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Houston Parks and Recreation Houston Parks & Recreation


601 Sawyer, Ste. 700
Houston, Texas 77007

Organization Description

The mission of the Director’s office is to implement policies and decision-making that fulfils the department’s mission statement: “To enhance the quality of life by providing safe, well maintained parks and offering affordable programs for the community”.  As a direct report to Director Turner in the Director’s Office the goal is to consistently ensure that elected officials and their staff members are provided a timely comprehensive response to legislative and constituent inquiries. The Council Liaison position is one of 10 Executive level positions under the Direction of Director Joe Turner. This Executive team consistently implements the decision making and day-to-day operations of Parks and support staff. The Council Liaison is integral to the department fulfilling its mission statement and goals including City Council legislation, constituent services, public relations, staff management and communications. In addition, providing excellent customer service to all citizens both internal and external is a top priority of Mayor White’s administration and the Houston Parks Department.

Description of Internship

The Primary project will serve as the Assistant to the Executive Staff Analyst/Council Liaison. In this position the Intern will gain valuable hands-on experience on the entire local legislative process. This process includes drafting documents that are presented to council for a vote (commonly referred to as Request for Council Action,), coordinating with other City-wide departments on the process of an RCA (Legal Dept., Finance Dept., etc.), and educating elected officials and staff on any Parks related agenda items or issues that may negatively or positively impact their citizenry from a parks perspective. The Intern will also attend weekly City Council meetings and take notes on any Parks related topic being discussed. Working closely with District and At-Large City Council Members is crucial. Attendance at weekly City Council briefings and during the City’s entire agenda (Wednesday at 9AM, City Hall Chamber) will also be required. The Director holds bi-weekly Executive Staff meetings that the Assistant will be required to attend. Attending these meeting will provide the Intern insight on how the daily operations of the HPARD are conducted. After a few months the Intern will have observed the operations of Parks and will be allowed to draft legislative documents and represent HPARD on numerous levels on behalf of Director Turner. In addition, all naming and renaming of park property falls under the responsibility of the Council Liaison. The Assistant will be asked to provide a new way of categorizing and organizing these documents as well as RCA’s.

A high level of professional communication is required both dealing with internal staff, elected officials, and external citizens at all levels. Excellent verbal communication skills and writing skills are several of the most essential for this Internship position. Confidentiality and professionalism are critical. 

At the close of their Internship a report on process re-engineering would benefit the Director’s Office and the Department as a whole. Writing in the form of a report or power-point presentation any recommendations on process re-engineering from a managerial or administrative perspective will be valuable in streamlining the way Parks conducts business into the future.

Criteria for Interns

All applicants for the Internship Program are required to:

  • Work at least 10 hours a week for no less than three months (Spring & Fall Semesters) or six weeks. (Summer Semesters)
  • Understand the sensitivity and confidentiality of all information expressed in the office (written and oral)
  • Must have knowledge of office procedures and etiquette

Contact Name

Dan Pederson
Executive Staff Analyst/Council Liaison

Contact Number

713-865-4507 or 832-723-9403