Deputy City Manager

City of Fort Collins, CO | Full-time

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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 two peer Assistant City Managers. We are looking for a compassionate, humble and confident servant leader to 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 and who understands the importance of building community engagement and partners with others to ensure trusting relationships that lead to sharing power, co-creation and exceptional service.

The Community

The City of Fort Collins sits nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains alongside the Cache La Poudre River banks. 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. With the 20-year growth projection, the City of Fort Collins is expected to reach 255,000 residents.

The first people who hunted in this region arrived approximately 11,000 years ago, and Northern Colorado remains an integral part of the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations. European- American trappers and traders arrived by the early 1800s but rarely established permanent settlements. Gold and silver discoveries in the Colorado mountains in the mid-1800s and the prospect of land for farming and ranching attracted people from eastern cities and across the globe to the Colorado Territory, including what would become the town of Fort Collins: an agricultural colony that emerged from its founding days as a military camp. The expansion brought new residents whose descendants still live here today, including Mexican-American families from southern Colorado, New Mexico, and northern Mexico, Germans from Russia, and other immigrant families who settled here in the 1800s.

Since 1879, Fort Collins has been the home of the state’s land grant institution, Colorado State University, which currently enrolls 34,000 students. Along with the University, the city’s major high-tech and manufacturing companies and breweries attract new residents from all over the country and world. The city is known for its unique innovative, entrepreneurial, and collaborative spirit that brings together the public and private sectors and the Colorado State University community. Fort Collins is the home of the Colorado State University Energy Institute, whose mission is to deliver real-world energy and climate solutions that address society’s most pressing global challenges, and Innosphere Ventures, a science and technology incubator that accelerates the business success of startups and emerging growth companies.

Our adaptability, openness to failure, risk-taking, the overarching character of collaboration and strong ties between leaders from the university, city government, and local businesses, and a sense community led to Fort Collins being chosen by Smithsonian Institute curators as one of the country’s most innovative places for the exhibit, “Places of Invention.” People can make a difference here and have contributed to the city’s reputation for breakthrough inventions in clean energy and socially responsible innovation.

We have exceptional medical systems, strong public and private K-12 schools, and many recreational offerings for families. We like to think every age can live, work, and play in our community, and with 300 days of annual sunshine, mild temperatures, and record snowfalls, it is always a good time to come to Colorado.

The community’s overall social diversity continues to grow, and 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 Cache La Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway. Thanks to voter support of sales tax ballot measures, the City conserves valued lands and provides recreation and educational access to our community treasures.

There are 50 natural areas and over 100 miles of trail encompassing more than 36,000 acres. Fort Collins has a strong appreciation for arts, culture, and entertainment and is known as the cultural hub of northern Colorado. There are many great performance theaters, museums, and art galleries to visit. The Downtown district provides many venues for live music, shopping, dining, and nightlife. Fort Collins is widely considered the Craft Beer Capital of Colorado. Various national organizations and magazines recognize Fort Collins as one of the best places to live in the nation. People come and want to build their lives here.

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 2022. 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 exceptional services to the community while cultivating an outstanding organizational culture for its employees. 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 high-quality service, engage with decision-makers, provide input regarding the allocation of City resources, and access to government information in a timely and transparent manner.

The City of Fort Collins recognizes and honors the legacy inherited from the decisions, relationships, and thoughtful planning of those who cared deeply about our community. We also realize that we are a more robust, better community when we welcome everyone to participate in shaping our future. The 2019 City Plan, which serves as our long-range vision and development framework, shapes decision-making and funding priorities to implement the future the community desires. Whether building a more inclusive and equitable community, supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, addressing and mitigating the impacts of climate change, or creating additional transportation and housing options, we are committed to partnering to make Fort Collins an even better place for future generations. We know this means keeping our current infrastructure updated and maintained while thinking ahead.

The City is a dynamic and continually evolving organization. However, the vision for the City, its mission, and core values remain a constant that helps all employees focus on the primary goal: service to our community members. This commitment is one that the nearly 2,500 City employees take seriously. From exceptional snowplow drivers and emergency dispatchers, utility crews and recreation officials, IT specialists, vehicle mechanics, and police services, the City workforce provides high-quality municipal services around the clock employing their wide variety of talents.

Fort Collins is a community with a strong sense of place. It has gained accolades as one of the best places for job seekers in Colorado, one of the best towns in America, and among the healthiest, most livable, and bicycle-friendly.

Among the awards Fort Collins has won over the past two years are:

  • 5, 2021 Top 10 Remote-Ready Cities in the US: Livability – January 2021
  • 8, Colorado City Ranked Among ‘Most Relaxed’ in Country: Out There Colorado - April 2021
  • 4, 25 Best Cities in the US to Own an Electric Car: 24/7 Wall St - April 2021
  • 2, Best Tasting Drinking Water in North America: American Water Works - June 2021.
  • 42, 2021 Top 100 Places to Live: Livability.com - October 2021
  • 6, Safest Cities for Cyclists: Your Local Security - May 2021 Municipal Equality Index 100 – November 2021
  • 2021 What Works Certified City: Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • 18, 20 Safest Cities in Colorado: SafeWise - April 2020
  • 21, Top 30 Creative Small Cities: CVSuite - May 2020
  • Clean Air Champion: RAQC - December 2020
  • 8, Most Fitness Friendly Places for 2021: Smart Asset - December 2020

We believe these awards are possible due to our employees, volunteers, community members, partnerships in the city and region, and the strong leadership from City Council.

Councilmembers and City leaders are engaged nationally and internationally on issues facing our community. The City of Fort Collins is involved in Bloomberg Philanthropies and has received funding and consulting for several key projects. This philanthropic organization focuses its resources on five areas: the environment, public health, the arts, government innovation, and education. Mayor Jeni Arndt is one of the thirty-eight mayors from North America, Latin America, Europe, and Africa selected for the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative 2021-2022 program. The intention is to equip mayors with the leadership and management tools to tackle complex challenges in their cities and improve the quality of life of their residents.

Fort Collins was also selected as one of 30 U.S. cities participating in the What Works Cities City Budgeting for Equity and Recovery program. This new effort will help cities confront budget crises while strengthening their commitment to equity in the wake of COVID-19. The program will help cities develop and implement plans to drive financial recovery and ensure that their budget crises do not disproportionately harm low-income residents and communities of color. From the City’s 2021 application, we acknowledged, “The City of Fort Collins has a strong desire to invest in long-term, meaningful equity advancement, and yet in the absence of the requisite models, knowledge, and abilities, this is unchartered territory for our organization.”

The German Marshall Fund of the United States is a nonpartisan American public policy think tank and grant-making institution dedicated to promoting cooperation and understanding between North America and Europe. Fort Collins was chosen as one of twelve cities to participate in “Cities Fortifying Democracy,” a first-of-its-kind cohort of American and European cities that will come together in teams to collaborate on what cities are and can be doing to strengthen their resilience and the foundation of democracy from the ground up. The cohort — comprised of twelve five-person city teams —will zero in on the democratic vulnerabilities and innovations in four key areas where local stakeholders can make a difference: governing, voting and elections, public safety and justice, and local journalism.

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 two peer Assistant City Managers. 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 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.

Capabilities

  • 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, including a market salary commensurate with education and experience. Annual salary range is: $142,960 - $238,267 and the anticipated annual hiring salary range is $185,000 -$200,000; salaries are paid biweekly. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, life, and short- and long-term disability insurance. Additionally, the City of Fort Collins offers additional benefits, including 401(a) and a 457 deferred compensation plan with an employer contribution, optional Health Savings Account, Flexible Spending Accounts, a significant Wellness program and relocation assistance for the successful out-of-area finalist.

Education and Experience

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they can perform every job description task. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may come from a less traditional background. The City may consider an equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications.

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.

Residency

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

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis. 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 August, 8, 2022.

Questions

Please direct questions to Heather Gantz at hgantz@raftelis.com and Robert Colichio at rcolichio@raftelis.com.

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.

 

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