City Manager

City of Las Cruces, NM | Full-time

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The Position

Named as one of the top 10 places to live, Las Cruces, New Mexico, is looking for their next City Manager! The City boasts an educated community, a stable political environment, endless arts and recreational activities, an average of 340 days of sunshine, and a rich history and culture.

As the chief administrator, the City Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization, managing the work of City personnel, and implementing Council policies, goals, and objectives. The City Manager provides Council with policy and program recommendations and develops the Annual Budget and multi-year Capital Improvement Program. The City Manager currently has six direct reports, which include the Chief of Staff, Assistant City Manager (2), Fire Chief, Police Chief, and City Attorney.

The City Manager’s Office in Las Cruces includes the following five divisions: Administration, Council and Community Support, Fiscal Management, Community Relations, and Fleet Management. The Office has 58.5 FTEs and a budget of $9.7 million.

Form of Government

The City of Las Cruces is a home-rule city governed by its charter and has a council-manager form of government. The Las Cruces City Council is composed of six councilors and the Mayor. City councilors are elected from their respective districts and serve alternating, four-year terms. The Mayor is elected at-large and serves a four-year term. There are no term limits for the Mayor or councilors. The City Council appoints the City Manager.

Accolades

The City of Las Cruces is an award-winning community that has been recognized nationally (http://www.las-cruces.org/2022/City-of-Las-Cruces-Accolades). Las Cruces has been recognized as the number six best-run city in the U.S. and best-run in New Mexico by WalletHub.com (2019). It was also recognized as one of the best sustainable communities (Sunset magazine) in the country. The Las Cruces Arts and Cultural District Plan won the Creative Tourism Award for “Best Strategy for Creative Tourism Development” from the Barcelona-based Creative Tourism Network. In addition, the community as a whole was recognized as one of 13 real-life heroes on World Humanitarian Day. The entire community received this recognition from 24/7 Tempo for the City’s efforts in aiding and assisting asylum seekers who have come to the U.S. Also, for districts with more than one high school, LCPS has the highest graduation rate in the state.

Mission

The Mission of the City of Las Cruces is to provide customer-focused municipal services to residents, businesses, and guests so they can experience a “quality of place” to live, work, and play.

The Organization

The City provides the community with a wide range of services and has 13 departments including the City Manager’s Office, Community Development, Economic Development, Financial Services, Fire and Emergency Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Parks and Recreation, Police, Public Works, Quality of Life, and Utilities. The City’s total budget for FY2020 is $410.3 million, which consists of a General Fund budget of $106.2 million and a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget of $101.4 million. The City has approximately 1,665 FTEs.

In 2017, the City of Las Cruces launched a citywide initiative transitioning to performance-based budgeting. This initiative, termed PEAK, included the development of Strategic Business Plans for each department, alignment of department plans with the City’s strategic plan, and performance measure reporting. Fiscal year 2020 marks the first full year of PEAK Performance for the City. PEAK stands for the following:

  • P – Perform Mission
  • E – Evaluate Measures
  • A – Assess Outcomes
  • K – Keep Climbing

The City has adopted a five-year Strategic Plan for 2017-2022, which consists of 20 priorities organized under the following four themes:

  • Capital Improvements and Infrastructure
  • Communication, Involvement, and Follow-Up
  • Economic and Community Development
  • Education

The Ideal Candidate

The City of Las Cruces is seeking a transformational leader to serve as City Manager who has worked effectively in council-manager government and has successfully carried out Council priorities. The Council seeks someone with these traits and abilities:

  • Committed to public service
  • Forward-thinking
  • Politically astute
  • Demonstrates sound judgment with exceptional decision-making skills
  • Builds relationships
  • Works with diverse groups of individuals and organizations effectively
  • Is approachable and accessible
  • Instills trust throughout the community, region, and organization
  • Communicates skillfully
  • Demonstrates cultural sensitivity
  • Understands the importance of effective civic engagement and in providing accurate and timely information
  • Is transparent, honest, responsive, and open
  • Demonstrates a collaborative management style
  • Is fully invested in the continued development and success of a team of accomplished professionals
  • Leads without bias
  • Engages with staff throughout the organization and provides support, direction, and feedback
  • Encourages and motivates employees
  • Has experience in succession and workforce planning
  • Demonstrates high ethical standards and integrity
  • Is capable and competent in balancing multiple priorities and projects
  • Manages high-pressure situations effectively
  • Recognizes the importance of the rich history of Las Cruces and is fully invested in the community’s continued success
  • Works closely with the Council to preserve the community’s identity and history while planning and preparing for its future
  • Has experience in municipal government functions, including financial and budget management, human resources, economic development, and risk management, and is familiar with public safety
  • Brings best practices in performance management, local government service delivery, and governance to Las Cruces

Qualifications

The minimum requirements for this position are a bachelor’s degree and ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in government with demonstrated leadership in executive-level management to include manager, assistant manager, or department director.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, ICMA-CM, and experience working in the council-manager form of government. Preferred candidates will have demonstrated success in economic development, budgeting and capital planning, community engagement, and succession planning. Additional preferred qualifications include experience in developing intergovernmental partnerships and working with diverse stakeholders and at-risk populations.

Residency

After employment/appointment, the City Manager must be a resident of the City of Las Cruces.

The Community

Las Cruces is ideally situated in the Mesilla Valley, with the Organ Mountains to the east, Doña Ana Mountains to the north, and the Mexico-United States Border 46 miles to the south. This southern New Mexico community offers an affordable cost of living, a year-round warm climate with 340 days of sunshine annually, breathtaking landscapes, and a strong sense of community rooted in the City’s rich cultural history.

Las Cruces provides community events including culinary, music, arts, and cultural festivals. The Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Monument and Doña Ana Mountains are popular hiking, horseback, and bike riding destinations located minutes from the city limits. Flowing through a small portion of the City, the Rio Grande River allows for a thriving agricultural industry in the Mesilla Valley. Less than two hours from Las Cruces are Lincoln National Forest and Gila National Forest – the world’s first wilderness area. The community also boasts nearly 1,500 acres of parkland, dozens of athletic fields and playgrounds, several pools and recreation centers, four community gardens, and 37 miles of multi-purpose trails.

Major employers include the White Sands Missile Range, NASA White Sands TEST Facility, Memorial Medical Center, and Mountain View Regional Medical Center. The government, education, and health services industries account for nearly half of the City’s workforce. While Las Cruces is a popular destination for retirees, the location of New Mexico State University, with an enrollment of 15,000, within the City provides a vibrant college-town atmosphere. The Las Cruces Public Schools district is the second-largest in the state in terms of total enrollment.

The El Paso International Airport is located approximately an hour southeast of Las Cruces. The City owns the Las Cruces International Airport, which is currently a general aviation facility. RoadRUNNER Transit, the City’s transit authority, operates eight routes in Las Cruces and two additional routes on the New Mexico State University campus.

The City’s demographic makeup is 58.6% Hispanic or Latino, 43.9% White, 2.6% Black or African American, 1.7% Asian, 1.5% Native American or Alaska Native, and 2.9% identify as two or more races (Source: City of Las Cruces FY 2019-2020 Budget).

QUICK FACTS

  • Population: 102,926 (2018)
  • Average Household Income: $40,924 (2013-2017 5-year estimates)
  • Median Home Listing Price: $185,000 to $196,675 (2018)
  • Median Age: 32.6 years old (2013-2017 5-year estimates)
  • Total Area: 77 square miles

Demographic data was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 Population Estimates Program, the 2013-2017 American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates, and the City of Las Cruces Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ending June 30, 2018.

Compensation

The expected salary range is $180,000 - $275,000 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. Open until filled with the first review of applications on May 29, 2020.

Questions

Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at apply@thenovakconsultinggroup.com or 513-221-0500.

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