Parker is a growing community, and that means Town staff has the important job of managing that growth so it occurs in a responsible manner, while also planning for the future. Our Community Development Department, consisting of four divisions (Building, Comprehensive Planning, Development Review and Economic Development), is tasked with looking at the “big picture” while planning for the long-term health of our community.
Meet Jason Rogers, our Deputy Community Development Director. He assists in overseeing each of the Town’s four Community Development divisions while also serving as the Director for Parker’s Urban Renewal Authority, Partnering for Parker’s Progress (P3). Take a few minutes to learn more about who Jason is and what he does for our community.
How long have you worked for the Town of Parker? Where did you work before Parker?
“I actually just came up on my one-year anniversary with the Town of Parker. How time flies. It’s been a great year to date. Before coming to Parker, I worked for the City of San Jose, Calif., as its planning manager that oversaw development review and comprehensive long-range specific projects such as growing its downtown. I also served as the Chief Environmental Officer for the city, which worked with and coordinated with a number of other departments from the airport, to roads, to transportation and even social services.”
Tell us about your job and how it impacts the Parker community:
“I like to think of myself as the Chief Operating Officer for Community Development. What I mean by that is, as the Deputy Community Development Director, I’m overseeing the operations and the functions of each of our divisions and ensuring that we’re able to meet our standards and expectations as an organization. In that, it’s working very closely with either the Planning Manager, the Chief Building Official or our Business Recruitment and Retention Manager(s) in Economic Development and making sure that we’re hitting our processes as outlined in our different mandates. At the same time, we’re also thinking about process improvement that provides transparency, improved efficiency and workflow so that we’re able to provide that high-level of customer service.
“When I take that hat off and put on my other hat as the Director of our Urban Renewal Authority (URA) or Partnering for Parker’s Progress (P3), it’s working with a dedicated staff member to facilitate redevelopment and revitalization in the Town of Parker. I view it as an opportunity for this URA to partner with the community — that being our residents and the development community — and also internal staff on progressing Parker to that vision that has been identified in our Strategic Plan and our Master Plans.”
What do you most enjoy about working for the Town of Parker?
“What I enjoy the most is the interaction I’m able to have with the community. We (as Town staff) are the resident experts. We’ve worked within these disciplines and have a complete understanding of the policies and the processes. Part of our goal, our charge and our challenge is to help educate and bring the community along in being able to understand what guides our actions and what part they play in bringing interesting perspectives and different view that builds out the community vision and the community-supported plan, our Master Plan for the Town. If we do not engage in a meaningful way with our community, it detrimentally impacts our understanding in what we can do in being able to provide those services. What I greatly appreciate is being able to sit down and talk with different members of our community.”
What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
“I used to be a Board of Governor for the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah. Partly, that was because of a love for Shakespeare, and the other aspect was to help a community reimagine itself. Working with the State Board of Regents, local elected officials and City stakeholders (business and property owners), we looked at various opportunities to expand educational programs with the local school base and create jobs with development of a new amphitheater.”
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
“Play or coach basketball. Obviously, if people see me around Town it’s kind of hard to hide my height. I’m 7-feet tall. There’s also just the love of getting into a rhythm and being able to understand the various complexities and dynamics of what it takes to play basketball and then being able to communicate and coach that to 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds and see where they take it. That piece of always being able to help educate is one of the things that I like about basketball and why I do it in my free time.”
What’s one thing that you feel sets Parker apart from other communities?
“Our identity. What I appreciate when I talk with residents, wherever it may be, what they share back with me is, ‘We want to be Parker.’ What they take pride in is that they want Parker to be Parker. They want Parker to be unique. They want Parker to be iconic for its own reasons. That’s what I appreciate the most, that the population base has a vision of Parker being itself. That then allows me to work with them on how we go about accomplishing that.”
What is the most interesting place you’ve ever visited?
“Sausalito, Calif. It’s on the border of San Francisco, but Sausalito has a very definitive downtown. It has this unique feel. It’s a growing community, but it’s a community that has stuck to its community character. It’s evolved over time but still has that charm of being a 1940s, 1950s town.”
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
“I couldn’t live without college basketball. I played basketball at the University of Virginia, so I have support my Hoos. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t watch college basketball or my Virginia Cavaliers.”
If you could do another job for the Town of Parker for just one day, what would it be?
“It would probably be a basketball coach or whatnot, just helping to educate and being able to pay that knowledge that I have forward.”
What’s one thing about working for the Town of Parker that you didn’t expect?
“Family. All of our organizations, we operate as a family. There’s something to have it be said and actually be done as opposed to just hearing the talk. The Town of Parker takes a very strong position that this is a family, we are one together in how we improve this community. That’s what family does. You come together, you a find a way. That includes the general community, as well. We’re all a family here in Parker.”