Flagstaff, Arizona Invites Qualified Candidates to Apply for City Manager
Flagstaff is the largest city in northern Arizona and is the regional center and county seat of Coconino County. The City of Flagstaff is nestled at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, which rise to 12,633 feet, and is surrounded by the largest ponderosa pine forest in the country. At nearly 7,000 feet, Flagstaff is one of the highest elevation cities in the United States, with an annual snowfall that rivals cities in upstate New York. The area is rich with cultural diversity, beauty, and history. Outstanding educational, recreational, and scientific opportunities abound. With a growing population of 72,000 within 65 square miles, Flagstaff is home to Northern Arizona University, United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station, and the world-famous Lowell Observatory and Museum of Northern Arizona.
Flagstaff’s residents have created a vibrant and welcoming feel for this beautiful mountain town full of ethnically diverse, passionate, educated, and intelligent people who love living there. Flagstaff is known in many ways – as a college town, a ski town, a mountain town and an outdoor town – all of which attract an interesting mix of people, in both the workforce and Flagstaff visitors. Indeed, the quality of life and small-town traditions in Flagstaff has been cited by many as what drew them to the community and why they stay.
Flagstaff is a multi-modal transportation community making it convenient for businesses to move products and residents to enjoy Flagstaff and the surrounding areas. The community is located at the junction of Interstates 17 and 40. The Flagstaff Pulliam Airport offers passenger flights and general aviation service. Amtrak serves the community from the historically restored train station downtown which doubles as a Visitor Center. Mountain Line transit serves the Flagstaff area and has an annual ridership of more than two million. Finally, the Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS) offers 50 miles of bicycle and walking trails.
Flagstaff is the regional, commercial and institutional hub of Northern Arizona where rural residents including thousands of Navajo Nation and Hopi residents come to shop, seek medical care, and conduct business. The community is also quickly establishing itself as a major city for medical device innovation and other science-related industries. Top non-governmental employers include WL Gore, Flagstaff Medical Center, Nestle Purina PetCare, Joy Cone, Prent Corporation, and Pepsi-Cola Bottling.
The Tourism and Economic Development programs are very important facets to our city’s economy and overall quality of life. Flagstaff receives over five million visitors per year. Flagstaff is known as the ‘Destination for all Seasons’ as we experience all four seasons, offer amenities and attractions for all ages, and are only 80 miles from a natural wonder, The Grand Canyon. Flagstaff has a vibrant business community with a great mix of corporate and locally owned businesses as well as a program that grows entrepreneurship through the use of two facilities; Business Incubator and Business Accelerator (28,000 square-feet). The Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET) and the City of Flagstaff partner to help run the facilities and programming. The Business Accelerator is a state-of-the-art facility which has wet labs, suites, offices, co-working space, and manufacturing room.
Flagstaff’s four-season climate provides for cold winters, mild summers, and low humidity. The opportunity to play in Flagstaff with an average of 288 days of sunshine each year is the ultimate perk for those who live and work in this scenic university town. The moderate four-season climate provides for year-round recreation opportunities such as hiking, biking, climbing, skiing and visiting natural parks and monuments.
Flagstaff possesses a vibrant, cool, eclectic vibe while maintaining a small-town feel. The community boasts a year-round calendar of live music, performing arts, gallery exhibition events, and other amenities usually found only in larger communities. Entertainment ranges from traditional to cutting-edge. With more than 200 restaurants, numerous night spots, family-friendly events, and an overall beautiful setting, Flagstaff is a place that residents are proud to call home.
Flagstaff is a well-educated community with 44 percent of its residents possessing a Bachelor’s Degree or higher as opposed to the US average of 30 percent. The community is focused on quality education and research. STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education is a priority in the Flagstaff education community.
Northern Arizona University (NAU), a public research university with more than 31,000 students at various Arizona locations has approximately 22,000 students at its main campus in Flagstaff. NAU is especially well known for its education, forestry, hospitality, and business school offerings. The Coconino Community College is also in Flagstaff and has approximately 10,000 students.
The Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) is a K-12 has ten elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. FUSD offers the following specialized academies: Advanced Placement; Technology and Engineering; Expeditionary/Place Based Education; and Modern Language. FUSD students consistently score above state and national averages on standardized achievement tests. According to the U.S. News and World Report Flagstaff boasts two of the top ten charter schools in Arizona.
The first, BASIS Flagstaff opened in 2011 has been named by the Washington Post twice as one of “America's Most Challenging High Schools”. The second, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy (FALA) offers a transformative educational experience by developing leadership and cultivating academic excellence in the arts, sciences, and humanities.
To learn more about Flagstaff’s climate, homes, education, healthcare, arts and entertainment and relocation
visit the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce at https://www.flagstaffchamber.com/flagstaff/relocating-toflagstaff/ .
The City’s mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for all. The City of Flagstaff is a safe, diverse, just, vibrant, innovative community with a unique character and quality of life for all. The City fosters and supports economic, environmental, education and cultural opportunities. Team Flagstaff practices organizational values such as Teamwork, Accountability, Communication, Transparency, Excellence, Leadership and Integrity when delivering services to the Flagstaff community.
Recently when City employees were asked about what’s important for the next City Manager to know about the City Government they said:
“Working for the City of Flagstaff is like having a second family. People tend to look out for one another and genuinely care about each other.”
“What makes the City of Flagstaff organization stand out is how much the employees care about their service to the citizens.”
“I find that staff here are very engaged in their community. There is a supportive and friendly team environment that makes it rewarding to be here.”
The City has a home-rule charter and has operated under the Council/Manager form of government since 1958.
The Flagstaff City Council consists of seven members including the Mayor. The six Council Members are elected at-large to four-year overlapping terms. The Mayor is elected at-large for a two-year term. City Council practice has been that the candidate who gets the most votes in the Council election is appointed to a two-year term as Vice Mayor. The elections are nonpartisan and there are no term limits.
The City Council appoints the City Manager who serves as the City’s Chief Executive. There have been three City Managers appointed in the last 22 years not counting interim appointments. The City Manager has two principal deputies that oversee the City’s twelve divisions and sections. The City has an annual budget of $326 million, a five-year capital improvement budget of $302 million and 865 fulltime equivalent in personnel. The City’s fiscal year budget has received the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the past 24 years and the Certification of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 23 years.
The City is a full-service-plus organization that provides an airport, cemetery, convention and visitors bureau, and water, reclaimed water, water pollution control and storm water utilities in addition to traditional municipal public safety services such as police and fire.
Flagstaff Community Leaders have expressed the importance of City government addressing affordable housing, economic growth, strong leadership, and building relationships with other local agencies as seen in some of the quotes from a recent City survey.
“Flagstaff is more than a beautiful place. The people of Flagstaff make our town unique and special. There are different ideas of what Flagstaff is and what it should become. We are growing – but want to keep our small-town feel. But we also need to make sure we don't turn in to a resort town where locals can’t afford to live here.”
“Get a strong, mature leader who can build a solid staff team, build relationships with NAU, and work diplomatically with various community advocacy groups.”
The City Manager is responsible for administering the programs and policies established by the City Council and informing and advising the City Council on all City affairs. The City Manager presents a recommended budget to the City Council and implements the budget after Council adopts it. The next City Manager will have the opportunity to help the City Council:
- Guide the expansion of economic, educational, and cultural, opportunities and
- ensure the effective and efficient delivery of city services;
- Emphasize the importance of public engagement;
- Increase the inventory of affordable housing units;
- Better align City Council policy direction with the City budget;
- Increase City employee compensation;
- Develop and implement a cohesive multi-modal transportation plan;
- Expand Pulliam airport services; and
- Partner with local agencies to better address the needs of the homeless and transient populations.
The minimum job requirements are: 1) graduation from an accredited college or university with a degree in public administration, business, or management; and 2) extensive administrative and management experience that clearly demonstrates the candidate’s ability to lead a municipal organization; or any combination of education experience, and training equivalent to the minimum job requirements as determined by the City Council.
DESIRED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE, SKILLS AND PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES
- A visionary strategic thinker;
- Exhibits strong leadership skills and high emotional intelligence;
- An energetic high performer;
- The ability to make others feel appreciated;
- Displays humility and empathy when conversing with others;
- A solid track record of economic development successes;
- Financial management experience particularly with priority and performance based budgeting;
- The ability to stay connected with the community and City employees without becoming the face of City;
- The ability to manage in an environment with a high level of citizen engagement;
- The ability to empower those they lead;
- The ability to say ‘no’ when appropriate;
- The ability to encourage creativity, innovation, and use of technology;
- Data driven;
- The ability to effectively work with a highly qualified,
- cohesive, professional management staff without micromanaging them;
- Trustworthy with high personal and professional integrity;
- Optimistic and enthusiastic with a sense of humor;
- Works well with people of differing cultures and philosophies;
- Excellent writing, verbal, and listening skills;
- Interest in a long tenure as Flagstaff City Manager;
- Succession planning experience a plus;
- Knowledge of water rights and water reclamation a plus;
- Experience with a successful affordable housing programs a plus; and
- Experience in a growing community desired.
Below are some recent recognitions bestowed upon Flagstaff.
- First STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) community in America
- Business Insider named Flagstaff as one of “20 Best Towns in America”, 2017
- Outside Magazine named Flagstaff as one of “25 Best Towns in US”, 2017
- American Institute of Economic Research named Flagstaff as “#3 of Best College Towns in US”, 2017
- TurboTenant named Flagstaff one of “Top Four US Community College Towns”, 2017 USA Today named historic Downtown Flagstaff as one of “10 best Arizona Attractions”, 2017
- First “International Dark Sky City” Seven award-winning Flagstaff breweries have been honored by well-known rating services
The compensation for the City Manager job is competitive. The starting salary will depend on the selected individual's qualifications and attributes. In accordance with City policy, the City will reimburse the City Manager for certain moving expenses. The City Manager is required by charter to live within the City limits.
The City offers a comprehensive benefits package including membership in the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS), a 457 deferred compensation plan, and the choice of three medical insurance plans ranging in cost from 0-$128 per month for employee only coverage and $452-$750 per month for family coverage. Dental and vision insurance are available from the City at an additional cost.
LINKS TO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT FLAGSTAFF
Additional information about the Flagstaff community and City organization can be found at the following links.
- 2017-2019 City Council Goals: http://www.flagstaffarizona.org/councilgoals/councilgoals.html
- City Organizational Chart: http://www.flagstaff.az.gov/655/Organizational-Charts
- Budget Documents:
- Reports-Budget-DocumentsTransparency Portal:
- City Charter and City Code: http://www.codepublishing.com/AZ/Flagstaff/
- Flagstaff Regional Plan: https://www.flagstaff.az.gov/2936/Flagstaff-Regional-Plan-2030 .
- Team Flagstaff Strategic Plan: http://www.flagstaff.az.gov/3453/Strategic-Plan---Team-Flagstaff
If you wish to be considered for this position, please send your resume and cover letter with current salary to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Flagstaff anticipates selecting finalists for this position in early July with onsite interviews tentatively scheduled the week of August 6, 2018.
The City of Flagstaff is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or protected Veteran status. The City of Flagstaff encourages all qualified individuals to submit an application for this excellent career opportunity.