $38 million, including capital outlay of $1.6 million.

We are looking for a creative, passionate and experienced leader in the Economic Development and Planning community to match the growth and excitement in Biddeford. Preferred qualifications are a Bachelor’s degree in public/business administration, 5-7 years of economic/community development experience and 2 or more years in a supervisory/management position. Relevant experience in lieu of qualifications will be considered.

The City of Biddeford offers multiple retirement plans, all with City match, including a State Pension. We also offer a student loan reimbursement program, HRA, health/vision/dental, HSA/FSA, sick/vacation/personal paid time off, 13 ½ paid holidays, and paid medical/parental leave. The salary range for this position is $95,000-$120,000.

Review of applications will begin on July 31 but the position will remain open until filled; applicants must submit both a cover letter and resume.

General Purpose

Performs a variety of complex, administrative, technical and professional work in directing the City’s economic development, community development and planning functions.  Work involves business recruitment and retention, advocacy of business interests in City government, marketing, strategic visioning, supervision of staff, budget preparation and evaluation of department programs.

Supervision Received

Works under the supervision of the City Manager.

Supervision Exercised

City Planner, CDBG Coordinator, Economic Development Coordinator, Housing Program Manager and Administrative Assistant.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Maintains close liaison with existing businesses in the community to retain their operations and assist in proposed expansion;
  • Meets with representatives of businesses to develop interest in their locating in Biddeford.  Provides information on site and land availability, utilities, financial support, labor force supply, market information and rental space;
  • Works towards diversifying the City’s economic base;
  • Works towards revitalizing the City’s urban areas including the central business district;
  • Works with State and Federal agencies, including preparation of TIF documents and Federal loan and grant applications, to promote economic development activities in the City;
  • Maintains and fosters contact with business leaders developers, merchants, bankers, State Development Office, State Planning Office, MDEP, MDOL, MDOT, Chamber of Commerce, University, HUD, EDA, Congressional Delegation and Legislative Delegation;
  • Prepares/monitors department budget and supervises subordinate staff;
  • Advises the City Manager and other City officials including the Economic Improvement Commission on matters germane to economic and community development;
  • Manages City’s three industrial/business parks and markets/coordinates the sale of sites and related development in the city’s business park;
  • Directs and coordinates the development of community and economic development plans and strategies, including preparation of grant applications to achieve the City’s economic development goals;
  • Oversees and manages planning and implementation of the City’s CDBG Entitlement Grant;
  • Maintains business inventory and database relative to department’s functions and maintains department’s presence on the City’s website;
  • Formulates and implements short/long term economic and community development plans/strategies by maintaining knowledge of current economic trends;
  • Responsible for development of the City’s commercial loan portfolio;
  • Promotes the development of small businesses and entrepreneurs through targeted programs and services;
  • Participates/coordinates in activities/organizations that are central to the department’s mission, (e.g. Biddeford-Saco Area Economic Development Corp., DECD, HOB);
  • Coordinates department’s activities/projects with other City departments (e.g. Engineering, Department of Public Works, Parks and Recreation);
  • Performs related work as required.


Desired Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in public/business administration required, Master’s degree preferred;
  • A minimum of seven (7) years of related experience, or
  • Any equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Courses/training in real estate development/financing; Community Planning; Main Street Program; Business Financing.


Necessary Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Executive experience in business planning and development, including managerial work in government or private organizations;
  • Considerable knowledge of the process and problems confronting the business, service and industrial firms of the community and also of those who could potentially locate in Biddeford;
  • Considerable knowledge of the various ordinances, codes and regulations pertaining to planning, zoning and public works;
  • Ability to direct and perform technical and financial research, analyze and assemble data to make effective oral and written presentations of the results to staff, City Council and various boards and committees;
  • Considerable knowledge of real estate law and practices and business financing;
  • Human resource and financial management experience;
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbally and in writing;
  • Considerable knowledge of geographic, economic, social and governmental characteristics of the area.
  • Skill in operating the listed tools and equipment;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the private sector, representatives of other agencies, the general public and municipal employees;
  • Ability to plan and coordinate departmental activities and programs with other municipal, public and private agencies.
  • Ability to read and interpret engineering drawings such as surveys, construction plans, sewer plans and soil surveys.
  • Possess effective public presentation skills – public speaking and to include Microsoft Office Suite tools of Word, Excel and Powerpoint.