City Manager

City of Gaithersburg, MD | Full-time

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The Position

The City of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is seeking a City Manager. The current City Manager will be retiring after more than 20 years with the City and after serving as City Manager since 2012. The City has a long history of political stability and civility, strong regional and national leadership, and a workforce committed to exceptional service to residents and businesses.

The City Manager oversees all staff except for the City Attorney, who is directly appointed by the Mayor and Council. The City Manager is responsible for all department directors and the Deputy City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and Assistant to the City Manager. The Deputy City Manager and City Manager have rotated direct supervision of departments over time. The City Manager’s Office has a total of 11.2 FTEs and an FY 2020 total adopted budget of $2.2 million.

The Organization

The City of Gaithersburg is a municipality that shares local government taxing authority with Montgomery County, Maryland. The City operates under the council-manager form of government, wherein the Mayor and five City Council members serve as the legislative body. The Mayor and City Council are elected at-large to serve staggered four-year terms. The City Manager is appointed by the Mayor and City Council to serve as the City’s chief executive officer. The City Manager is responsible for the implementation of policies and budget established by the Mayor and City Council.

The City of Gaithersburg employs 419.14 FTEs, and the City’s FY 2020 total adopted expenditure budget is $68.3 million. The City has no debt and operates on a pay-go philosophy.

As mandated by state law, Montgomery County provides schools, libraries, social services, and fire protection for the City of Gaithersburg. In addition to the Montgomery County Police, Gaithersburg residents are served by the City’s own Police Department, which will be moving within the next 24 months into a new facility that will also house a new City Council Chambers.

In 2019, the City conducted its biannual citizen satisfaction survey. Survey results that emphasize the City’s overall quality of life include the following:

  • 86% of respondents describe Gaithersburg as an excellent or good place to live
  • 79% of respondents rated the overall quality of City services as excellent or good
  • 74% of respondents gave high marks to the customer service of City employees
  • 85% of respondents rated the overall quality of City parks as excellent or good
  • Gaithersburg receives high marks for public safety, the quality of its police services, overall appearance, health and wellness opportunities, and the natural environment
  • The quality of the City’s recreation programs and recreation centers exceeds national benchmarks
  • Out of the 289 communities surveyed, Gaithersburg ranked #11 for its openness and acceptance of people of diverse backgrounds

The Ideal Candidate

Gaithersburg’s next City Manager will be a proven local government leader, modeling high ethical standards, competence, civility, and consensus-building. The next City Manager will be innovative and future-oriented and will partner with the Mayor and City Council to retain Gaithersburg’s regional and national leadership and business friendly reputation. This person will be approachable, responsive, a clear communicator, and will work to establish and maintain effective relationships inside city government and with community stakeholders, earning trust and respect. The ideal candidate will be able to refine and implement a long-term vision, align resources, and grow organizational capacity to meet future needs. This person will think holistically and demonstrate the agility needed to operate effectively in a dynamic environment to provide essential, high-quality services to residents and businesses and be focused on longterm priorities. The next City Manager will be fiscally prudent, recognize the importance of long-term planning, and be able to articulate the options for varying levels of service and their cost implications. The next City Manager will ensure the City continues to be fiscally, socially, and environmentally sustainable.

Ultimate responsibility and accountability for the operations of city services and functions rest with the City Manager. In this context, the ideal candidate will be strong and fair and have a respectful management style that values staff members at all levels, helping the City focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization and its service delivery. This person will provide clear expectations and be an effective team builder, instilling confidence and pride in staff and recognizing and utilizing the talent and capabilities of employees. The ideal candidate will be a decisive leader who will set high standards, communicate those standards clearly, and hold staff accountable for results. The next City Manager will create commitment through shared values and fostering a healthy organizational, customer-focused culture in which people have the tools and latitude to do their best work.

The ideal City Manager will be a positive leader who is visible in the organization, provides guidance and mentoring to key staff, and fosters teamwork and problem-solving with the Senior Leadership Team and at all levels of the organization. The City Manager will partner with the Mayor and City Council and the Senior Leadership Team to accomplish both short and longterm goals, promote economic resiliency, and find creative solutions to complex issues that impact the City and the region.

Experience and Education

Minimum qualifications for this position are a bachelor’s degree and at least ten years of local government experience with demonstrated leadership as an executive-level administrator/manager, assistant administrator/manager, or department director.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree; ICMA-CM; and strong skills in intergovernmental relations, financial management, economic development and redevelopment, human resources, and strategic planning. Proven experience and success managing a racially, ethnically, economically, and socially diverse full-service county or city undergoing change and ongoing redevelopment are also preferred.

Residency is not required.

The Community

QUICK FACTS

  • Population (January 2020 est.): 70,199
  • Median Household Income (2014-2018): $86,427
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2014-2018): $389,700
  • Median Age: 35.7
  • Educational Attainment (2013-2017): 53.3% of persons age 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree or higher

The City of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a thriving, culturally diverse, and vibrant community in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, located north of the nation’s capital. Gaithersburg began as a small settlement at the juncture between two ancient Native American trails, now Frederick Avenue and Diamond Avenue. The arrival of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1873 sparked a business and agricultural expansion that made the Gaither settlement the commercial center for upper Montgomery County, and it was incorporated as the town of Gaithersburg in 1878. A second major expansion occurred in the 1960s, when the Atomic Energy Commission headquarters (now the Department of Energy) and the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) relocated to the vicinity, spurring residential and commercial growth that continues to this day.

The City of Gaithersburg greatly values its socioeconomic and cultural diversity. Gaithersburg was recently recognized by WalletHub as the most diverse small city and overall second most diverse city in the United States. The City’s racial and ethnic demographics are 47.9% White, 25.9% Hispanic or Latino, 17.6% Black or African American, 18.6% Asian, 0.4% Native American or Alaska Native, and 4.6% who identify as two or more races. Additionally, the City had the second-highest level of educational-attainment diversity in 2019, according to WalletHub, and the fourth-highest rate of linguistic diversity.

When the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) relocated to the Gaithersburg area, it brought tremendous growth in the fields of science and research. Today, NIST is the largest employer in the immediate region. Other large employers located within the city limits include AstraZeneca; Leidos; Asbury Methodist Village; GeneDx, Inc.; Sodexo USA; and Hughes Network Systems, LLC.

Gaithersburg is the third-largest city in Maryland and one of the state’s fastest-growing communities. The City is a major international location for biotech companies and boasts award-winning schools, neighborhoods, and commercial developments. Its respect for its heritage, demonstrated by the revitalization efforts in the Olde Towne residential and commercial district and coupled with thoughtful planning for new communities and a commitment to cultural and recreational activities, has earned the City national acclaim.

Thoughtful, innovative planning defines the Gaithersburg community and can be seen in a wide variety of neighborhoods, which brings diversity in the housing options for residents. The Kentlands, celebrating its 31st anniversary, is one of the first “New Urbanist” neighborhoods built in the United States and was designed to be a walkable, mixed-use community. It occupies land that was once the farmstead of Otis Kent, just as much of modern Gaithersburg is built on historic farmland. The newest development, Downtown Crown, has brought additional mixed-use with a thriving area of restaurants, retail, and residential that complements the adjacent and established Rio/Washingtonian area. Even with this growth, Gaithersburg’s rural roots still influence the soul of the City, which has retained its small-town commitments to character, customer service, and collaboration as it has grown.

Gaithersburg is consistently recognized for its high quality of life. In 2016, 24/7 Wall Street ranked Gaithersburg among the top 25 places in America to live, citing the community’s high median household income and extensive entertainment and recreational opportunities. In 2018, Livability.com placed Gaithersburg among the top 10 Best Cities for STEM Workers. Additionally, the City has earned Tree City USA status since 1990 and been awarded the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 18 consecutive years and the GFOA’s Excellence in Financial Reporting award every year since 1978.

The City’s many special events and recreational opportunities make it a great place to work and live. Since 2010, the City has hosted the Gaithersburg Book Festival. Other large regional events include SummerFest, Oktoberfest, and the ever-popular Winter Lights Festival.

Gaithersburg is known for its entrepreneurial and startup business environment as new technology companies arrive each year to take advantage of the City’s excellent location and dynamic workforce.

Gaithersburg is accessible via many modes of transportation, allowing easy access to the Washington, D.C. area and the greater Mid-Atlantic region. The City is bisected by the 12-lane I-270 freeway connecting Gaithersburg to the Washington Beltway to points west, and Gaithersburg is the western terminus of the Inter-County Connector linking I-270 to I-95. The Metro system’s Red Line has its northern terminus just beyond the City’s southern border, and the City is also served by a robust bus transit system and the Maryland Association of Rail Commuters (MARC) train, with two stops in Gaithersburg carrying rail commuters to and from Washington, D.C. The City is within an hour’s drive of all three major airports in the Baltimore/Washington region.

Because of its proximity to the nation’s capital and major global industries, the City plays host to many international and domestic visitors. Gaithersburg enjoys one of the highest educated labor pools in the country. In fact, Maryland ranks fourth in percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree and second in the percentage with a graduate or professional degree.

Compensation

The salary range for this position is $200,000 - $230,000, depending on qualifications. Benefits offered include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Medical, dental, vision, long-term care, disability, life, and workers’ compensation insurance
  • Annual, sick, personal, and holiday leave
  • Retirement Savings Plans administered by ICMA-RC
  • Tuition Assistance Program
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • GFit Wellness Program
  • Housing Stipend Program
  • First-Time Homebuyer Assistance
  • Personal Cell Phone Program
  • Multilingual Skills Stipend Program

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 the first review of applications on April 27, 2020.

Questions

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

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