Progressive, Diverse, Wake County Community Seeks Assistant Town Manager
If you like serving your community, if you like working with highly competent people, if you like solving challenges in a collaborative way, and you are effective in strategic leadership, the newly created Assistant Town Manager position in Morrisville, NC, needs to be on your career radar. This second Assistant Town Manager position will be focused primarily on development and infrastructure and will be responsible for providing leadership for the Town’s efforts in areas such as engineering, planning, public works, stormwater, inspections, sustainability, and code enforcement. If you have the passion and skills to join a Senior Leadership Team that is highly regarded by its community, this position could be for you.
The portfolio of the new Assistant Town Manager in Morrisville will include varied departments and functions with overlapping responsibilities; therefore, leadership and collaborative aptitude are critical. The Assistant Town Manager will also play a key role in working with and supporting local and regional partners and the development community on projects that will help to realize the Town’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan, the recently updated Land Use Plan, the Strategic Plan, and to accomplish key internal projects.
Morrisville has been one of the fastest-growing and most diverse towns in North Carolina and was recognized as an All-America City by the National League of Cities in June 2021, one of only ten communities nationwide to earn this recognition. Morrisville was also rated by Niche.com as the No. 1 best place to live in North Carolina in November 2021. In 2020 Money magazine ranked Morrisville as the number 10 Best Place to Live in United States and in 2019 WalletHub.com ranked Morrisville the No. 3 Best Place to Raise a Family in North Carolina. These are just a few of the accolades the Town has garnered in recent years.
Since 2000, Morrisville’s population has ballooned from 5,000 to over an estimated 32,000 residents as of September 2021. The Town’s demographics include approximately 46% Asian Indian, 35% white, 10% African American, and 9% other and two or more races. 74 % of the population is over age 18 (Source – April 2020 U.S Census). The Town and the community are committed to diversity and inclusion for all residents, businesses, and visitors. The Town maintains a focus on cultural awareness and celebrating the cultural diversity of our community.
Morrisville is a community of approximately 10 square miles with limited ETJ for expansion. The Town is expected to reach full population growth of approximately 35,000 residents in the next 3-5 years. The Town has approximately 450 strategically located acres remaining for new development, likely to be primarily commercial and multi-use oriented; a transition to redevelopment opportunities will be part of our exciting future.
“Live Connected. Live Well.” is the Town’s ideology and philosophy. When surveyed, residents communicated they value the connection they feel when in the Town - the connection they have to global businesses, opportunities, parks, and open space, and most importantly, to each other. Morrisville is a place to gather together, talk with neighbors, and engage with Town leaders. It is a warm and welcoming community. The community embraces small-town ideals with the conveniences and amenities of a metropolitan city available in Town or within easy access nearby.
The idea of living connected and living well guides the Town’s decision-making processes in all areas and has been the catalyst for infrastructure improvements to roadways, greenways, and recreational facilities. Town residents recently approved the issuance of $37M in bonds ($8M for Public Safety, $17.3M for Parks and Open Space, and $11.7M for Transportation and Related Infrastructure). The first issuance is planned for early 2022.
The Town is currently managing several projects related to infrastructure, innovation, parks, and open space, and multi-modal transportation. Future projects include (but are not limited to) the Town Center project to create a downtown and destination in Morrisville, Transit-Oriented Development tied to the implementation of bus rapid transit and light rail connectivity, and the McCrimmon Parkway Extension subarea. Many of these projects, and identified bonds projects, will fall under the purview of the new Assistant Town Manager.
Morrisville is located adjacent to North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park – a national hotbed of technological development, hosting over 250 companies and 50,000 workers. The Town’s economy is based on highly skilled professional and technology industries, and a population that is diverse, affluent, and highly educated. As a result, the local median household income is now $102,000, almost twice the state average of $54,000. The Town is close to both Raleigh and Durham for access to amenities found in those larger cities. The Town is conveniently located within ten minutes of the Raleigh Durham International Airport, has immediate access to Interstates 40 and 85, and is expected to be home to a transit station for a regional light rail system.
People stay in Morrisville because of the superb quality of life. The Wake County Public School System provides excellent schools to Morrisville families, including the addition of the Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies scheduled to open this Fall on the Wake Technical Community College campus in Morrisville. Wake Technical Community College also offers traditional college courses at the campus.
About the Organization:
The Town of Morrisville is governed by a seven-member Town Council utilizing the Council/Manager form of government. Town Council sets the policy and direction; the Town Manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization which consists of a team of 215 employees, not including part-time and seasonal staff, across 11 departments. With AAA bond ratings from bond rating agencies and excellent stewardship of tax dollars, the Town is regarded as a fiscally responsible and well-managed government. The FY2022 approved budget is $41.5M. The property tax rate is $.36 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The strategic focus of Morrisville is guided by the community vision established in the 2017 Connect Morrisville Strategic Plan and renewed in the 2021 update to the plan. The six strategic goals for Morrisville are: Improved transportation mobility; Thriving livable neighborhoods; Engaged, inclusive community; Public safety readiness; Operational excellence; and Economic prosperity. A 2017 citizen survey indicates that 97% of residents think Morrisville is a good or excellent place to live. The Town is in the process of conducting another citizen survey for updated feedback. The Town also relies on its Comprehensive Transportation Plan, Land Use Plan, and other policies adopted by Town Council to guide our work.
About the Position:
Reporting to the Town Manager, the Assistant Town Manager serves as a key member of the Town Manager’s senior leadership team. The experience and credentialing of the successful candidate are equally focused on both technical and leadership skills. The portfolio for this position includes functions such as engineering, planning, public works, stormwater, inspections, sustainability, and code enforcement. Overseeing a budget of approximately $12M and a committed and competent staff of approximately 60, the successful candidate is an energetic, proactive collaborator and coordinator of people and tasks with excellent interpersonal, project management, and operational skills.
The Assistant Town Manager must be able to lead multiple complex and time-critical projects and initiatives through creative problem-solving and solutions-based outcomes. Responsibilities will include leading and/or supporting the capital projects through various stages while ensuring collaboration across departments and community stakeholders to achieve positive results that are aligned with strategic priorities. This will also require working collaboratively with residents, businesses, and the development community and utilizing creative thinking, problem solving, and leadership to navigate and, whenever possible, to proactively address challenges that arise in external projects.
The successful candidate will have a proven track record in community engagement and experience with bringing a series of well-functioning individual departments under a common vision of delivering effective and efficient service to residents, businesses, and the development community. The new Assistant Town Manager will embrace the opportunity to collaborate with those in the community seeking to support smart growth aligned with the Town Council’s vision and the Town’s Strategic Plan.
The new Assistant Town Manager must also be an effective contributor to a strong Council-Staff partnership with a commitment to goals identified and supported by the community. The new Assistant Town Manager must also be able to work collaboratively with the Town Manager and the Senior Leadership Team.
• Works closely with the Town Manager and the Senior Leadership Team to ensure ongoing coordination and collaboration on implementing the Town’s strategic goals, Department goals, and capital projects;
• Proactively communicates and engages with a diversity of stakeholders including residents, businesses, regional and community partners, members of the development community, staff, department directors, and Council members in a manner that promotes the values of transparency, accountability, and understanding;
• Works with members of the development community to ensure appropriate and consistent support is provided to external projects. Seeks feedback to ensure efficient and effective Town processes as they relate to the development community and their projects.
• Demonstrates stewardship of infrastructure needs (e.g. intersection improvements, paving projects, Morrisville’s Smart Shuttle, sidewalks, and stormwater) and Capital Improvement/ Construction projects that support the Town’s strategic plan;
• Ensures the application of systematic and strategic project management principles to Town projects. Identifies metrics, action plans, and scope management while applying sound decision-making and judgment to ensure delivery of project outcomes on time and on budget.
The successful ATM candidate will have education equivalent to a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, appropriate professional certifications, and progressive experience in local government management with a minimum of five or more years of management responsibility. An MPA, MBA, or other related master’s degree is strongly preferred. Extensive experience in engineering, inspections, planning, and/or public works is required. Prior NC experience as a Town Manager, Assistant Town Manager, or as a director of development-related departments in a small to medium-size community is highly desirable.
The next ATM will be an energetic, proactive collaborator and coordinator of people and tasks possessing excellent interpersonal, project management, and operational skills. There must be a proven track record of working effectively within the Council-Manager form of government, leading talented and committed staff within their portfolio areas, working with leadership and the community to manage the challenges of rapid growth effectively and consistently with Town values and the Town’s strategic plan. Success working with a diverse and participatory community, regional partners, and the Council to carry out strategic priorities is essential.
The Successful Candidate:
• is a progressive leader with a proven track record in innovative municipal management;
• is realistic, practical, and proactive in goal setting for staff, departments, and projects;
• applies long-term, visionary perspective and strategic approaches to both projects and operations;
• is skilled in leading cross-functional teams using a collaborative, team-based style to resolve complex problems and capitalize on opportunities with creative solutions;
• cuts through the jargon of complex topics to make essential information about Town projects accessible to all stakeholders;
• is knowledgeable of principles and practices of public administration to include planning, administration and supervision, and preparing and implementing proposals which affect the operations of Town government;
• is knowledgeable of the practices of the planning for and the operations and maintenance of public infrastructure and development services, or has the interest and ability to learn to ensure effective supervision of these areas;
• demonstrates the ability to promote department alignment and cohesiveness in support of effectiveness and efficiency for shared work while also recognizing and representing the views and perspectives of those departments;
• has an excellent track record in establishing and maintaining working relationships with diverse internal and external stakeholders such as Town staff, Council Members and other public officials, business and community leaders, the development community, and the general public through demonstrated community engagement;
• is decisive and willing to make decisions while keeping key stakeholders informed;
• is keenly analytical and a critical thinker while being accessible and personable;
• commits to the highest level of customer service and community collaboration by routinely seeking stakeholder input to effectively achieve Town goals;
• possesses executive-level skills in interpersonal and written communications and presentations to a variety of stakeholders, strategic planning, critical thinking, administration, and intergovernmental relations;
• is knowledgeable of the practices of budget development and implementation for operational budgets and capital budgets;
• effectively cultivates an outstanding workforce through development and management of staff talent;
• thrives in a high accountability culture to ensure that the Town continues to meet and exceed the expectations of community members and employees alike; and,
• proactively monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures against performance metrics.
Salary and Benefits: The hiring range for the position is $150,000 - $165,000 depending on qualifications. The Town of Morrisville is recognized as a high-quality employer that values and supports its employees. Information about the Town’s generous benefits (including but not limited to flexible work schedules – including remote work, paid time off (PTO) beyond other paid leave, and contributions to a 401K) can be found here. As a condition of employment for all positions with the Town of Morrisville, full COVID-19 vaccination is required unless an eligible medical or religious accommodation is requested and approved.
To apply, please go to http://www.developmentalassociates.com and click on the Assistant Town Manager – Morrisville link on the left side of the home page. All applications must be fully completed listing your time in each position and submitted online via the Developmental Associates application portal – NOT the Town portal, nor any other external website; it is not sufficient to send only a resume but resumes and cover letters should be uploaded through the portal. To learn more about the selection process, visit Client Openings (or copy and paste into your browser: https://developmentalassociates.com/client-openings/).
Candidates should apply by January 31, 2022. Finalists will participate in virtual interviews and skill assessments on March 3-4, 2022 which will require 3-4 hours of time on those days, not including preparation. Interviews with the leadership team will follow at a subsequent time in person (projected to occur the week of March 7-12). All inquiries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Morrisville is an Equal Opportunity Employer.