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City of Somerville
Somerville, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
Dec 8, 2022

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Academic / Research, Government
Informatics / GIS
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Job Description
The City of Somerville is one of the leading cities on climate change in Massachusetts and the country, pioneering new approaches to climate action planning, clean energy and resilience programs, and community engagement. Reporting to the Climate Change Program Manager, the Sustainability Planner is a new position within the department. The overarching goal of the Sustainability Planner will be to enhance sustainability and resiliency of buildings and mobility citywide. Responsibilities include supporting efforts to effectively and creatively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency, and increase resiliency in the building and transportation sectors in ways that promote health and equity. The Sustainability Planner is required to perform all similar or related duties.
Essential Functions:
The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.
  • Reviewing packages and issuing comments and certificates for new and renovated development projects and master plans.
  • Liaising with the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, Inspectional Services Department, Engineering, and other departments.
  • Representing Somerville in the community and through regional efforts.
  • Contributing to Somerville Climate Forward and other planning efforts.
  • Implementing and achieving Somerville Climate Forward goals.
  • Tracking and analyzing data and performance.
  • Identifying, creating, implementing, and evaluating strategies, programs, and policies.
  • Researching and benchmarking innovations and best practices.
  • Developing and implementing both short- and long-term, city-wide climate change mitigation and adaption plans, programs, and policies.
  • Managing and maintaining public electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • Researching and executing grants, contracts, and partnerships.
  • Overseeing work of consultants and implementing recommendations.
  • Collaborating on presentations for various city, regional, state and federal agencies.
  • Reviewing plans going before the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and/or Design Review Committee.
  • Attending and presenting case information before various boards and commissions.
  • Developing and recommending by-law and ordinance amendments, as well as new ordinances, policies, and programs.
  • Providing professional and technical administrative approval on City processes, in accordance with local and state regulations.
  • Providing information to the public.
  • Managing the public process dealing with planning initiatives.
  • Contributing to Massachusetts Environment Protection Act comments, staff reports, master plan updates, neighborhood plans, and assists with urban design alternatives.
  • Support development and maintenance of landing page and materials providing technical information and resources for buildings and transportation.
Recommended Minimum Qualifications:
Education and Experience:
Bachelor's Degree from an accredited university in a related field (planning, energy policy or engineering, etc.) and five to seven years' experience in municipal government, stage agency positions or relevant private consulting roles; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Special Requirements:
  • Preferred experience includes master's degree in related field; experience with collecting or processing building energy information; and facility with data visualization and communication tools.
  • As of June 2022, OSE employees are required to be in the office and in the field when their work requires them to be. This guidance is subject to change.

Knowledge, Abilities and Skill:
  • Knowledge: Knowledge of principles and practices of planning, engineering, and design. Familiarity with building and transportation decarbonization, energy efficiency, and other sustainable and resiliency technologies, programs, and policies. Knowledge of applicable federal and state regulations and guidelines. Knowledge of municipal and state project development processes from visioning and scoping through design, permitting, financing, and construction.
  • Ability: Ability to carry complex projects from concept to implementation, use creative thinking to solve problems, and work in a fast-paced environment. Ability to work effectively with the City's interdepartmental staff. Ability to read and understand engineering plans and supervise implementation of projects. Ability to prepare conceptual design graphics. Ability to perform field data collection and analysis. Ability to formulate findings and recommendations to interdepartmental staff, elected officials, outside agencies, contractors, engineers, advocates and the general public. Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with state and federal agencies, architects, contractors, developers, owners, supervisors, employees, and the general public. Ability to work with client or stakeholders in management of compliance scenarios and with dissatisfied clients or stakeholders. Ability to work and interact effectively with individuals and groups with a variety of identities, cultures, backgrounds, and ideologies.
  • Skill: Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail. Skilled public speaker. Excellent customer service, planning and design skills. Design software skill (i.e. ArcGIS, Adobe Suite, etc.) is preferable. Strong data collection, analysis, and management skills with use of tools including Microsoft Excel, Citizenserve, GIS, and/or additional methods. Strong written and oral communication with peers, consultants, contractors, and representatives of other agencies. Managing multiple tasks and deadlines.
Work Environment:
The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements. Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant. Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours to attend evening meetings or complete work assignments. When in the field or attending meetings, the environment can be at construction sites and outdoors. 

Physical and Mental Requirements:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position's essential functions.

Physical Skills:
Few physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. May also be some occasional lifting of objects such as office equipment and computer paper (up to 30 lbs.) When in the field, more physical skill may be required to accomplish the duties required.

Motor Skills: 
Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone, personal computer and/or most other office equipment including word processing, filing and sorting of papers. 

Visual Skills:
Visual demands require constantly reading documents for general understanding and analytical purposes. 

Hours: Full-Time
Salary: $81,182.41 annualized + benefits
Union: Non-Union
Date Posted: September 8, 2022

City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.

The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request.

Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Adrienne Pomeroy at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or
Benefits Somerville Offers
  • 4 weeks annual vacation (for non-union positions) & for union positions this varies by contract
  • Medical insurance through the Group Insurance Commission (GIC)
  • Dental coverage low and high plans through Cigna
  • Vision care through the Vision Service Plan (VSP)
  • Long term disability through Sun Life
  • Group and voluntary life insurance through Boston Mutual
  • Flexible spending plans through Benefit Strategies
  • Deferred compensation through a choice of three vendors
  • Employee assistance through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by E4Health
  • Cancer screening & wellness release
  • Somerville Retirement Pension System
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • MBTA pass program
  • FREE Blue Bikes membership
  • Eligible employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

Benefits listed are for benefits-eligible positions and the above information is meant to be a general overview of the benefit programs offered by the City of Somerville. This is not a binding contract, for any questions relating to benefits for specific union and non-union positions please contact the Human Resources department by calling (617) 625-6600 x 3300.
COVID-19 Vaccination Required
To better protect the health and safety of staff and the public, all City of Somerville employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of November 1, 2021. Exemptions and/or reasonable accommodations are not guaranteed and will be reviewed by the City of Somerville Human Resources Department on a case-by-case basis. Learn more at

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