City Administrator

Yuma, Arizona, United States Full-time

The Position

The world’s sunniest city is seeking a new City Administrator! The City of Yuma is nestled in the southwestern corner of Arizona, with a population of approximately 100,000 that nearly doubles during the winter. The former City Administrator retired in April after nine years of service.

Appointed by the Mayor and City Council, the City Administrator serves as the chief administrative officer and implements council policies, provides organizational leadership for department directors and employees, and oversees the day-to-day business of government operations. The Administrator also prepares the annual budget and capital improvement program and recommends operational and policy improvements.

The City Administrator leads a team of 1,137 full- and part-time employees and has 13 direct reports including the Deputy City Administrator, City Attorney, City Clerk, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Public Works Director, Utilities Director, City Engineer, Parks and Recreation Director, Community Development Director, Finance Director, Information Technology Services Director, and Human Resources Director.

The Organization

Incorporated in 1871, the City of Yuma operates as a Charter City under the council-administrator form of government. Yuma’s City Council consists of the Mayor and six councilmembers, all of whom are elected at-large to serve staggered, four-year terms. The Mayor acts as the chief executive officer of the City.

The City’s total budget for FY 2018-19 was $220.2 million, consisting of an operating budget of $179.6 million and a capital improvement project (CIP) budget of $40.6 million.

The City of Yuma is a full-service organization with the following departments: Administration, City Attorney, City Clerk, Community Development, Engineering, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Media and Public Affairs, Municipal Court, Mayor and Council, Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Utilities, Fire, and Police.  

The Ideal Candidate

The City of Yuma is looking for an experienced local government professional who is a transformational leader with a collaborative management style. He or she demonstrates a high level of integrity, is an effective communicator and consensus builder, and is experienced working with governing bodies.

The ideal candidate has strong organizational leadership skills. He or she can create an environment of trust and is skilled in implementing organizational and cultural change. The City Administrator leads a team of accomplished professionals and is fully invested in their continued success. The ideal candidate provides staff support and direction while challenging them to think creatively.

The City Administrator works effectively with the Mayor and Council, is responsive to their requests, and provides them with accurate and timely information, candid advice on difficult issues, and professional recommendations. The ideal candidate focuses on solving problems creatively and demonstrates sound judgment and exceptional decision-making skills.

The next Administrator is a relationship builder who is inclusive and unbiased. He or she successfully works with diverse groups of individuals and organizations and builds trust throughout the community, region, and organization.

The ideal candidate is a strong communicator who can engage successfully with different audiences and is resilient and calm in the face of controversy. This person has a background in community outreach and civic engagement and understands the importance of not only providing the public accurate and timely information but in being accessible, responsive, and transparent.

Yuma’s next City Administrator has a background in municipal budgeting, is fiscally conservative, and can clearly articulate and explain the budget to diverse audiences. This person is experienced and knowledgeable in the areas of strategic planning, human resources, and economic development. The Administrator has excellent community and intergovernmental relations skills and brings best practices in local government service delivery and governance to Yuma.

The ideal candidate fully appreciates Yuma’s rich history and has a vision for moving the organization forward. He or she understands the importance of preserving the community’s identity and history while planning and preparing for its future. The City Administrator is fully invested and committed to Yuma’s continued success.  

Experience and Education

The minimum requirements for this position include a bachelor’s degree in public administration, political science, business management, finance, or a closely related field and seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in a local government or an organization of comparable complexity.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree in public administration or related field and at least three (3) years’ experience in a senior management (department head or higher) position. ICMA-CM designation or pursuit of ICMA-CM designation is preferred.

A demonstrated success in the areas of strategic planning, community and civic engagement, consensus building, negotiation, and financial management/budgeting; experience working in an agricultural and/or military community; and an understanding of the unique issues facing a border community are also preferred.

Residency

The City Administrator must reside within city limits.

The Community

Known as the “Gateway to the Great Southwest,” the City of Yuma is situated minutes from the Mexico-United States border and the State of California’s southeastern border. Yuma is the largest city in Arizona outside of the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas and one of the nation’s fastest-growing metro areas. The City of Yuma is a diverse and welcoming community that offers numerous cultural, social, and recreational amenities.

Located on the banks of the Colorado River, the City of Yuma is the crown jewel of the Desert Southwest. The City’s location in the Sonoran Desert means a hot desert climate, characterized by consistently high temperatures, minimal rainfall, and low humidity. Yuma is the sunniest place on earth, with over 350 sunny days a year. The area experiences less rainfall and humidity than any populated place in the contiguous United States.

Yuma’s central location and climate make it a popular winter tourist destination. Residents have access to plenty of recreational activities like hiking the Sonoran Desert, exploring the sand dunes, fishing on Martinez Lake, and kayaking down the Colorado River. Plus, residents can cool off in the Pacific Ocean, which is within a short driving distance. The City’s population nearly doubles from December to May with the arrival of sun-seeking winter visitors. These visitors are an economic engine that contributes upward of $170 million to the local economy.

The community offers several recreational amenities such as pools, parks, golf courses, and sports facilities. The City recently opened a 50-acre, state of the art multi-sport facility with six fields, concessions, an outdoor café, a playground, and a walking and biking trail.

Just 20 miles west of Yuma lies the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, a large sand dune field that served as the backdrop in scenes from the original Star Wars trilogy and attracts thousands of off-highway vehicle enthusiasts annually. The Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is positioned 40 miles northeast of Yuma, spanning 665,400 acres in the Yuma Desert. Yuma Crossing is a top destination in the region and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966. The site extends across the Arizona border into California and is home of the famous Yuma Territorial Prison and Yuma Quartermaster Depot.

Arts and events are a large part of the Yuma community. The Yuma Art Center in Historic Downtown Yuma produces several theatre productions and visual art exhibitions each year, holds nearly fifty unique performing and visual arts classes, facilitates the annual summer mural program, screens dozens of films, and coordinates several festivals and special events. West Wetlands Park hosts several community events each year, such as the annual Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival and Two Rivers Renaissance Faire. The City also produces several annual celebrations like the Tunes and Tacos Festival, Dorothy Young Electric Light Parade, the opening of Christmas Village, and the Yuma Jaycees Silver Spur Rodeo.

Yuma has several educational opportunities for residents. The City’s three public school districts boast a total of 35 schools, in addition to several charter and private schools. Arizona Western College, as well as branch campuses of Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona, are in Yuma.

Yuma is a proud military community, and in 2019, it was named Arizona’s most patriotic community by Insurify website – 11% of the community’s population are current or former service members. Two of the area’s top employers include the Marine Corps Air Station and the United States Army Yuma Proving Ground. Other major employers include Yuma Regional Medical Center, Datepac, and the Yuma Elementary School District.

Agriculture is Yuma County’s most prosperous industry, with the region producing 90% of all leafy vegetables grown in the United States. The agriculture industry in Yuma County represents an annual gross economic return of $3.2 billion, which has made Yuma the winter vegetable capital of the world.

Yuma at a Glance

  • Population: 97,908 (2018 estimate)

  • Median Household Income: $46,151

  • Median Home Value: $126,400

  • Median Age: 31.3 years

  • Total Area: 121 square miles

Demographics

  • Hispanic – 59%

  • White – 34%

  • Black – 3%

  • Asian – 2%

  • Other – 2%

Compensation

The expected salary range is $146,923 to $205,692, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume with salary history. Open until filled with first review of applications on August 30, 2019.

Questions

Please direct questions to Jennifer Reichelt at jreichelt@thenovakconsultinggroup.com or 513-221-0500.

Download Recruitment Brochure