City Manager

City of Westerville, OH | Full-time

Apply

The Position

The City of Westerville, Ohio, is seeking a City Manager to lead a full-service city known for responsible government, stable leadership, innovation, and excellence in service delivery. Located in central Ohio approximately 10 miles northeast of downtown Columbus, the City of Westerville boasts thriving businesses, extensive amenities and an excellent resident quality of life. With a population of more than 41,000, Westerville offers residents a close-knit community and suburban lifestyle, as well as access to a wide range of cultural, recreation, dining, and employment resources in the larger metropolitan area. The City extends certain services beyond its corporate limits and is highly engaged in the region. The Westerville Partnership – a formalized committee of community leadership committed to advancing programs, services, and initiatives – is composed of the City, Westerville City Schools, the Westerville Public Library, Otterbein University, and the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, the community benefits from strong nonprofit and faith community leadership.

The Westerville City Manager serves as the chief administrator for the City and manages all municipal departments, which include a public power system and water treatment plant. The City Manager’s direct reports include department heads of the Westerville Divisions of Police and Fire (with 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatching), Administrative Services, Finance, and Information Systems Departments, as well as the Assistant City Manager and Community Affairs Director. The City Clerk and Law Director are appointed and managed by Westerville City Council, and the Planning and Development, Electric, Parks and Recreation, Public Service, Water and Economic Development functions are overseen by the Assistant City Manager. The City also owns and operates the WeConnect fiber-optic network and data center, the first municipally owned and operated in the country, which also serves as a public utility.

The position is open as the City Manager is retiring in January 2021 after more than 12 years leading the City. The next City Manager will also hire an Assistant City Manager, as the current long-serving assistant will be retiring at the same time.

The Organization

Settled in 1809 and later founded in 1858, the City of Westerville has operated under the Council-Manager form of government for more than 100 years. Westerville City Council consists of seven at-large members elected to serve four-year terms. Council elects officers among themselves to serve two-year terms as Council Chair, Council Vice-Chair, Mayor, and Vice-Mayor. By Charter, Council elections are non-partisan. The City Manager, Clerk of Council, and Law Director are appointed by and report directly to City Council. The City Manager serves as the organization’s chief administrative officer.

The fiscal year (FY) 2020 total budget is nearly $200 million, including the general fund, capital, and utility funds. Approximately 440 full- and permanent part-time staff and more than 300 seasonal employees account for the City’s workforce. The City maintains the best-achievable AAA bond ratings from both Moody’s and S&P and has achieved the GFOA Certificate of Excellence for Financial Reporting for 35 consecutive years. Westerville’s financial management has been repeatedly honored by the Auditor of State Award of Distinction for outstanding financial management.

City departments include Administrative Services, Electric, Finance, Fire, Information Services, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Development, Police, Public Service, and Water. The City provides fire protection and emergency medical services to residents within neighboring Blendon Township through a contractual mutual aid agreement.

The City’s mission is “The City of Westerville is dedicated to providing exemplary municipal services to our community and fostering prosperity while embracing our unique heritage and character.” Its vision: “Westerville will be a safe, friendly, vibrant, attractive and diverse community, where people and families live, learn, work and play, and where a small-town feel and quality of life is valued.” Known as a “City within a Park,” its expansion parks and recreation system is one of the City’s most prominent characteristics. Finally, the City’s core values have been adopted to include the following:

  • Innovation
  • Stewardship
  • Excellence
  • Accountability
  • Integrity and Trust
  • Public Safety
  • Community Engagement
  • Employee Enrichment
  • Diversity and Inclusion

Westerville City Council has also adopted several Strategic Goals intended to help advance the City’s mission and vision:

  • Westerville Safe | Prioritize community-wide public safety, with emphasis on programs that educate, build awareness and provide resources in areas such as family violence, mental health issues and crime prevention.
  • Environmental Sustainability | Conserve and actively protect our natural resources while reducing the environmental footprint for the delivery of public services, utilities and programs. Create programs that influence, inspire and, on occasion, incentivize residents and businesses to do the same.
  • Mobility Improvement | Pursue infrastructure improvements and accessibility for public transportation; continue master planning initiatives that make Westerville easily accessible for all means of transportation – walking, cycling and driving.
  • Attainable Housing | Explore options for housing that promote greater affordability and access.
  • Improvements to the City’s Uptown District | Enhancing the infrastructure and protecting the historical significance of the City’s original downtown.

Finally, the City has identified its brand by three tenets. Westerville’s brand story was developed in partnership with the entire community and helps define the way we speak to ourselves and others when it comes to attracting residents, business investment, visitors, and students. For the full brand story, visit www.westerville.org/brand.

  • Authentic Charm | Speaks to the powerful quality of life found in Westerville. This community already possesses an authentic charm many other cities try to create. It’s found in places like the historic Uptown, which is alive with culture, independent commerce and heritage.
  • Purposeful Spirit | Westerville was talking about “intention” before it was a trend. It’s a place where business can focus on what matters most, and City government will be responsive. It is the tangible investment made by local government in personal and professional success and satisfaction.
  • Promise | Very simply, Westerville keeps its promises. This is a place for innovation and “forward thinking” planning. It is demonstrated in milestone-setting initiatives that define an “intelligent community.”

The City Manager’s Office

The City Manager’s Office consists of eight full-time staff across three divisions: Administrative, Economic Development, and Community Affairs. The total FY 2020 budget for the City Manager’s Office is approximately $3.8 million.

The Administrative Division is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations for the City and consists of the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and an Administrative Assistant.

The Economic Development Division is responsible for attracting new businesses to the City, retaining existing business, and promoting entrepreneurship. It consists of the Economic Development Director, who reports to the Assistant City Manager, and an Economic Development Coordinator, who reports to the Director. As of FY 2019, the economic development program has created or attracted approximately 380 jobs with an estimated payroll of $29.1 million.

Finally, the Community Affairs Division is responsible for all internal and external communications and community engagement efforts on behalf of the City. It consists of the Community Affairs Director, who reports to the City Manager, as well as a Community Affairs Specialist and a Digital Media Specialist, who report to the Director. Two marketing and communications specialists within the Parks and Recreation Department are housed and managed within Community Affairs for strong, centralized communication outcomes. Duties include media and public relations, brand management, marketing, publications, social media, website and digital media, and crisis communication.

Experience and Education

Minimum requirements for this position include a Bachelor’s degree and seven years of progressively responsible experience in local government, including at least three years in an executive-level leadership role, which may be at an Assistant Management or department head level.

Preferred qualifications include a Master’s degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, or a related field, ICMA-CM credentials, and experience in financial management, capital planning and financing of infrastructure, economic development/redevelopment, utilities oversight, labor relations, intergovernmental relations and working with community partners, and strategic planning. Previous experience working in a multi-cultural, growing full-service community with a Council-Manager form of government is desired.

Residency is strongly preferred, and reasonable moving expenses will be part of the overall compensation package.

The Ideal Candidate

Westerville’s next City Manager is an innovative, proven leader with unquestionable integrity and ethics who demonstrates the highest standards of professional conduct and character. This individual has exemplary communication skills and fosters an organization-wide commitment to service excellence. As a skilled local government practitioner, this person can effectively translate the City Council’s vision into action and help the Council, community, and staff anticipate future needs. Ultimately, the next City Manager will continue the success that exists today, building upon the momentum of staff and the public services and programs delivered through local government.

Westerville’s new City Manager seeks opportunities for cross-disciplinary teamwork and fosters a collaborative culture at all levels of City government. This person demonstrates fairness, consistency, and good humor and handles difficult situations with poise. The ideal candidate establishes rapport with staff at all levels and values the contributions of people from all parts of the community. The Manager strives to solve issues both unique to Westerville and those which affect the entire central Ohio region through concerted efforts involving various private sector, nonprofit, and intergovernmental stakeholders. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of collaborating with all sectors and continue to convene Westerville’s partners to ensure a strong business, educational, nonprofit, and intergovernmental structure to solve community issues both inside and outside the city limits.

The next City Manager not only understands the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion but also acts to empower persons of color and other historically disenfranchised minority groups within City government and throughout the community in its entirety. When met with complex, evolving societal issues, the successful candidate employs a thoughtful, collaborative approach that evaluates systems and policies and engages with a variety of stakeholders in the process. The City Manager is personable, approachable, and demonstrates a willingness to participate in and be engaged in the community fabric of Westerville. The ideal candidate will be relentlessly focused on customer service and responsiveness, utilize data to drive fact-based decision-making, and be open to innovative and entrepreneurial solutions.

The ideal candidate is flexible, process-driven, and an unwavering advocate for transparency, fairness, and a balanced approach to problem-solving. This person possesses excellent delegation skills and cultivates an environment that empowers staff to reach their full potential. This individual is knowledgeable of workplace trends, the importance of professional development and work/life balance to retain a strong workforce, and is comfortable working in a collective bargaining environment. Westerville’s next City Manager has a breadth of experience in financial management, economic development and redevelopment, and funding for short- and long-term infrastructure needed for a full-service city with multiple utilities. This forward-thinking candidate mirrors City Council’s commitment to sustainability and strives to solve problems proactively and systematically.

The next City Manager will work to retain the City’s historic character while cultivating a thriving business and multi-cultural community that is welcoming to residents of all backgrounds and income levels. The successful candidate has experience leveraging public financial tools to attract and retain both small businesses and large employers and works to develop the City while ensuring that Westerville remains a unique, welcoming, and affordable community.

The Community

Westerville is an affordable, safe community located in the northeast portion of the metro area approximately 10 miles from the City of Columbus, the state capital. Characterized by a favorable business environment, exceptional City services, and an abundance of recreational opportunities, the City of Westerville is the ideal place to work and call home. This suburban community has twice been recognized by Money magazine as one of “America’s Best Places to Live,” as well as Forbes magazine’s “Friendliest Cities.” Westerville continues to grow as one of the most desirable suburban communities in the state, increasing from a population of approximately 36,000 as of the 2010 census to more than 41,000 today.

Throughout Westerville, residents and visitors enjoy more than 40 community parks and open spaces, 50 miles of recreational trail connections, and a state-of-the-art Community Center. Thanks to years of thoughtful planning, 95 percent of homes in Westerville are located within a half-mile of a developed park. Westerville’s nationally recognized parks and recreation system has earned five National Gold Medals by the National Recreation and Parks Association. The City also boasts a vibrant history. The historic Uptown District dates back to the 1850s and is registered as a historic district through the National Register of Historic Places. It is unquestionably the jewel of the community and offers modern dining, retail, and entertainment in a preserved and vibrant old-generation downtown. Uptown is home to city government and the site of major community events, including 4th Friday festivals from April-September, holiday events, and more.

While the community boasts a suburban atmosphere, its proximity to the City of Columbus provides residents access to some of the state’s best urban amenities. Columbus is nationally recognized for its booming downtown arts and sporting districts, exceptional higher education opportunities, low cost of living, and historic neighborhoods. The thriving Central Ohio region is home to roughly two million highly educated, diverse residents. Popular and unique shopping and entertainment districts at Easton Town Center and Polaris Fashion Place are within miles of Westerville to the east and south, respectively. The area is served by John Glenn International Airport, less than 15 miles from the center of Westerville.

Westerville’s award-winning public school system, encompassing Westerville and surrounding areas, operates three high schools, four middle schools, and 15 elementary schools. The City is home to several higher education institutions, including Otterbein University, founded in 1847. Major employers in Westerville include JP Morgan Chase Bank, Mount Carmel Health Systems, Westerville City Schools, Otterbein University, DHL (North American corporate headquarters), Lancaster Colony (Marzetti’s) headquarters, and OhioHealth.

Quick Facts

  • Population Estimate (2019): 41,103
  • 2018 Median Household Income (2018): $90,443
  • Median Home Value (2018): $226,700
  • Median Age: 41.2

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Compensation

The expected hiring salary for this position is $175,000 - $200,000.

 Benefits offered include:

  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Vacation, sick, personal, and holiday leave
  • Employer contributions into the Ohio Public Employees’ Retirement System (OPERS)
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Deferred compensation plan
  • Flexible spending account
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 

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 September 10, 2020.

Information is subject to compliance with Ohio public information laws. Notification of requests for public information will be made to applicants.

Questions

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

Download Recruitment Brochure