Finance Director

Merriam, Kansas, United States Full-time

The Position

Merriam’s Finance Director is responsible for maintaining the City’s fiscal integrity and ensuring the financial stability of the organization. The Director prepares the annual budget and provides financial advice and guidance to the City Council, City Administrator, and department directors. The City’s current Finance Director is retiring after 15 years of service to the organization.

The Finance Director reports to the City Administrator and establishes departmental goals and priorities, oversees the investment of City funds, monitors revenues and expenditures, and recommends financial policies and procedures. The Director oversees the administration and coordination of the City's financial services, including budget, accounting, financial reporting, financial analysis, investments, debt service, financial information systems, and internal auditing. This position oversees two staff members – an accountant and accounting clerk.

The Finance Department has been recognized with numerous accolades and awards for their outstanding work. They have been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for 30 consecutive years. In addition, they have received the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 25 consecutive years and the GFOA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting for the past four years.

Because of the City’s sound fiscal management, long-term financial planning, economic growth, and responsible budgeting practices, the City of Merriam has maintained a general fund reserve balance of between 30-35% and received a Standard & Poor’s AAA credit rating.

The Organization

Formally incorporated in 1950, the City of Merriam operates under a non-partisan mayor-council form of government with the addition of a City Administrator. Merriam has eight councilmembers. Two are elected from each of the City’s four wards. The mayor is elected on an at-large basis. The City Administrator is appointed by the Mayor and City Council as the chief administrative officer and is charged with the efficient and effective administration of the organization.

The City has 111 full- and part-time employees and a Fiscal Year 2019 total adopted budget of $85.5M, of which $23.7M is the general fund budget and $53.2M is the CIP budget. The City maintains a 30% General Fund reserve balance, which is approximately $4.9M.

The organization believes in being responsive to its residents. The City’s Mission Statement is “to serve the public with transparent government focused on progress.” This commitment is demonstrated through the results of the 2019 Community Survey, which indicated that 91% of residents were satisfied with City services, and 92% were satisfied with Merriam’s quality of life.

The Merriam Way

Being a part of Team Merriam means taking pride in serving the public and improving our community. Our residents expect the best, and we strive to deliver. We listen to problems, overcome obstacles, and provide solutions. We act with courage and principle and ensure other members of the team do the same. We continually improve ourselves as individuals and a team. Every team member is a leader in their own right. We play to each person’s strengths and celebrate our achievements. We do it day in and day out, and we do it all with a selfless attitude and a little zeal. That’s the Merriam Way.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for the Finance Director of Merriam is an experienced financial manager who prepares and administers complex budgets, drafts financial reports, and communicates complicated issues in an easy to understand manner. This person is a respected leader who instills trust and confidence. The ideal candidate is organized, detail oriented, balances multiple deadlines with skill, and consistently provides accurate information.

The Finance Director serves as the financial advisor to the City’s Executive Leadership Team, has a strong customer service ethic, and demonstrates superior leadership skills and sound judgment. He or she is experienced in preparing and managing municipal budgets as well as capital improvement planning and is fiscally conservative.

The ideal candidate is a strong communicator who engages successfully with diverse audiences and remains calm in stressful situations. The Finance Director is a problem-solver who sees the big picture and identifies creative solutions. He or she is reliable, flexible, and responsive.

Merriam’s next Finance Director is an experienced manager, who leads a team of accomplished professionals, and is fully invested in their continued success and development. He or she encourages creative thinking and provides staff with support, direction, and feedback. The ideal candidate is a team player, collaborative in nature, and builds strong working relationships.

Experience and Education

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business, public administration, or a closely related field, five (5) years of progressively responsible experience working in local, state, or federal government finance/budget, and knowledge of government accounting or municipal budgeting.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree and designation as a Certified Public Accountant (or working toward certification), Certified Public Finance Officer, and/or Certified Government Finance Officer. Additional preferred qualifications include supervisory experience and a background in the areas of economic development, tax increment financing, capital improvement planning, economic development principles, contract development, negotiation, Kansas incentive laws, public finance and fiscal planning, financial software systems, GAAFR, GAAP, and GASB.

The Community

Merriam is a vibrant community, nestled just eight miles south of downtown Kansas City. Residents have access to big city amenities while enjoying the many benefits of small-town, suburban living. The community offers quality public schools, recreational opportunities, friendly neighborhoods, community events, shopping, and dining options – all at an affordable cost. The City of Merriam is an excellent place for young professionals and families alike.

It’s not just the locals who love Merriam. The community has been noticed by others as well. Merriam was included as “A Top 100 Small Town” by Livability and ranked in the “Top 20 Best Places to Live in Kansas” by Niche. Merriam has 11 parks with over 6.5 miles of trails, and a new Community Center is currently under construction. This facility will include a fitness center, event space, both indoor and outdoor pools, and will be completed by the summer of 2020.

The City sponsors numerous events throughout the year that attract residents and visitors from throughout the region. Events range from the ongoing Farmer’s Market and Flags 4 Freedom to the Merriam Drive Live and Mayor’s Tree Lighting.

The City is included in the Shawnee Mission School District, with an approximate enrollment of 27,650 students spanning across five high schools, five middle schools, two specialized schools, and 34 elementary schools. Shawnee Mission School District is highly regarded as one of the best school districts in the state. Higher education opportunities are abundant in the region, with Johnson County Community College, the University of Saint Mary, Kansas State University Olathe, and the nearby University of Kansas serving thousands of students in the Greater Kansas City Metro Area.

Residents can take advantage of all the amenities of the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Kansas City offers recognized museums and performing arts venues such as the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, National World War I Museum, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The Kansas City Zoo, Sea Life Aquarium, waterparks, amusement parks, breweries, casinos, shopping venues, wineries, dozens of parks, and arguably the best barbecue in the country can also be found in Kansas City. The region is the home to several professional and semi-professional sports teams. NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, MLB’s Kansas City Royals, Major Soccer League’s Sporting KC, Major League indoor soccer team Kansas City Comets, and Central Hockey League’s Missouri Mavericks are all rooted in the Kansas City area.

QUICK FACTS

  • Population: 11,178
  • Median Household Income: $57,109
  • Median Home Value: $154,700
  • Median Age: 39.1 years
  • Total Area: 4.32 square miles

Compensation

Salary range: $87,125–⁠$130,687, depending on qualifications, with benefits.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted 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 the first review of applications on August 30, 2019.

Questions

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

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