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Staff Analyst

Salary: N/A

DEFINITION: Under administrative direction, conducts complex research and analytical studies of a highly technical and specialized nature on critical issues or developments which have a significant impact on the policies, goals, objectives, and operations of the assigned department(s): serves as a member of the senior management team in the planning and implementation of major departmental changes; develops strategies for initiating collaborative efforts with other departments and community groups to coordinate and integrate the delivery of services; and performs other related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This is a management classification and incumbents report to a department or assistant department head. Projects typically have a significant impact on the policies and operations of more than one department and are politically sensitive, with significant social and fiscal impacts. Incumbents have frequent contact with state and federal officials, representatives of community organizations, and management staff of other County departments to educate and influence them on major issues. Work assignments require a significant amount of independent judgment in analyzing and interpreting complex information.

This classification is distinguished from Departmental Analyst-Program or Fiscal in that Departmental Analysts conduct research and analysis work of administrative or operational activities of a division or program, rather than of a department, and work with less independence than Staff Analysts. Departmental Analysts report to a senior manager or program administrator.


1. Researches, analyzes, and interprets complex information such as legislative, demographic, economic, and fiscal developments and trends, to aid management in making decisions to resolve critical issues or problems; based on analysis, develops theories and policies, and formulates strategies for action on critical issues such as major program changes, funding revenue sources, or the departmental budget; advises department heads, program managers, and the County Administrator on the potential impact of legislative developments and socioeconomic trends on departmental and County-wide operations and the community; develops strategies for initiating collaborative efforts and coordinating and integrating the delivery of services which cross departmental lines; makes budgetary and funding projections, identifies new sources of funding, and makes fiscal recommendations for new or existing programs; conducts other management studies of any magnitude or scope as required.
2. Researches information using a wide variety of local, state, and federal resources; prepares and presents comprehensive narrative and statistical reports of findings, including charts and graphs: develops and prepares policy statements, responses to proposed legislation, and other correspondence for department heads and members of the Board of Supervisors; disseminates information to department heads, staff, officials, and members of the community to educate them on issues, and influence them to take a recommended course of action; provides staff support to various committees within and outside the department, and provides technical information to committee members to explain changes or the projected consequences of such issues as legislation; maintains an automated information system of legislative, economic, and demographic data to use as a reference and to track trends.
3. Makes presentations before department heads, program managers, Board of Supervisors, community leaders, service providers, and employees of other departments to educate them on major changes impacting County operations, the community, and residents of Santa Barbara County; interacts with state and federal officials and lobbyists to provide or obtain technical information; represents department heads at local or statewide meetings.
4. May supervise subordinate staff, including selecting and training staff and evaluating performance.


1. Three years of experience conducting research and analysis for a governmental agency, preferably in the area of assignment, in two or more of the following areas: legislation, demographics, economics, or fiscal issues; or,
2. one year of experience performing duties equivalent to the class of Administrative Analyst III with Santa Barbara County, preferably in the area of assignment, performing research and analysis in two or more of the following areas: legislation, demographics, economics, or fiscal issues; or,
3. equivalent combination of training, education, and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Qualifications: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License may be required for certain positions in this class. Some positions may require travel within and outside the County.

Knowledge of: the local, state, and federal legislative process; local governmental programs and funding sources, issues, and trends, preferably in the area of assignment; technical report writing techniques; public relations; data collection and analysis methods and techniques; statistics; research methods; governmental budgeting; English usage and grammar; computer software applications, including spreadsheet, database, and presentation; and (depending on assignment) supervisory practices.

Ability to: read, interpret, and explain complex rules, regulations, and policies; research and analyze data, draw conclusions, project consequences, formulate strategies, and make recommendations; exercise independent judgment; communicate complex information verbally and in writing; locate sources of information; prepare comprehensive reports; establish and maintain working relationships with a variety of people; persuade others to take a particular course of action; make public presentations; use automated systems to prepare and maintain data; and (depending on assignment) train and supervise staff; organize work; balance competing priorities; represent department with tact and diplomacy.


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