Located in southwest Michigan only two hours from Chicago and Detroit, Kalamazoo is a mid-sized city with a strong sense of community and a heritage that gives it a small town feel. A diverse and vibrant community, Kalamazoo is the county seat and has a steady economy and exceptional amenities which contribute to its overall excellent quality of life. The City is seeking a City Manager to oversee the Cityís day-to-day operations. The City has approximately 650 full-time staff and a total budget of $147.5 million, including a General Fund of $55.4 million. The City operates under the Commission-Manager form of government and has seven Commissioners including a Mayor and Vice Mayor. The City is a full-service city, providing water and wastewater services, and consists of nine departments: City Manager, Public Safety, Management/Budget Services/Finance, Community Planning & Development, Public Services, Human Resources/Labor Relations, Information Technology, Parks & Recreation and Transportation/Metro Transit. A visionary leader with a collaborative management style, a commitment to diversity, and excellent interpersonal and communication skills is needed. The ability to align the agency to meet the challenges of the future and to look at the organizational paradigms with a fresh perspective is a priority. A solid understanding of sound financial practices and principles, as well as experience in strategic planning and partnerships, performance measurements, economic development, and an understanding of union negotiations is desired. A Bachelorís degree is required in Public or Business Administration, Finance, Economic Development, or a related field; a Masterís degree is preferred. Candidates must have at least eight years of experience in public administration, public policy development, economic development, planning or a related field, preferably with a municipality of similar size and complexity. An equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to perform the job duties will also be considered. The salary is open, dependent upon qualifications. First review of applications will take place on April 19, 2013; position is open until filled.
The City of Kalamazoo is an Equal Opportunity/ADA Employer.
The City of Kalamazoo is located in the heart of southwest Michigan, approximately 130 miles west of Detroit, 140 miles east of Chicago, and 70 miles southwest of Lansing, the capital of Michigan. Kalamazoo is the county seat of Kalamazoo County and has an estimated population of approximately 74,000. The City encompasses approximately 26 square miles and is divided into 22 neighborhood regions. Few areas can match Kalamazoo for its wealth of natural beauty, cultural life, economic stability and healthy family environment.
Home to one of the most progressive public school districts, Kalamazoo provides excellent options for primary and secondary education. The City has over 25 public schools, including schools that focus on special education. In addition, under The Kalamazoo Promise, a nationally recognized program funded by local philanthropists, each student that graduates from a Kalamazoo Public High School receives up to a 100% scholarship for tuition and mandatory cost for four years for higher level education within the State of Michigan, a figure which is graduated based on the number of years a student attends Kalamazoo Public Schools and lives within the city limits.
Kalamazooís multi-national industries offer its residents steady employment and an abundance of educational, entertainment, recreational and cultural opportunities. The City of Kalamazoo is home to two outstanding hospitals (Borgess Medical Center and Bronson Methodist Hospital) and four institutions of higher education (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and Davenport University). The Upjohn Company was founded in Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo remains one of the research and major manufacturing centers for Pfizer. Kalamazoo is the headquarters of the Stryker Corporation and is the home of many companies including Graphic Packaging, Fabri-Kal, Parker Hannifin, and Flowserve. Working with Western Michigan University, the city has developed a Business Technology Research Park (BTR) and a new medical school is scheduled to open in 2014. The city is also home to Greenleaf Trust, a wealth management company that won the ďBest and Brightest Places to Work in MichiganĒ award in 2011. Four local breweries including Bellís Brewery are also located in the city.
Residents of Kalamazoo are proud of their city and embrace its spirit of community. Events like the Animation Festival, the weekly Arts Council, and the monthly ďArt HopĒ create a vibrant street life, neighborhood character and vitality. Festivals abound in the summer months that celebrate the various cultures and communities in the city. Kalamazoo locals enjoy several museums, theaters, and a musical variety from the Kalamazoo Symphony to local indie sounds. The city also has an award winning Public Library that is comprised of four branches besides the main library. Community and business leaders have a reputation for generous philanthropic endeavors, and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KCF) plays a large role in the community.
For the outdoor and sports enthusiast, the region has many opportunities to enjoy year round, and Lake Michigan is only a 45-minute drive with its beautiful beaches, fishing, and other water sport activities. Western Michigan University competes within the NCAA Division I Mid-American conference and competes in football, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, baseball, softball, volleyball, and track and field. Kalamazoo College competes in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), and Kalamazoo Valley Community College also has athletic teams that compete regularly. In addition, the Kalamazoo Wings, a NHL minor-league hockey team, plays in Wings Stadium.
The racial demographics of the city are 68% Caucasian, 22% African American, 6% Hispanic, and 4% Other. The median household income is more than $31,000. Kalamazoo has a temperate climate with chilly winters and warm summers that average a high temperature of 86 degrees.
The City of Kalamazoo has operated under a Commission-Manager form of government since 1918. All seven Commissioners are elected at large to a two-year term, with the candidate receiving the most votes being elected mayor and the candidate receiving the second most votes elected Vice-Mayor. Appointed by the City Commission are a City Assessor, City Attorney, City Clerk, City Manager, and an Internal Auditor. Administrative leadership is provided by a professional City Manager operating under the policy direction of the City Commission. The Cityís administrative organization includes one Deputy City Manager and a Cabinet consisting of the City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Chief of Public Safety, Management and Budget Services/Finance Director, Community Planning & Development Director, Public Services Director, Human Resources/Labor Relations Director, Information Technology Director, Parks & Recreation Director, Transportation Director, Deputy City Attorney, Budget and Evaluation Director, Internal Auditor, and City Clerk. Each of the eight Departments (Public Safety, Management Services, Community Planning & Development, Public Services, Human Resources/Labor Relations, Information Technology, Parks & Recreation, and Transportation) is subdivided into critical program areas.
The City is currently implementing an early retirement incentive that is designed to reduce the number of full-time employees from 733 to 634 by the end of 2013. The City recognizes five collective bargaining units. The total operating and capital budget for fiscal year 2012 is approximately $147.5 million. The General Fund is approximately $55.4 million. The mission of the City Managerís Office is to effectively and efficiently manage the delivery of City services within the guidelines and policies established by the City Commission; to work with all City Departments and Divisions to identify ways in which city staff can enhance service efficiency and effectiveness in the most responsive manner; to continue to set a high priority of economic development and planning to see that development and redevelopment within the City occurs in an orderly and proper manner; and to ensure organizational responsiveness to City Commission priorities. The City has aligned its budget in accordance with the City Commissionís priorities. These priorities can be viewed under Strategic Focus at www.kalamazoocity.org.
Specific challenges facing the City include decreasing property tax revenues and a large portion of tax exempt properties to include government agencies, hospitals and universities; a poverty rate above the national average; a perceived disconnect with the community, specifically the minority community; the need for economic development or redevelopment within a highly constrained environment; and ongoing efforts to maintain a high level of service delivery while making the necessary cuts to balance the budget.
The position of City Manager is open due to the participation of the City Manager in the Early Retirement Incentive program. The former manager served the City for many years and became the City Manager in 2005.
The City Commission has identified several areas of focus for the next City Manager:
- Experience in working creatively in a fiscally constrained environment which historically has a high demand for services
- Demonstrated success in bringing together diverse groups of people with differing perspectives and interests in order to achieve a common goal
- Experience in leading a diverse workforce and forging working partnerships within a unionized workforce
- Experience in creative approaches to fostering and supporting economic development
- Demonstrated ability to develop and utilize strategic partnerships ó both public and private ó in carrying out strategic initiatives
The responsibilities of the City Manager include working effectively with the City Commission; providing visible leadership in the Kalamazoo community; building a strong internal leadership team; and creating a high performing organizational culture among City staff. A strong, charismatic leader who is motivated by and committed to the Cityís best interest and a strategic leader who is fair and consistent and who is able to see the big picture with a long-term vision is needed. A team-oriented leader with an open, inclusive management style who will also develop, challenge, and mentor staff to build a strong senior management team is desired.
Authenticity, personal integrity and strong moral character is imperative. Ability to develop and maintain trust with the Commission, staff and community while effectively working with a diverse group of stakeholders, including the minority population, major institutions, non-profit/philanthropic agencies, government entities, neighborhoods and a broad spectrum of sectors of the community in a transparent environment is needed. The City Managerís Office is charged with the enforcement of a human rights ordinance that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment and public accommodations within the city. The selected candidate will possess exceptional interpersonal, human relations and communication skills, as well as political acumen and solid negotiation skills. An ability to connect with the business community and promote a culture of exceptional customer service is necessary.
The ability to prepare and monitor operating and capital budgets, understand the impact of fiscal decisions, and forecast and prepare the City for long-term financial needs, while working creatively within fiscal constraints to provide recommendations with regard to service levels is needed. Change management and crisis management skills and up-to-date technology skills are sought; must craft and manage organizational messaging and communication utilizing and promoting new media.
Requirements include a Bachelorís degree in Public or Business Administration, Finance, Economic Development, or a related field; Masterís degree is preferred. A minimum of eight years progressively responsible senior management experience in local government management, public policy development, economic development, planning or related field is required, preferably within local government in an agency of similar size and complexity; or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to perform the job duties. Candidates must have experience working in diverse communities with a strong urban core; experience in a unionized environment is a plus.
The salary range is open and dependent on qualifications. The starting salary will be based on the knowledge and exper-ience of the individual selected. The City offers an excellent benefits package. For additional information on benefits, visit www.kalamazoocity.org.
Resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above. Screening interviews with the most qualified applicants will be conducted by Bob Murray and Associates in order to determine a select group of finalist candidates who will be asked to provide references; references will only be contacted following candidate consent. Interviews will be held with the City of Kalamazoo. Candidates will be advised of the status of the recruitment after the selection of the City Manager.
The City of Kalamazoo is an equal opportunity/ADA employer.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Renee Narloch or Rachel Hanselman at: (850) 391-0000