(Starting salary range will be $210,000 to $270,000 DOQ/E with Outstanding Benefits)
Clearwater, a community of nearly 120,000 residents located on Central Florida’s Gulf Coast, has a long-standing reputation for supporting a professionally operated and innovative local government and is recognized as one of the most desired places to live and work in the southeastern United States.
Clearwater Beach, a 3-mile stretch of white-sand beach on a barrier island backed by hotels and restaurants, has recently been ranked as the #1 beach in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for several years running. As the county seat of Pinellas County, Clearwater is one of three principal cities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area, most commonly referred to as the Tampa Bay Area. This vibrant and dynamic community is strategically located just north of St. Petersburg and is a short and scenic 25-minute drive to Downtown Tampa, located east on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the northernmost bridge across Old Tampa Bay. The I-75 corridor is within close-proximity to Clearwater, via I-275, and provides great north-south access throughout Florida. Orlando is less than a two-hour drive to the northeast by using Interstate 4.
Clearwater averages more than 244 days of sunshine annually and the city is comprised of many unique amenities that are emerging as significant destination attractions. The Cleveland Street downtown district and the islands of Clearwater Beach are continuing to grow in popularity and distinction. Both the downtown and Clearwater Beach have expansive marina facilities making that area especially attractive to boaters. The city is also serviced by two nearby airports. Tampa International, hailed as America’s favorite, ranks high in convenience and ease of travel, and is located just 19 miles from the beach. The St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport is even closer to the beach (11 miles) and with rapidly expanding service, accessible from an ever-increasing number of cities.
The Church of Scientology is a significant property owner in downtown Clearwater, and the new city manager will be responsible for building a relationship with this entity. Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre are two popular local attractions that are important local partners who host waterfront shows at Coachman Park. These venues and other special events have helped Clearwater carve out a reputation for live music and the performing arts and are attracting large crowds and world-class musicians. The community also takes great pride in being the home of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the spring training home for Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies.
Clearwater is governed by a city council that consists of five (5) members, including the mayor, all elected at-large serving four-year overlapping terms, with elections held every two years. Appointment of the city manager requires the affirmative vote of four (4) council members, and the city manager may be removed by an affirmative vote of four (4) members, or by a majority of the council at two separate meetings held at least two weeks apart. The city has a record of prudent fiscal management and has been recognized with the coveted GFOA Distinguished Budget Award for its budgeting and accounting excellence for 33 straight years. Appointed by the city council to serve as the organization’s chief administrative officer, the city manager is responsible for leading an organization of 1,836 FTEs with 12 direct reports, and a Combined Funds budget (including capital contributions) of $542 million. Of this total, the General Fund accounts for approximately $152 million. The city manager is responsible for overseeing the preparation and presentation of the annual budget as well as for all other financial and operational activities and services provided. The city manager’s functional areas of responsibility include but are not limited to: police and fire protection and rescue services; emergency management; public communications; engineering design, streets and stormwater maintenance and construction; marine and aviation services; public utilities including water and sanitary sewer construction, maintenance, treatment, distribution and collection; solid waste and general services; library services; parks and recreation; planning and development; economic development and housing services; and community redevelopment. The city’s internal services include finance and budget, auditing, information technology and human resources. A unique enterprise utility owned and operated by the city is Clearwater Gas System, the 4th largest and “fastest-growing” municipal gas system in Florida. There is an assistant to the city manager and two assistant city manager positions that provide staff support to the city manager and department directors as assigned.
The next city manager will be expected to address several issues during the first 12 months on the job. Examples include the continued use of the Penny for Pinellas local option sales tax and implementing the city council’s funding priorities as a part of the ten-year levy. Some of the priorities include: a continued focus on the enhancement of the downtown waterfront and implementation of Imagine Clearwater; completing the upgrades to the spring training stadium; pursuing the next steps required to replace city hall offices; continued enhancements and improvements to the city’s utilities and other infrastructure; replacement of the city’s public safety buildings; and, continuing to seek progress in working with all stakeholders toward the revitalization of Downtown Clearwater.
The current city manager is retiring after 20-plus years of service, and the city council is seeking prospective candidates that are experienced, strategic and collaborative. The ideal candidate will be fiscally prudent, possess outstanding “people skills” and have a record of exceptional leadership. The new city manager must demonstrate an ability to effectively communicate with the city council, employees and the community. Experience working on successful commercial, neighborhood and downtown revitalization and redevelopment is strongly desired. Candidates with a record of listening to and facilitating compromise and problem solving among competing stakeholder interests will have a distinct advantage. The city manager will be expected to effectively negotiate on behalf of the city with developers, neighborhood groups, property owners and other governmental and nonprofit agencies. Experience working for a similar sized municipal or county organization, or an organization of similar complexity in an executive and management capacity is important. A strong background in municipal budgeting, finance and strategic planning is also desired. A master’s degree in Public Administration, Public Affairs, Human Resources Management, Finance, or a related field is desired. To be competitive, candidates should possess a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible management experience as a department director or five (5) years as a city manager, assistant or deputy city manager, OR an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience may be considered. Residency within Clearwater city limits is required within 12 months of being appointed to the job. The starting salary for this position will range from $210,000 to $270,000, depending on the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. The City of Clearwater offers an outstanding array of benefits including 100% paid employee coverage for health, dental, life and disability insurance; 10 paid holidays; and, $600 per month vehicle allowance. Florida does not have a state income tax.
Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter and resume at https://bakertilly.recruitmenthome.com/postings/2860. This position is open until filled; however, interested applicants are strongly encouraged to apply no later than Thursday, April 29, 2021. Following the first review date, resumes will be screened in relation to the criteria outlined in the recruitment brochure. Applicants selected as finalists for this position will be subject to a comprehensive background and reference check prior to an on-site interview. For more information about this position, please contact Art Davis at Art.Davis@BakerTilly.com or 816-868-7042.
Confidentiality: under Florida’s Public Records Act, information from your application is subject to public disclosure at any point in the recruitment process.
The City of Clearwater is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and values diversity at all levels of its workforce.
Additional Salary Information: The starting salary for this position will range from $210,000 to $270,000, depending on the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. The City of Clearwater offers an outstanding array of benefits including 100% paid employee coverage for health, dental, life and disability insurance; 10 paid holidays; and, $600 per month vehicle allowance. Florida does not have a state income tax.
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