Newport News, VA (pop. 181,958) seeks a visionary and highly competent local government leader with a track record of innovation and fiscal responsibility to serve as its next City Manager. The City desires professionals with a strong understanding of Council-Manager government and a broad knowledge base with the ability to lead a team of subject matter experts. Ideal candidates will possess experience in a comparably sized urban community with a diverse populace. Additionally, candidates should demonstrate a level of emotional intelligence, political savvy, and empathy sufficient to engage effectively with City Council and the public while maintaining a positive organizational climate and high morale within the workforce.
Situated on a peninsula within the Hampton Roads region, Newport News is the fifth most populous city in Virginia. The city has a strong economic base fueled by military related industries such as shipbuilding and aerospace. There are numerous historic sites and attractions dating back to the Revolutionary War and Civil War along with a variety of arts, culture, and recreation amenities.
Newport News has a FY2023 total budget of over $1 billion and 3,600 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions across all funds. As an independent city, it is considered a “county equivalent” with the authority of a consolidated city-county government, including allocating the budgets of Newport News Public Schools and constitutional offices such as the Sheriff and Commonwealth’s Attorney. Because of the breadth of services the City oversees, the City Manager must be comfortable managing complexity and collaborating with departments outside of their chain of command.
The City Council welcomed a new Mayor and three new Councilmembers elected in 2022. Among their shared expectations for the next City Manager is the desire for a candid, charismatic leader who will take a bold, metrics-driven initiative to position Newport News as a leader in the region. They should be able to represent City Council credibly and place a high priority on communication, to include proactive communication with Mayor and Council, regular engagement with the community, and effectively translating City Council policy and priorities to the workforce.
Newport News is a midsized city with big city needs. In addition to being fully built out, the city’s long and narrow geography presents unique challenges related to transportation, development, and service delivery. As such, some key issues that the next City Manager should expect to address include: 1) Shepherding the $300 million investment in the ongoing redevelopment of the Southeast community; 2) Identifying regional solutions related to homelessness, mental health, and public safety; and 3) Addressing staffing challenges and compensation in a competitive employment market.
Successful candidates will demonstrate competence in building coalitions with regional partners, leading change, and managing a multigenerational workforce. They will possess a collaborative leadership style and demonstrate an ability to balance data-driven decision making with decisive action.
Qualifications: Preferably a Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in public administration, business administration, or finance, and 10 years of experience in a senior administration/management role; or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. The anticipated hiring range for this position is between $230,000 and $270,000 DOE. Benefits offered include health, dental, vision, life, and short- and long-term disability insurance; retirement benefits through the Virginia Retirement System (VRS); deferred compensation, discounted fitness center memberships, and moving expenses. Residency within Newport News is required within one year. Apply by October 19, 2023, at www.GovHRjobs.com to the attention of Dele Lowman, Senior Vice President. Tel: (847) 380-3240.