City Manager

Farrell, PA Full-time

The Position

The City of Farrell is seeking a City Manager to help guide this proud northwestern Pennsylvania community toward continued success. Farrell is ideally situated in the southwestern corner of Mercer County, along the Ohio and Pennsylvania border. The City has worked to strengthen its operational and financial condition, and after 30 years in State-designated fiscally distressed status, Farrell has restored its financial and operational health and is well-positioned to carry this momentum forward. The current City Manager helped the organization reach financial stability and success and is retiring after nine years of service.

Appointed by the Mayor and City Council, the City Manager plays a critical role in ensuring that the organization and community remain fiscally strong, serves as the chief administrative officer, and implements Council policies. The Manager prepares the annual budget and capital expenditure program, provides organizational leadership for department directors and employees, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the City.

The City Manager leads a team of 46 budgeted positions, including 25 full-time and 21 part-time positions. The Manager has six direct reports, including the City Clerk, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Wastewater Treatment Plant Supervisor, Public Works Director, and the Tax Collector/Treasurer.

The Organization

The City of Farrell is governed pursuant to the Home Rule Charter that was adopted by referendum in 1975. Under the Home Rule Charter, the City’s governing body is a seven-member City Council composed of a Mayor and six Council Members. All members of City Council, including the Mayor, are elected at large. The City operates as a council-manager form of government, and the City Manager serves as the chief executive and administrative officer of the City.

The City’s 2019 General Fund budget is $3.1 Million, and the Sewer Fund budget is $1.1 Million. City departments include Health, Code, and Zoning; Police; Fire; Public Works/Streets; and the Water Pollution Control Plant. The City is responsible for several parks and playgrounds and contracts for the community’s water, electric, and trash/recycling services.

Most of the City’s employees are represented by one of two unions (Fraternal Order of Police or the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) and are subject to Collective Bargaining Agreements with the City.

The Ideal Candidate

The City of Farrell is seeking an experienced, hard-working local government professional who has a collaborative management style and is comfortable engaging with staff and the community. The successful candidate has fresh, innovative ideas, and provides informed and thoughtful recommendations to the City Council.
The ideal candidate is a strong leader who creates an environment of trust. He or she leads a team of accomplished professionals and is fully invested in their continued success. The City Manager provides staff support and direction while challenging them to think creatively.

The City Manager is a relationship builder who is personable and works effectively with diverse groups of individuals and organizations both locally and regionally. He or she has experience working in a multi-cultural community and is an effective communicator. The successful candidate is approachable and straightforward and instills trust in those people with whom he or she works. The next manager is responsive, transparent, and remains resilient and calm in the face of controversy.

The successful candidate has a background in municipal budgeting and finance, grant management, contract negotiation, and economic development. This person can clearly articulate and explain the budget to the Council, staff, and the public. The City Manager is fiscally prudent while also advocating for investments and decisions that will strengthen the organization and the community.

The next City Manager recognizes Farrell’s rich history and can take the organization to the next level. This person understands the importance of preserving the community’s identity and history while planning and preparing for its future. The ideal candidate will be dedicated to the City’s continued success and have a desire to make Farrell home.

Qualifications

The requirements for the position include any combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in public administration, political science, business management, finance, or a closely related field and three (3) 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, strong financial management and budgeting skills, and a track record of success in economic development and community/civic engagement. Other preferred qualifications include demonstrated leadership as a manager, assistant manager, or department director, and experience working with a governing body.

Residency

Residency within a reasonable period after the appointment is required.

The Community

The City of Farrell is located along the border of Pennsylvania and Ohio in the southwestern corner of Mercer County. This once great steel mill town has experienced the typical highs and lows of many rust belt communities but through it all, its pride has not diminished. The City is experiencing an economic renaissance, developing new retail and business opportunities along with new housing inventory.

Major employers in Farrell include NLMK Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Production at the NLMK steel plant continues to expand, and UPMC has started a hospital expansion. Residents continue to have hope for a bright future, just as their founders did when the City was incorporated more than a century ago.

Farrell is an ethnically diverse community that takes pride in its rich history. Today, Farrell has a population of 4,640 with 47% of the community identifying as Black/African American; 41% as White; 4% as Hispanic; 1% as other; and 7% as two or more races.

Farrell is one of a dozen municipalities located in the Shenango Valley, which provides residents with retail offerings, economic development initiatives, recreational opportunities, and special events. The region is home to beautiful natural resources like the Shenango River, Buhl Park, and the Shenango Reservoir.

This former steel region has become a magnet for entrepreneurial business pursuits and tech-friendly companies. Residents enjoy short commutes, no traffic jams, and free parking throughout the region. The area boasts a slower pace of life with safe communities where residents know their neighbors. The community has access to world-class hospitals and medical care around the clock. Residents enjoy a food scene that spans the area's steel mill history from homestyle food offerings to more modern, upscale dining options.

Recreational opportunities abound, whether walking in the park or riding on local bike trails, playing disc golf, kayaking, paddleboarding, or golfing. There is something for everyone to enjoy. The region offers special events and activities throughout the year, including the nationally renowned WaterFire, a festival of fire and art in Beautiful Downtown Sharon; Juneteenth Celebration in the City of Farrell; and Light up the Sky at Buhl Park Fireworks Celebration in July.

The region offers a rich selection of educational opportunities. In Farrell, students are served by the Farrell Area School District, which operates an elementary school (K-6) and a high school (7-12). Farrell’s ideal location between the Cleveland and Pittsburgh metro areas provides residents with easy access to numerous higher education institutions, including the University of Pittsburgh, Cleveland State University, Youngstown State University, and Carnegie Mellon University.

QUICK FACTS

  • Median Household Income: $30,256
  • Median Home Value: $59,400
  • Median Age: 43.2 years

Compensation

The salary range for this position is $70,000-$90,000, 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 December 27, 2019.

Questions

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

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