City Manager

Clayton, Missouri, United States Full-time

The Position

Clayton, Missouri, nationally recognized as one of the best places to live in the country and a leader in the St. Louis metropolitan area, is looking for its next City Manager. Through a united effort on the part of its residents, business community, and City government, a unique balance between a vibrant business community and premier residential living is sustained in the City of Clayton. The City serves as a second downtown to the St. Louis area, has exceptional schools, and is a truly special place to live and work. The City has a long history of good government, and has had highly capable, stable, political, and administrative leadership.

Serving at the pleasure of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the City Manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization, provides policy support to elected officials, manages the work of City personnel, and exercises budgetary and contractual control over the City’s revenue and expenses. The City Manager currently has ten direct reports, which includes the City Clerk, City Attorney, Director of Economic Development, Director of Finance and Administration, Director of Planning and Development, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Director of Public Works, Director of Parks and Recreation, and the Assistant to the City Manager.

The Organization

Operating under the council-manager form of government, the City of Clayton is governed by a Mayor and Board of Aldermen comprised of six Aldermen. The Mayor is elected on an at-large basis for a three-year term and the six Aldermen are elected from the City’s three wards to serve staggered, three-year terms. A City Manager is appointed by the Board of Aldermen to carry out the administration of the City’s day-to-day affairs.

The City’s FY 2019 all funds budget is $49.4 million, which consists of a general fund budget of $28.4 million and a capital improvement project (CIP) budget of $17.8 million. City staff includes 177.5 full-time and approximately 180 part-time employees divided amongst the City’s six departments—Administrative Services, Planning and Development Services, Police, Fire, Public Works, and Parks and Recreation.

The Mission of Clayton city government is to foster a vital, balanced community composed of outstanding neighborhoods, quality businesses, commercial and government centers, premier educational institutions, and a healthy, natural environment through an open, accessible, and fiscally responsible government.

In the 2019 community survey, residents expressed satisfaction with city services. A few standout ratings include the following:

  • 91% of residents surveyed were very satisfied or satisfied with the city’s overall quality of life.
  • 92% of residents surveyed were very satisfied or satisfied with the quality of services provided by the city.
  • 94% of residents surveyed were very satisfied or satisfied with the city’s image.
  • 78% of residents surveyed were very satisfied or satisfied with the value received for city tax dollars and fees.

The Ideal Candidate

Clayton's City Manager will be a skilled local government professional who is a strong, proactive leader, an excellent communicator, and is committed to providing exceptional services and sound financial management. The City Manager will have high ethical standards and provide the Board with candid advice that is grounded in data and best practices that can be implemented in Clayton to address difficult issues. The ideal candidate will be involved in the community, accessible to residents and business leaders, and foster relationships with other governments and educational institutions. This person will provide vision, inspire staff, and foster leadership and excellence throughout the organization, and will utilize collaboration and teamwork for problem-solving and decision-making.

The ideal candidate will be open and honest, thoughtful and articulate, and able to both listen and engage with well-educated residents, business owners and CEOs, elected officials, and City employees at all levels of the organization. This person will be able to skillfully balance day-to-day operational needs and high customer expectations while helping the Board and organization stay focused on long-term strategic objectives. The ideal candidate will recognize the special place that Clayton is, be fully engaged in the community and the organization, and will earn the trust of the residents, businesses, City staff, and key stakeholders.

The City Manager will be able to guide the elected officials and staff on articulating and implementing the Board’s strategic plan while ensuring the City’s processes and systems follow best business practices that support exceptional service delivery. The ideal candidate will have experience working in a community with a vibrant downtown and active, mixed-use redevelopment, in addition to experience working with a well-educated, involved citizen base, and large institutions. The City Manager will partner with the Board and executive team to accomplish both short and long-term goals, promote economic resiliency, and be a leader in the region.

The ideal City Manager will be an approachable, collaborative leader and work well to build partnerships. The City Manager will help the organization to continuously improve and help employees grow and develop so they can best serve the residents and businesses in Clayton. The ideal candidate will have strong skills in all aspects of local government management, including budgeting, human resources, planning and economic development, and community and intergovernmental relations.

Experience and Education

The minimum qualifications for this position are a bachelor’s degree and at least ten years of local government experience with demonstrated leadership as a manager, assistant manager, or department director, and experience working in a council-manager form of government. Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, ICMA-CM, and demonstrated success in economic development and redevelopment, building strong intergovernmental partnerships, strategic planning and implementation, effective use of data to drive decision-making, and working in a community with excellence in customer service and community engagement. Experience working in a jurisdiction with a university, large daytime population, and sophisticated constituency is also preferred.


Residency within a reasonable period after appointment is required.

The Community


  • Population: 16,826

  • Average Household Income: $169,307

  • Average Home Sale Price: $767,350

  • Median Age: 31.2 years

  • Total Area: 2.48 square miles

Clayton, Missouri is a premier St. Louis suburb that sets the regional standard in service delivery and overall quality of life. Exceptional community services, ample parks and greenspace, and award-winning public schools, only further contribute to the City’s appeal. The safe, suburban community just west of St. Louis offers exceptional residential neighborhoods within walking distance of business districts, offices, restaurants, galleries, and specialty boutiques and shops.

Known for its impressive cityscape, Clayton’s business community includes over seven million square feet of office space and boasts one of the highest commercial occupancy rates in the region. Notable businesses headquartered in Clayton include Caleres, Centene Corporation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Commerce Bank, Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Olin Corporation, Apex Oil, and Graybar. Clayton’s daytime population triples to approximately 46,000, thanks, in part, to the City’s thriving business district.

While the City maintains a flourishing business district, it has also devoted over 70 acres to passive and active park areas. More than 80 percent of Clayton’s land is dedicated to residential or park use. Shaw Park is home to an ice rink, aquatic center, tennis center, multiple gardens, and the Center of Clayton community recreation center—which offers state-of-the-art facilities and programs.

Cultural and culinary amenities abound in Clayton. With events such as the nationally recognized Saint Louis Art Fair, Parties in the Park, the Music and Wine Festival, and the Taste of Clayton food festival, entertainment is never out of reach. World-class public art adds to the City’s cultural amenities with works by Pierre Auguste Renoir, Carl Milles, Ernest Trova, Fernando Botero, Howard Ben Tre, and Alice Aycock.

With its central location and accessibility via several major thoroughfares, convenience is one of Clayton's main attractions. This convenience is enhanced by MetroLink’s light rail route, with two passenger stations facilitating travel to and from Clayton. Additionally, St. Louis Lambert International Airport is located only 12 minutes from Clayton. The St. Louis area's finest attractions, including the iconic Gateway Arch, are within a 15-minute drive of the City.

The School District of Clayton is amongst the top public-school districts in the entire country, having won numerous national and state-level awards. Three higher education institutions—Fontbonne University, Concordia Seminary, and portions of Washington University—also call Clayton home. Residents are very well-educated, with 78.9% of Clayton’s adult population having obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Racial and ethnic demographics are as follows: 76.7% White, 8.4% Black or African American, 11.8% Asian, 3.5% Hispanic or Latino, and 2.7% Other.


The expected hiring range for this position is $175,000–$198,000, depending on qualifications. The City of Clayton offers an excellent benefits package. Relocation and housing assistance will be part of the consideration of total compensation.

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 October 7, 2019.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 513-221-0500.

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