Deputy City Manager

City of Fort Collins, CO | Full-time


The Opportunity

The City of Fort Collins, Colorado is seeking a new Deputy City Manager to join its Executive Leadership Team. The Deputy City Manager has a wide array of responsibilities spanning the full operations of the City with oversight of a rotating portfolio in collaboration with their peer Deputy City Manager. The Deputy City Manager works with the City Manager and City Council on external matters and collaborates with the Executive Leadership Team to implement the City’s strategic plan and manage internal operational matters.

The Deputy City Manager is appointed by and reports directly to the City Manager and will share responsibility in serving as Acting City Manager in the absence of the City Manager. As the Deputy City Manager acts as an extension of the City Manager’s leadership, it is paramount that the working relationship with the City Manager be one of deep trust. Each will share their individual candid insights, advice, and analysis while representing the City’s leadership model and values.

The Community

Incorporated in 1873, Fort Collins is nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains alongside the banks of the Cache La Poudre River. At 5,000 feet in elevation, residents enjoy a moderate, four season climate, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. With 174,800 residents, Fort Collins is Colorado’s fourth largest city and spans 57 square miles. At full build-out, the City of Fort Collins is expected to reach 255,000 residents.

From its early days as the military fort of Camp Collins, Fort Collins has transformed into a vibrant, healthy, university city with ample attractions and amenities. There are abundant outdoor recreation opportunities available to the many residents who enjoy healthy lifestyles. The nearby Horsetooth Reservoir is a key attraction, as is the Scenic Byway Poudre Canyon. Within the city, the Downtown district provides many venues for live music, shopping, dining, and nightlife. Fort Collins is renowned for its craft beer culture and is widely considered the Craft Beer Capital of Colorado.

Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University. With a student enrollment of 34,000, the University significantly affects the composition and culture of Fort Collins. More than half of Fort Collins’ residents are college graduates and the city has a strong appreciation for arts, culture, and entertainment. Residents are educated and engaged in their local government. Various national organizations and magazines recognize Fort Collins as one of the best places to live in the nation.

The Organization

The City of Fort Collins is a home rule city with a Council-Manager form of government. The City Council is comprised of six District Councilmembers who are elected for four-year terms and a Mayor who is elected at-large for a two-year term. All elected officials are non-partisan. The City Council appoints the City Manager, City Attorney, and the Chief Judge. The City Manager has overall responsibility for all other City employees. The City of Fort Collins directly provides a full slate of municipal services including operating its own electric, water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities. The City of Fort Collins, at the direction of City Council and voters, is moving forward with building and implementing high-speed next-generation broadband to the entire community with an expected completion in 2021. Fire protection is provided by the Poudre Fire Authority (PFA). The City of Fort Collins operates with a biennial budget and provides funding for municipal operations, including approximately 2,500 employees.

The City of Fort Collins aspires to provide world-class services to the community while cultivating an outstanding organizational culture for its employees. In order to achieve its vision, both internal and external services are data-informed and implemented according to organizational values. The City develops resiliency and sustainability through organization-wide systems and processes that ensure consistent employee work practices and alignment across service areas. The City places a high value on public input and strives to include community members as fellow problem solvers whenever possible. Residents can expect to receive exceptional service, have the opportunity to engage with decision-makers, provide input regarding the allocation of City resources, and have access to government information in a timely and transparent manner.

The Successful Candidate

The Deputy City Manager will embody the core values and adapt with the dynamic evolution of Fort Collins. They will be deeply committed to the City, exemplify servant leadership, embrace our commitment to equity and inclusion, and support our triple-bottom-line approach by assessing economic, environmental, and social factors to drive business decisions. The Deputy City Manager brings their own set of diverse experiences that add value and perspective, while complementing and supporting a highly effective and engaged Executive Leadership Team.

With strong business acumen and an entrepreneurial approach to city government, the Deputy City Manager is a strategic thinker with a successful track record of producing results-oriented outcomes.

As cultural awareness and the ability to foster an inclusive work environment are critical requirements for leadership, the City seeks someone who is effective at both conveying respect for different perspectives, backgrounds, customs, and abilities as well as ensuring all employees are respected and involved by leveraging their capabilities, insights, and ideas. A strong supporter of high-performing organizations, the Deputy City Manager values diversity of thought and encourages cross-departmental collaboration in support of broader organizational alignment.

Considered a trusted partner, the Deputy City Manager serves as a liaison between the organization, community, and City Council. The Deputy City Manager is a responsive and transparent communicator and enjoys representing the City at all times. A humble, yet confident leader, the successful candidate understands the importance of building community engagement and partners with others to ensure trusting relationships that lead to sharing power and co-creation.


  • Demonstrated track record fostering environments that encourage teamwork and respectful relationships across the City, with City Council, and in the region and state.
  • Able to identify and assess emerging trends and relevant forces as well as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats on important policy choices and public programs.
  • Capable of intelligent risk-taking and uses knowledge and insights to guide the decisions and work of the organization.
  • Known as a change agent who surfaces assumptions, embraces continuous improvement philosophy, is a quick study on addressing barriers to change, and can lead others through the change process.
  • Capable of systems thinking to see interdependent relationships and recognize multiple causes and effects of community issues, to predict or anticipate the consequences of policy decisions, and to mobilize community resources.
  • Strong ability to assess alternatives in terms of their financial, revenue, social, environmental, and strategic advantages and disadvantages. Able to propose to Council difficult trade-offs between and among community needs.
  • Known as an innovative thinker who asks insightful questions, identifies patterns and connections, and brings forward multidimensional thinking.
  • Confidence in making sound judgments and exhibiting patience when dealing with stressful situations.
  • Able to present to multiple audiences in a clear, empathetic, and compelling manner.
  • Experience building teams and implementing practices in an emerging leading-edge community.
  • Possesses an innate curiosity and strong learning orientation. Leverages all resources and is creative in ways of learning for self and others.
  • Capable of creating conditions of emotional safety and demonstrates self-awareness and skill in integrating and synthesizing others’ viewpoints to build alignment of diverse perspectives.
  • Politically astute and yet apolitical.
  • Unquestionable personal integrity, character, and conviction with the ability to bring compassion into challenging situations.

Total Compensation

The City of Fort Collins offers a competitive comprehensive benefits package, which includes market competitive salary, commensurate with education and experience. Other benefits include medical, dental, vision, life, and short- and long-term disability insurance. Additionally, the City of Fort Collins offers other benefits, including 401(a) and a 457 deferred compensation plan with an employer contribution, optional Health Savings Account, Flexible Spending Accounts, and relocation assistance for the successful out of area finalist.


High-level municipal government management experience including at least ten years of leadership responsibility. A bachelor’s degree in public administration, political science, business administration, or a closely related field with a master’s degree preferred. An equivalent combination of experience and education that enable success as the Deputy City Manager will be considered.


The Deputy City Manager is required to reside within the Fort Collins Growth Management Area during their tenure in office.

How to Apply

The City of Fort Collins is deeply committed to high-quality public service and cultivating an outstanding culture for its employees. As a high-performing government, Fort Collins attracts and employs diverse and competitive talent, retains its workforce through development and growth opportunities, and promotes intelligent risk-taking to address increasingly complex challenges.

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 first review of applications on September 8, 2020.


Heather Gantz

Manager, Executive Search

The City of Fort Collins is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity at all levels of its workforce. Applicants selected as finalists for this position will be subject to a criminal history/credit/ driver’s license check prior to the interview. Under the Colorado Open Records Act, information from your application or resume may be subject to public disclosure.

Download Recruitment Brochure