MANY VISIT FOR A WEEK, IT'S AN HONOR AND A PRIVILEGE TO STAY FOR A LIFETIME
A natural playground for water adventure. The emerald waters and pristine white sands are a highlight for travelers to explore. Whether you live for water-soaked adventures, unwinding on the white sandy beaches or spending time inland -camping, paddling down a river, shopping or enjoying the arts, Okaloosa County is THE place to be.
The recreational activities found in Okaloosa County, are the reason visitors come back year after year. The sustainability, quality of life, strong economy and attainable housing are the reasons we call it home.
When you're not offshore fishing the Gulf of Mexico, enjoying a shoreline picnic or enjoying the natural wonders of the area, you may find yourself watching (or even coaching) youth sports, participating in local business associations, golfing, playing tennis or even lounging at a neighborhood barbecue.
In addition to a myriad of activities tied to the Gulf in the south end of the county, many residents enjoy world class golf, shopping and entertainment. In particular, music lovers enjoy Concerts in the Village produced by the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation and the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra -the Emerald Coast's premier, fully-professional orchestra that performs at the magnificent $30 million Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College.
Meanwhile, a short drive north, visitors and residents will find a historic "All American" downtown in Crestview, plentiful fresh produce from the many family farms located in this region, craft
distilleries and miles of river rafting, canoeing and kayaking. Camping and hiking can be enjoyed in Blackwater River State Park and the Eglin Reservation.
Okaloosa County has twenty-four miles of sugar white sandy beaches. The sand is so white and the sparkling waters become as clear as a swimming pool, due to beautiful quartz crystal,
traveling and settling from the Appalachians. The sparkling sand, reflects the sunlight, creating that emerald-green hue on the water.
The municipalities making up Okaloosa County offer activities and benefits as diverse as our ecosystem from the beach to the forest and include the cities of Crestview, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Laurel Hill, Mary Esther, Niceville and Valparaiso and the towns of Cinco Bayou and Shalimar.
The purpose of Okaloosa County Government is to be responsive to citizens in providing an appropriate level of accessible services on a cost effective basis. Critical County values include the following: continual improvement of infrastructure; health, safety, and wellbeing of the citizens; preservation of natural resources; responsible economic development; leadership; and stewardship.
The County Commission consists of 5 individuals elected countywide. As a group, they provide a good cross section of the County with two from the more rural north and three from the more urban south. They are extremely proud to have the third lowest County tax rate in the state at 3.83 mills. As a group, the Commission has diverse backgrounds and operate collegially and come together on large and small projects alike. Different than some communities, as Deputy County Administrator, you and your department heads will often work directly with Commissioners on issues, sometimes at different stages in the process ranging from project initiation all the way to implementation, in support of the County Administrator.
The Okaloosa County 2019 population was estimated at 207,115. Labor Force: 104,320. Median Age: 36. Bachelor's Degree or higher: 30.66%. Median Household Income: 65,140. Commute Travel Time: 22 minutes. Housing: 81% more households own their home rather than rent. https://florida-edc.org/okaloosa-county/demographics
Summer High: the July high is around 91 degrees Winter Low: the January low is 40 Rain: averages 66 inches of rain a year Snow: averages O inches of snow a year https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/countylflorida/okaloosa The annual BestPlaces Comfort Index for Okaloosa County is 7.1 (10=best), which means it is more comfortable than most places in Florida.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Healthcare -Excellent Health Care choices with Quality Physicians, Private Practices, Medical Centers and Hospitals.
Real Estate -Okaloosa County provides vast opportunities in commercial and residential real estate. Its diversified characteristics meet the various needs of our growing community. Top 50 Best Performing Large Cities in America Milken Institute, 2018 Most Paycheck Friendly Places in Florida -Okaloosa #3 Smart Asset, 2017 Ten Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs -Fort Walton Beach #5 MoneyRates.com, 2016 Best Places for Veteran Entrepreneurs -Fort Walton Beach #10 USAA & Hiring our Heroes, 2015 Ten Smoking-Hot Small Market Economies in the South -Okaloosa #5 Southern Business & Development, 2015 https://florida-edc.org/okaloosa-county/quality-of-life
The Okaloosa County School District has achieved a larger share of 'A' rated schools than any other Florida County. Today, the Okaloosa County School District serves approximately 30,000 students and operates 33 neighborhood public schools. Recognizing that education must be a seamless process that keeps the interest of the student squarely in mind, OCSD has established partnerships with Florida colleges and universities to provide additional opportunities and challenges for students.
• The University of Florida and University of West Florida: pre-engineering course work for middle and high school students
• The Florida State University College of Medicine and West Florida Area Health Education Center: science and math instruction for students starting in seventh grade
• Embry Riddle Aeronautical University: university-level aerospace studies.
Okaloosa County, Florida, also identified as the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin MSA, is well known for its sugar white sands, emerald green waters and diverse ecosystems, home to wildlife and loved by residents for recreation and leisure. The community is far more than just fun and games.
Eglin Air Force Base, the world's largest Air Force installation, hosts the headquarters of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the 96th Test Wing and the 33rd Fighter Wing (F-35 graduate flying and maintenance training wing) among others.
With research and testing at the forefront of activities taking place at Eglin, numerous technology and defense contractors have located here -including renowned powerhouses Boeing, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and L3 Technologies. All benefit from a pro-business local government and award-winning public schools (including Florida's first STEM-focused middle school). https:// florida-edc.org/okaloosa-county/demographics
The Community is a super supportive of the military and is united in its overwhelming sentiment for our troops. Eglin Air Force Base is by far the largest employer of the County between military personnel, defense contractors, and support services accounting for 78,757 jobs or 72% or the local economy. In addition to the billions of dollars in direct spending the economic churn is multiplied two more times in community economic impact. The military base is the County's largest land owner and is an agency the County works closely with for lease and operating agreements, training, mutual aid support, and other similar agreements.
THE DCA POSITION
The DCA position serves as one of two deputies reporting to the County Administrator. The other existing DCA oversees most of the operational departments. This position oversees most of the administrative and support departments. While these assignments could change, it is important for the organization the two DCA's and the County Administrator work together in tandem to carry out the policy objectives of the Board. The Bios of the current incumbents for County Administrator and two Deputy County Administrators are available on the County's website.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
The position will face several challenges early on. Aside from learning the county, challenges include the County securing and implementing a new HRIS system, power DMS (Administrative Policy program), unionization efforts, automating benefits enrollment, insurance, pay issues and reviewing/updating many of the counties policies and procedures as needed. Additionally, health and property insurance increases and natural disasters will add to the challenges of any candidate.
Businesses thrive in an environment with favorable tax and regulatory climates that offer bright, talented people the opportunity to innovate.
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate will be a leader and a professional with a proven experience record, preferably in local government. The candidate will be a self-starter and a strategic thinker who develops a culture of excellence that encourages personal growth and creativity. Working with elected officials and the County Administrator, the Deputy County Administrator will help take the county to the next level.
The ideal candidate will be achievement-oriented and a consensus builder -approachable and easy to talk to. The individual will understand the past, but will look forward towards the future and be able to convey that message. The candidate will be candid and straightforward, someone who is comfortable Working in a local government environment.
Additionally, candidates must have excellent communication skills, listen carefully, and be comfortable talking to anyone and acting as a positive ambassador for the County. The individual will recognize the importance of outstanding customer service. The competitive candidate will be able to lead by example, know how to work with people, and resolve problems in a timely manner. The DCA is expected to learn new areas assigned, research items thoroughly, and be an organizational problem solver.
The candidate will be a collaborative leader who builds and maintains constructive relationships with staff, as well as with the elected officials. A competitive applicant will have high expectations for their staff and hold them accountable and be a mentor who is available to assist when there is a problem. The individual will have an appreciation for technology and how it can maximize the County's resources.
The ideal candidate will have a friendly manner, calm demeanor, and a quick, analytical mind. The individual will be progressive in mindset toward governance. A successful candidate for the position will have a demonstrated track record working to improve policies and procedures and reject apathetic decision-making on the part of others. The rational for all processes must be sound and the staff should understand it. At the same time, the manager will value processes and systems that are working well and not make changes simply for the sake of change.
The Deputy County Administrator will have a good command of risk management, human resources, insurance, IT, employee benefits and be fiscally conservative. Experience with coastal environments, and Florida counties is highly desirable, as is expertise in intergovernmental relations. The candidate will be able to deal effectively with the press if necessary. Ideally, the individual will be knowledgeable of coastal community issues and tourism.
A bachelor's degree in public administration or a closely related field is required and a master's degree is preferred.
Ten years of local government experience with at least three (3) in supervisory/management or an equivalent combination of education, training or experience. Experience in a Florida local government is desirable but not mandatory.
The starting salary range is from $120,000-$157,000 annually. Salary will depend on qualifications and experience. Benefits are competitive and are provided as a separate allotment. This County participates in the Florida
The Deputy County Administrator is required to be a resident of Okaloosa County within 6 months.
PREVIOUS DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR
The prior Deputy County Administrator will retire this year after serving 38 years with the county.
HOW TO APPLY
Please go to myokaloosa.com and fill out the application and short questionnaire. Ensure you upload your cover letter resume and references.
Questions should be directed to Ms. Brianna Henderson at (850) 689-5878.
In Florida, once a candidate has forwarded a resume/application, it is a public record and subject to disclosure.
For additional information about the County visit myokaloosa.com.