City Manager

  • City of Austin
  • Austin, Texas
  • Aug 18, 2017
Full Time Administration and Management Executive
  • Phone: +1 346-320-5949
  • Apply By: Nov 13, 2017

Summary

City of Austin

Austin is the state capital of Texas and is the fastest growing metro city of its size. With a population of more than 947,000, Austin is the fourth largest city in Texas and the eleventh largest city in the United States. Home to a substantial regional concentration of headquarters/regional offices for Fortune 500 (Amazon.com, Dell, Google, and Whole Foods to name a few), the University of Texas at Austin, a vibrant music scene, eclectic mix of award-winning restaurants, and over 250 parks, Austin is consistently ranked as the number one “Most Popular Place to Live.”  

Since 2011, Austin has received more than 50 local and national rankings in categories such as economic growth, environmental leadership, education, quality of life, and real estate. Most recently, Austin was named by Forbes as a Top 10 Employer for 2017 and the highest-ranking employer in the government services sector.

As a result of its tremendous success, Austin has experienced challenges that the next City Manager will need to address. In particular, the rapid growth of the city has burdened housing, transportation, infrastructure, affordability, and equity, in ways that a new innovative approach will seek to solve.

For more information about the 2017 State of Austin City, please visit http://www.mayoradler.com/2017-state-of-the-city-address-the-spirit-of-austin/

Governance Structure

The City of Austin has a Council-Manager form of government whereby the elected City Council sets policy objectives and the City Manager ensures they are carried out and administered effectively. The City Manager also serves as a trusted advisor to the Mayor and City Council.

Under the November 6, 2012, voter-approved charter amendment, Council Members are no longer elected citywide. During the 2014 election, the Mayor was elected citywide, and the other 10 Council Members were elected by residents from geographic districts.

City Manager Search Process

The selection of Austin’s next City Manager will be the most important decision the Mayor and the City Council make in the coming months.

The success of the 10-1 council system depends on a productive and trusting partnership with the City Manager and creates the most basic building block of successful policymaking and implementation.

In recognition of the importance of conducting a transparent selection process, Council created the City Manager Search Advisory Task Force, which was composed of an appointee from the mayor and each council member. The panel developed and conducted a community engagement process to shape the candidate profile. Members of the public were invited to help identify the types of skills, abilities, experience, and personal characteristics that are essential for Austin’s next City manager.

City Council and the Task Force solicited the public’s input through four types of opportunities:

  • Public meetings to receive input on the City Manager profile were held on June 12, June 16, June 28, July 8 and July 12.
  • Each task force member conducted a meeting or gathered feedback within their Council Member’s District. The formats and timing varied to the specific needs and preferences of each District.
  • A structured initiative that educated City staff on the process, sought feedback, and provided opportunities for the city’s professional staff to participate in public hearings.
  • With development assistance from the City and Russell Reynolds Associates, the task force sponsored a website platform for people to submit ideas and recommendations on the profile for a City Manager. There was also an option to call 311.

Based on feedback provided by Austin Residents, outlined below are the responsibilities, relevant experience, and key competencies the next City Manager must demonstrate to ensure that successful candidates are aligned with Austin’s goals for its future as a vibrant, liveable city

Job Description

Responsibilities

The Mayor and City Council seek to recruit a new City Manager for the City of Austin. This individual must have the skills and experience to lead Austin by combining vision, efficient strategy, and operational excellence together in an open, communicative style.

Reporting to the Mayor and City Council, they will serve the citizens of Austin by providing executive leadership and representation on all matters concerning their city government. This individual will represent and stand accountable for the leadership and management of the daily operations of the Austin government and will serve as a trusted advisor to the Mayor and City Council.

The City Manager will need to create an organizational culture that supports the appropriately free flow of information and advice between City Staff of all ranks and elected officials. They should appreciate the value of and utilize the community and practical expertise brought to the table by the Mayor and Council.  In addition, this individual should provide avenues for the Mayor and Council to leverage the management and municipal expertise the City Manager and City Staff bring to policy questions.  In order to be successful, the new City Manager should invest in an open, trusting, and collaborative relationship between the City Manager, City Staff and the Mayor and City Council.

The City Manager will be responsible for a $3.7B budget (FY 2017), more than 40 departments and offices (including the Police Department (Budget: $402 million; Employees: 2,640), Fire Department (Budget: $185 million; Employees: 1,316), and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (Budget: $155 million; Employees: 456), and 13,500 employees. Direct reports include five assistant City Managers, Chief of Staff, and Chief Financial Officer. Additionally, the heads of the following entities report directly to the City Manager: Austin Energy (Budget: $1.34 billion; Employees: 1,718), Law Department (Budget: $12.8 million; Employees: 97), Equity Office (NA), and the Office of Police Monitor (NA).

Please visit http://www.austintexas.gov/service/city-organizational-and-department-chart to review the City’s organization chart.

The City Manager is also in charge of preparing an annual budget for City Council’s consideration.

Please visit https://austintexas.gov/financeonline/finance/financial_docs.cfm?ws=1&pg=1 to learn more about the annual budget process.

Special Instructions

Application Process

Interested applicants may send an email with a current resume and cover letter to Russell Reynolds Associates at citymanager@russellreynolds.com

Job Requirements

Relevant Experience

The successful candidate may have relevant experience from a variety of entities such as:

 

  • Public Service at the Federal, State, and Municipal Levels
  • Public or Private Company
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Higher Education
  • Healthcare
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

Ideally, the next City Manager will have substantive experience in more than one sector. In all cases, however, this individual must demonstrate a record of creating and executing best-in-class solutions to challenging issues such as those highlighted above. All candidates must have at least 12 years of relevant management experience, including 5 years of senior executive level management experience. We are interested in individuals who seek out and support the utilization of data analytics to aid critical decisions while at the same time can demonstrate deep empathy for other issues at hand.

While the size and scope of previous experience (department size, reporting structure, budget, etc.) will not be the ultimate deciding factor, relevant experience must relate appropriately to the size and complexity of Austin. Additional relevant experience should include past interactions with Federal and State organizations. Previous public experience is essential but not required for the role, however all Candidates must demonstrate a sense of passion for public service and empathy for those in need. Candidates must have experience managing a population/work force similar to Austin’s demographics. Given the governance structure of Austin, we are also seeking candidates with experience working/partnering with a Governing Board (public and/or private sector). Fluency in Spanish is preferred. A sense of humour is a plus.

Key Competencies

The next City Manager must be a leader who embodies the spirit of public service, embraces inclusiveness, and displays deep compassion for those in need. The successful candidate will understand the importance of making Austin a livable city for current and future residents by focusing on the issues previously outlined and new ones as they arise. This individual must foster a culture of innovation and open communication while convening, leading, and collaborating with council, neighborhood communities, local organizations, labor associations, businesses, and residents from across the city to achieve excellence. They must have demonstrated examples of leading and supporting transformative initiatives in a highly complex environment.  Above all, the next City Manager must be able to build a culture of trust. 

In terms of the performance and competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:

Strategic and Visionary Leadership

  • The ability and confidence to propose visionary and innovative solutions for Austin and to execute policies strategically.
  • The ability to advise the Mayor and City Council regarding both positive and negative policy implications by having the inclination to seek, analyse, and present data from a variety of sources to support multiple viewpoints and to align residents with the City’s overall strategy.
  • A collaborative problem solver who takes an entrepreneurial and creative approach to developing new, innovative ideas that will stretch the city and push the boundaries within Austin; must strive to make Austin a liveable and welcoming City to all.
  • Willingness to balance the desire/need for broad change with an understanding of how much change Austin is capable of handling at what pace, to create realistic goals and implementation plans that are achievable and successful.

Executing for Results

  • Successful track record of managing an entity similar to Austin in terms of comparable size, complexity, and culture, with clear strategic results; has strong business and financial skills; executes policies efficiently and effectively by championing best-in-class operation practices and a culture of operational excellence.
  • The ability to set clear and challenging goals while committing the city to improved performance; tenacious and accountable in driving results.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainly; the ability to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations.
  • A risk-taker who seeks data and input from others to foresee possible threats or unintended circumstances from decisions; someone who takes smart risks.
  • A leader who is viewed by others as having a high degree of integrity and forethought in their approach to making decisions; the ability to act in a transparent and consistent manner while always taking into account what is best for Austin; demonstrates strong negotiation skills.
  • Demonstrated capacity to absorb new locations and situations.

Leading Teams

  • The ability to attract and recruit top talent, motivate the team, delegate effectively, celebrate diversity within the team, and manage performance; widely viewed as a strong developer of others.
  • The ability to persevere in the face of challenges, and exhibit a steadfast resolve and relentless commitment to higher standards, which commands respect from followers; they should not only motivate staff but inspire them to be passionate about their job and the customer service they provide to the department and community.
  • A leader who is self-reflective and aware of their own limitations; leads by example and drives the city’s performance with an attitude of continuous improvement by being open to feedback and self-improvement.
  • Must show the ability to relate to the culture of a civil service work force.

Relationships and Influence

  • Naturally connects with, builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.
  • An ability to inspire trust and followership internally and externally through compelling influence, powerful charisma, passion in their beliefs, and active drive; understands the importance of finding common ground.
  • Encourages others to share the spotlight and visibly celebrates and supports the success of the team.
  • Has the humility to ask questions, the courage to seek guidance, and the wisdom to value the diversity of thought.
  • Creates a sense of purpose/meaning for the team and community that generates followership beyond their own personality and engages others to the greater purpose for Austin as a whole.

Stewardship of Community Values

  • Ability to value and embrace diversity within the department and community.
  • Ability to support vision of Austin as a welcoming and inclusive city.
  • Naturally connects with an active citizenry passionate about questions of equity, diversity, fiscal responsibility, environmental sustainability, and social justice.
  • Capably articulates how local government can enhance the common good.

 

Additional Information

Additional Information about Austin

For more information about the City of Austin, please visit http://www.austintexas.gov

To learn more about Employee Benefits, please visit http://www.austintexas.gov/department/active-employee-benefits