Sandy Springs, Georgia
- Division: Government
- JobID: 33037
- City/State: Sandy Springs, Georgia
The City of Sandy Springs, Georgia is seeking their next City Manager. Incorporated in 2005, Sandy Springs is the sixth largest city in Georgia and the second largest in the metropolitan Atlanta area.
Conveniently located in the perimeter of the Atlanta metropolitan area, Sandy Springs is home to over 106,000 residents and welcomes an additional 100,000 each day as they commute to employers in the area. The City has become a sought-after location for families and corporations alike who are seeking exceptional quality of life and easy access to amenities, public transportation, and entertainment.
City leaders are focused on building a strong sense of community and have completed capital projects and implemented programming designed to accomplish this goal. The City Springs development, which houses the new City Hall, a Performing Arts Center, an amphitheater, park space, and multi-use residential, retail, and dining developments, has become the hub for community building activities.
The unique location allows residents and visitors to experience the bustling metro area or to escape to the quiet banks of the Chattahoochee, all within the City’s 38 square miles.
The City also boasts award winning parks, walking trails, and recreational activities, all of which contribute to the exceptional quality of life experienced by its citizens. In fact, there are over 950 acres of parks and natural areas within the City. Visitors immediately notice the canopy cover and mature trees throughout the City and residential neighborhoods as well as the well-maintained sidewalks and right of way green spaces.
Evolving Public Private Partnership Model
In their efforts to effectively launch a new city government, Sandy Springs took an innovative public private partnership approach in which half of city employees were contracted through a private company partner, allowing the City to be more nimble than other similarly sized cities. This service delivery model caught the attention of cities around the world who were seeking alternative methods to serve their citizens. This model has evolved over time as the City matured, services expanded, costs increased, and community needs changed. Today, most services have moved away from the private partnership model with contract employees becoming full City employees in Public Works, Community Development, Information Technology, Communications, Facilities, Recreation and Parks, Municipal Court, and Economic Development. Despite that transition, the City continues to utilize the public private model for a variety of projects and services where the City needs additional capacity or capabilities.
Home to headquarters locations for some of the largest companies in the nation, Sandy Springs is well known for its business-friendly culture. Exceptional service such as timely inspections and plan reviews as well as the City’s infrastructure, access to the Marta public transportation system, and convenience to I-285 and GA-400, support the growing business community and 100,000 commuters arriving in Sandy Springs each day. In addition to a thriving corporate and small business ecosystem, the City is also home to a highly respected healthcare community and three large hospitals which represent 40% of the total available hospital beds in the metropolitan Atlanta area. More than 46% of the tax digest by property value comes from commercial properties in Sandy Springs, making the business community a vital contributor to City services.
Form of Government
The Mayor and six Council members hold the policymaking and legislative authority in Sandy Springs, and the City operates under a council/manager form of government. Council members represent six districts and are elected to four-year terms. The Mayor is elected at large and also serves a four-year term.
The City Manager maintains all administrative powers granted to the government under the constitution and laws of the State of Georgia and the City’s charter.
Rusty Paul, Mayor
John Paulson, Council Member, District 1 Steve Soteres, Council Member, District 2
Chris Burnett, Council Member, District 3 Jody Reichel, Council Member, District 4
Tibby DeJulio, Council Member, District 5 Andy Bauman, Council Member, District 6
The City provides a full range of services to include police and fire protection, the construction and maintenance of highways, streets, and other infrastructure, and recreation and cultural activities. Currently, the City employs approximately 500 full time employees and utilizes several third-party contracts to provide needed services to residents.
Total Revenue (2018) = $137,215,447
Capital Assets (2018) = $460,638,092
General Fund Balance (2018) = $43,266,561
AA+, Standard & Poors
Aaa, Moody’s Investor Services
Top Leadership Opportunities and Challenges
While the City has been successful in addressing traffic challenges by implementing Smart City technology such as Adaptive Traffic Signals, traffic will continue to be a challenge due to GDOT’s major construction projects being performed on I-285/GA-400. The City is also undertaking a significant paving program, addressing maintenance that is prioritized through an unbiased third-party assessment process. The City’s Public Works department will need to be innovative, forward thinking, and proactive as they continue to address traffic congestion.
In 2016, voters approved a T-SPLOST sales tax, allowing the City to collect approximately $87M over the course of 5 years for projects that will improve traffic efficiency, allow for construction of new sidewalks, and improve local intersections. Each of the T-SPLOST projects impact quality of life for residents and those employed by businesses within the City. As the projects continue, the City will need to be deliberate in its public outreach and communication, especially as budgets and priorities shift over time.
North End Redevelopment Project
City leaders are pursuing redevelopment of the North End district in hopes of transforming an area of the City that is still creating its identity. Currently, this area has not seen the same kind of private investment and transformation experienced by other parts of the City. With the landscape dominated by strip malls and low-density apartment complexes, this area has unique challenges to overcome. City leaders will need to employ significant community outreach and creative development strategies to create the vision for this area.
Performing Arts Center
With the opening of City Springs, City leaders are excited to offer programming that encourages residents to congregate in the City’s new community hub. The Performing Arts Center is a wonderful tool to support those efforts, but, like any new venue, profitability will take time. City leaders are working to better understand the desires of the community and the appropriate mix of performance offerings and are determining the most efficient management approach to ensure the success of the venue.
Community Engagement and Community Building
Because of its young age, the City continues to focus on building a sense of community so that residents identify as living in Sandy Springs. There is a great opportunity for this person to develop relationships with community stakeholders, City leaders, and business leaders to determine if the programming, recreation activities, events, and offerings at City Springs accomplish that goal.
The residents of Sandy Springs are highly engaged and participatory in community meetings and community events. They are invested in the success of the City and are proud of what has been accomplished in the last 14 years.
More information about Sandy Springs can be found at www.sandyspringsga.gov. Interested candidates are also encouraged to review the 2018 Year in Review published on the website.
City Manager Position Information
The City Manager serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of the City, directing operations of all City departments. The City Manager also advises and supports City Council in the conduct of City business, providing administrative oversight to the operational and policy functions of City government. In addition, the City Manager also provides administrative leadership to ensure that all City business, services, and programs are conducted effectively and that all laws and ordinances are enforced.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Works to continue and enhance the City’s reputation as a City that delivers exceptional services in an effective, efficient, and fiscally responsible manner.
- Directs the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of City policies and practices as prescribed by the City Council. Addresses the City Council on behalf of the City staff and represents the City Council to employees, community groups, and individual members of the public and other governmental agencies.
- Attends all City Council meetings and participates in discussions as necessary. Advises Council by providing necessary information, supporting data, and best practices on public policy issues.
- Oversees all departments and ensures that the goals and objectives outlined for each are achieved. Provides leadership to develop a high performing, customer service-oriented environment.
- Provides regular financial reports, project and program updates, and needs assessments to the City Council. Advises City Council on possible solutions to resolve any issues identified.
- Selects and hires department directors and assistant city managers. Collaborates with department directors to employ and to develop personnel needed to provide all required services. Evaluates, mentors, promotes, disciplines, or terminates department directors or other personnel as needed.
- Collaborates with direct reports to identify professional growth needs within their departments and provides resources for employee development or to address any departmental deficiencies.
- Enforces and administers revisions of the laws and ordinances of the City.
- Serves as a member of senior management on task forces and committees participating in strategic planning efforts and addressing citywide policy and management issues.
- Engages actively with the Mayor and the members of City Council to ensure alignment of priorities prior to the finalization and adoption of the City’s strategic plan. Creates awareness for community issues that should be addressed in the strategic planning process.
- Develops and implements work plans for each department, providing the framework to achieve the goals outlined in the City’s strategic plan.
- Prepares long-term capital improvement and capital financing plans.
- Ensures that the annual budget and long-term capital improvement plan aligns with the priorities established in the strategic plan; focuses the energy of staff on meaningful capital projects that add to the community’s already high quality of life.
Operational and Financial Oversight
- Oversees all activities, programs, and services including directing the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies, and procedures. Ensures established goals and priorities are achieved by utilizing appropriate monitoring and evaluation processes.
- Leads budget development activities. Collaborates with department leaders and the City’s finance officer to determine resource needs and to develop an annual budget for presentation to the Mayor and Council for approval. Leads budget realignment process, if necessary, with prior approval from the Mayor and Council.
- Determines salary and compensation of employees in accordance with the budget and the pay and classification plan.
- Delegates assignments to department heads in accordance with the general needs and services of the City or as suggested by various committees, commissions and civic groups.
- Reviews and evaluates service delivery methods and systems, including administrative and support systems and internal relationships. Identifies opportunities for improvements and implements changes to standard operating procedures to enhance services.
- Confers with department heads and managers concerning administrative and operational problems. Makes appropriate decisions or recommendations.
- Provides oversight for the management of all contracts. Collaborates with division leaders to evaluate contractor performance. Determines when contracts should be extended, renegotiated, or terminated.
- Represents the Mayor, City Council, and City Government in public relations activities as needed and directed.
- Engages with residents, taxpayers, businesses, and other individuals, groups and outside agencies having an interest or potential interest in affairs of City concern.
- Attends and participates in professional and community meetings as necessary. Researches trends relative to public administration and services delivery. Responds to sensitive and complex community and organizational inquiries and complaints.
- Establishes working relationships with representatives of community organizations, state/local agencies and associations, City management and staff, and the public.
- Oversees the communication strategy for the City to ensure the community and media are appropriately informed. Represents the City in the media when needed.
- Provides more direct leadership and communication for programs that are highly visible to the community.
Performs other similar duties as assigned.
- Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, or related field is required; Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Business Administration or related field is preferred.
- Eight (8) or more years of municipal government experience or equivalent public/private experience, including five (5) years of management and administrative experience, is required; Ten (10) or more years of municipal government experience or equivalent public/private experience, including six (6) years of management and administrative experience, is preferred.
- Experience managing and delivering major capital projects on time and within budget is critical.
- Skilled in utilizing innovative approaches to service delivery with experience and expertise in applying technology to achieve efficiencies and/or cost savings.
- Knowledge of personnel, budget, and related central services.
- Knowledge of the principles and practices of public administration, organization and functions of City government and current trends and recent developments in management, law and regulations regarding City management, City contracts for public services, budget, finance, and public personnel administration.
- Appreciation and willingness to lead with a strong sense of ethics and fair play.
- Comfort with public speaking and presenting to groups is required.
- Experience as a City Manager or as an Assistant City Manager is preferred.
Influential and Adaptive Leader
Demonstrate an entrepreneurial, high-energy, optimistic, and contagious passion for the organization’s mission, values, and services. Establish and preserve the reputation as a humble, authentic, and trusted leader. Model a willingness to adapt to new circumstances.
Strategist and Visionary
Identify opportunities for more effective delivery of services and clearly articulate a positive vision of the future to all stakeholders. Analyze policy trends, research continuous improvement strategies, review agency data, identify opportunities for creating efficiencies, and define evolving organization-wide standards and goals.
Municipal Management and Acumen
Possess a clear understanding of best practices needed to lead public service and community development activities that enable long-term, sustainable growth. Consider community needs in setting policies and ordinances related to planning, development, recreation activities, and public safety.
Diligently monitor standards/goals and hold each division accountable for reasonable performance, growth and change. Set expectations for department leaders and staff and evaluate effectiveness using performance measures that are communicated clearly and embraced by staff.
Provide clear and authentic communication to all levels of constituents (internal and external). Ensure proactive and comprehensive communication with the Council, employees, citizens, and stakeholders.
Talent and Team Development
Build and align high performing teams with a shared commitment to high-quality customer service, problem solving, and collaboration. Cultivate healthy relationships and trust among teams and stakeholders.
Engagement and Collaboration
Create a culture that encourages collaborative decision making and engagement across the organization. Develop policies and procedures that empower employees to express ideas and seek input and guidance from colleagues, the Mayor, Council, and community partners.
Sandy Springs has partnered with Find Great People, LLC to conduct the search. Candidates should apply by submitting a resume and cover letter to Christin Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who are interested are encouraged to apply by September 21, 2019.
Find Great People will work with a Search Committee to review submitted materials and to recommend a slate of semi-finalist candidates to be further considered for the position. The Mayor and the full Council will conduct interviews in October.
Find Great People will conduct a confidential process as interested candidates are evaluated and semi-finalists are interviewed. As required by Georgia law, when the Mayor and Council have determined the top three finalists, the names of those finalists must be released.