City of Monte Sereno
Issue Date: 8/6/2019
Final Application Date: 9/2/2019
1. POSITION OVERVIEW
1.1 Monte Sereno Overview
The City of Monte Sereno (“City”), California was established in the early 1900’s as a rural agricultural community. The area was dotted with ranch houses, orchards, dairies and livestock, and the mountain slopes of the southern portion of the city contained summer homes, recreational properties and a few large estates. The beauty and tranquility of the area attracted artists and writers looking for a peaceful and inspirational place to pursue their craft. A few of the City points of interest are the home in which American author John Steinbeck wrote the Grapes of Wrath and the site of the Billy Jones Rail Road.
Unlike many other cities in Santa Clara County, Monte Sereno did not form on a crossroads or from an historical village. Consequently, a commercial core never developed in the City, leaving Monte Sereno strictly residential. Monte Sereno was incorporated in 1957, is approximately 1.6 square miles in size, and has a population of about 4,000 residents. The City’s annual revenue is typically $4 million and maintains a conservative positive general reserve.
Monte Sereno is a General Law city, comprised of a council-manager form of government. The City Council has five members who are elected at-large to overlapping, four-year terms. The Council Members themselves elect the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore for a term of one year. The City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm in the Monte Sereno City Council Chambers at City Hall and the selected City Manager should anticipate attendance at all City Council meetings.
1.2 An Incredible Opportunity
The City Council of the City of Monte Sereno is conducting an executive search for an experienced administrative officer to serve as the next City Manager. This is an outstanding opportunity for an engaged professional to provide leadership, strong management, and transparency to a well-resourced city with a talented staff. This executive-level career opportunity encompasses the full range of duties as well as deals with an elected body and a community that welcomes and celebrates diversity. In addition to handling regional issues, local topics revolve around community values and quality of life issues specific to preserving community character and promoting environmental sustainability, enhanced mobility, quality public services, and community safety.
The pathway for success in Monte Sereno will require a City Manager who is skilled in facilitating public discussion and delivering City services with a high degree of planning, transparency, resident engagement, fiscal responsibility, and quantifiable results. Additionally, proactively following pending and future legislation, and at times, influencing legislation and proactively developing mitigating measures on behalf of the elected body, especially those policies that impact the community, is of major concern to the City Council.
1.3 The Office of the City Manager
The City Manager is an appointed position and serves at the pleasure of the City Council. The City Manager is the chief administrative officer of the City, administering local government projects and programs on behalf of the City Council. The City Manager serves the Mayor, City Council, and the community by delivering public services effectively and efficiently.
The City provides services to its residents either directly or by working with other agencies. It is through these partnerships that the City is able to provide high quality services that are economically efficient. The City directly provides administrative services, building permits/inspections, planning/design reviews, engineering/public works, city clerk/election services, and finance.
The City’s dedication to improvement has created an environment where residents are encouraged to visit City Hall in person, send written correspondence, and attend and speak openly at City Council meetings to express their views – and many do this regularly on a variety of subjects.
The City Council has recently amended the guidelines related to placing “Future Agenda” items on the City Council agenda to streamline and encourage public discussion early in the policy development process. The City Manager is expected to proactively track these Future Agenda Items and facilitate and schedule Councilmember agenda topics prior to each City Council meeting.
The City Manager must also be an effective and transparent manager with respect to strategy, budget, and work planning; setting and measuring success metrics; efficient processing and tracking of resident reported issues; soliciting resident feedback through city-wide and service-related surveys; and publicly reporting weekly status and quarterly operations performance.
City Council meeting proceedings are video recorded for broadcast on KCAT public television and audio recorded for posting on the City website. Transparency and openness continue to be important elements that the community not only expects but demands in all aspects of city government, including the City Manager and the City Staff.
2. SCOPE OF WORK
2.1 The Ideal Candidate
The City Council is seeking candidates who have strong communication, interpersonal skills, and public relations skills in order to more effectively address a wide-range of community concerns while also providing strong leadership to staff in an organization that values a culture of diligence, collaboration, and cooperation. Candidates who enjoy and embrace this high level of active community engagement will be well received. Additionally, a commitment to inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability will be a successful combination for this highly educated and culturally diverse community. Experience or knowledge of council-manager form of government is also desired.
The City Council desires attracting professionals who reveal the following:
Leadership Attributes and Values:
• A proactive, visionary, and inspiring leader with a commitment to serve a diverse community and establish trust and credibility with various stakeholders;
• A professional with a collaborative spirit who works well in a team environment;
• A skilled relationship builder and effective communicator, listener, negotiator, and consensus builder who is naturally engaging and comfortable working across all areas of the organization and the community;
• An effective manager with the demonstrated ability for customer orientation, operational excellence, fiscal prudence, and to empower and motivate others;
• An individual who exercises a fair and equitable approach in dealing with the City Council, staff, and citizens; and
• Someone who will develop a strong identification with the community, its citizenry, and its unique characteristics.
Competencies and Personal Attributes:
• A well-rounded executive with a breadth of expertise in multiple areas of municipal government or equivalent; successful experience in the areas of public works, financial management, contract and employee relations, community involvement, and major infrastructure projects will be of particular interest;
• An experienced professional who is action and results-oriented, functions well in a fast-paced environment with high expectations, and displays a passion for good government and quality public services;
• A business-oriented approach to local government combined with increased interaction with partner organizations;
• Values cultural sensitivity with a deep appreciation for diversity;
• A confident professional who displays sound judgment, strong character, and uncompromising integrity; and
• An individual with a balanced approach to civic engagement, delivery of best-in-class City services, leveraged interaction with partner organizations, and expanded support of elected officials in local and regional endeavors.
Candidate must have a proven track record and ability to:
• Serve effectively as the administrative agent of the City Council;
• Provide proactive effective leadership, coordinate the activities of the municipal organization, and oversee staff;
• Develop and administer City-wide goals, objectives, and procedures;
• Analyze and define problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of goals;
• Identify and respond to sensitive community, organizational, and City Council issues, concerns, and needs; research, analyze, and evaluate new service delivery methods and techniques; and
• Prepare clear and concise administrative and financial reports; prepare and administer City budgets; and make effective public presentations.
2.2 Opportunities and Challenges
Significant initiatives in the short-term and over the next few years that the City Manager and City Council will need to address include:
• Continuous refinement and improvement of City operations and service delivery to the public including defining and implementing best business practices, increasing transparency in all aspects of city government, proactively soliciting resident feedback, and a more consistent communication strategy that involves an enhanced use of social media;
• Formulate viable options and obtain policy direction that is consistent with the majority of the elected body for new State legislation that potentially applies a one-size-fits-all approach to zoning and could adversely impact our City and its ability to regulate development locally;
• Continuing renewal of the City’s infrastructure, maintaining high quality streets, and improving pedestrian and bicycle safety;
• Intensify on-going discussions, planning, and awareness for wildfire and emergency preparedness to help assist with preparing our homes and neighborhoods to be more resilient in the event of a natural disaster;
• Facilitate further public discussion and possible enhancement of the Site and Architecture Commission’s role to ensure that all land-use development types are overseen by a committee of resident experts;
• Address on-going staffing needs (recruitment and retention due to high cost of workforce housing and an extremely competitive market) in a fiscally sustainable way;
• Succession planning due to pending retirements and aging workforce; and
• Expand and build joint-use agreements and/or public-private partnerships to improve the quality of life for all those who live, work, and visit Monte Sereno.
3. EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION
Experience: Prefer relevant municipal administrative experience or private sector equivalent. Experience will ideally include high-level administrative and/or executive capacity involving responsibility for planning, organizing, directing, and financing a varied work program.
Education: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required and major course work in public administration, business administration, planning, or a related field is preferred. A Master’s degree or other advanced degree is also preferred.
4. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
The compensation package will remain consistent with the high value placed on the level of responsibilities for this executive position. A mutually negotiated employment contract will be developed and reviewed on an annual basis.
5. RECRUITMENT PROCESS
This is a confidential process and will be handled accordingly throughout the various stages of the process. Candidates should be aware that references will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established.
Early submittals are strongly encouraged. Interested candidates should submit a compelling cover letter and comprehensive resume no later than Monday, September 2, 2019 to the candidate coordinator:
Coordinator: Andrea Chelemengos
First review of resumes by the City Council will begin on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Appointment and contract approval are anticipated to take place in September 2019. The start date for the City Manager position will be at a mutually agreeable date.
The City of Monte Sereno is an Equal Opportunity Employer and celebrates diversity in both the workforce and the community.