City Manager

City of Grand Rapids, MI

Job Details

  • Job Function: Chief Administrator (City/County Manager)
  • Credential: No preference
  • Salary: $175,000 - $250,000. DOQ/E + Excellent Benefits
  • Position Type: Full Time
  • Population: 188,040
  • Where: Grand Rapids, MI
  • Form of Government: Council-Manager

Post Date: Apr 16 2018

Deadline: Jun 13 2018

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume on-line at This position is open until filled; First review deadline is Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Applications will be screened in relation to criteria provided in the recruitment brochure. The City Commission will consider offering interviews to those candidates named as Finalists, with reference checks, background checks, and academic verifications conducted after receiving candidates’ permission. For more information, please contact Art Davis at, or by calling 816-868-7042. For more information about the City, please visit us at Grand Rapids is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)!


(Starting salary range will be $175,000 - $250,000 DOQ/E; + Excellent Benefits)

A diverse and culturally rich community of 200,000 residents, Grand Rapids is seeking an experienced, collaborative and strategic leader to serve as its next City Manager. Grand Rapids is the 2nd largest City in Michigan and the economic engine for the western part of the State. Located on the Grand River about 30 miles east of Lake Michigan, Grand Rapids is the county seat of Kent County and has developed a reputation for creating an impressive quality of life. The City has been recognized a number of times, including, the #1 City to Raise a Family (Forbes – 2015), to the ArtPrize Festival being named Top Five Festivals Worldwide (Time Magazine – 2013). Grand Rapids provides a full range of services to a diverse group of year-round residents, students and visitors, and is home to 15 institutions of higher learning. Grand Rapids has a history of benefitting from strategic initiatives, including: supporting and encouraging investment into Downtown; embracing and promoting policies of social equity; encouraging ongoing support for the arts; and, promoting reinvestment into neighborhoods throughout the City.

The City is governed by a 7-member Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners is elected to four-year overlapping terms with a limit of two terms. The Mayor presides over the Board of Commissioners. The Board appoints the City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk and City Treasurer. There is a separately elected City Comptroller. The City Manager is responsible for an organization consisting of approximately 1,500 employees, 14 collective bargaining units, and a combined funds budget of over $450 million. Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree plus 10 years of increasingly responsible executive level experience in either a public or private sector organization. A Master’s degree in public administration, business administration plus additional advanced executive-level training is preferred. Experience leading and developing an executive level leadership team, including supervisory experience of professional staff, is required. Working for similar sized municipal organizations, or an organization of similar complexity, will be an advantage. An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.

The City is looking for a collaborative, strategic and innovative leader with strong communication skills. An appreciation for transparency, stakeholder inclusiveness, and an active citizenry is essential as is an individual who is ethical and trustworthy. A record of visibility in the community, and the ability to think strategically and remain focused on the City’s long-term goals is required. Proven ability to establish positive working relationships with community and regional partners is essential. The new city manager must demonstrate an ability to effectively communicate with the Board of Commissioners, employees and the community. The new City Manager must have outstanding interpersonal skills and possess the self-confidence and wisdom to listen to other points of view without being offended. This position requires patience, good instincts, excellent judgement, and the ability to say “no” when necessary. The new City Manager must be collaborative and have respect for community and organizational traditions, while at the same time, move the organization forward in a positive direction. The ideal candidate must be receptive to and embrace new technologies in an effort to promote innovation throughout the organization. The ability to remain neutral even in politically-charged situations is essential.