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Portsmouth, VA (pop. 96,000) The City of Portsmouth seeks visionary, outcome-oriented leaders with strong communication and fiscal management skills. The City desires candidates with experience leading in racially diverse, urban communities of comparable size and who are committed to engaging with citizens, building consensus among stakeholders, and making steady progress toward the City’s goals. Like many municipalities, Portsmouth faces both major challenges and exciting opportunities, and the City is seeking an enthusiastic leader who is ready to do the work.

The ninth most populous city in the state, Portsmouth is situated along the Elizabeth River in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. It is home to the nation’s oldest shipyard and numerous other military, federal, health, and transportation-related employers and assets.

• Portsmouth is a full-service city with a 2021 General Fund budget of $254 million and an employee count of approximately 1,200 FTEs. The next City Manager will be expected to evaluate staffing and organizational structure in light of COVID-19 impacts and identify strategies to reinvest in infrastructure. Additionally, the City Manager will need to implement the newly-adopted collective bargaining law that goes into effect in 2021 and must be comfortable addressing recent racial tensions in the community with courage, empathy, and determination.

• The next City Manager should have a strong respect for the Council-Manager form of government and possess the political savvy to work effectively with City Council and other local and regional leaders. This individual should also be highly communicative, committed to enhancing the City’s public image, and willing to interact with the media as an ally to the City. The next Manager should also build on the existing collaborative practices within city government to establish a culture of accountability, innovation, and consistent customer service.

• While the City of Portsmouth was insulated from the worst financial impacts of COVID-19 due to its outsize reliance on property taxes, the City still faces financial challenges. Close to 50% of the City’s land is not taxable due to the presence of multiple federal and health facilities. This places disproportionate pressure on residents and limits the City’s ability to invest in all of its priorities. Promisingly, the City has a healthy reserve fund, and there are various economic development opportunities on the horizon. The next City Manager should possess requisite knowledge of economic development and municipal budgeting in order to help maximize the City’s revenues.

Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration, urban planning or related field along with at least 7 years’ experience in a senior executive position in a municipal or closely comparable operation, similar to the City of Portsmouth. A master’s degree in a relevant field is preferred. The starting salary range is $200,000 - $225,000 +/- DOQ. Residency in the City of Portsmouth is required within a reasonable time period. Apply by October 23, 2020 at to the attention of Dele Lowman Smith, Vice President GovHR USA, 630 Dundee Road, #130, Northbrook, IL 60062. Tel: 847-902-4110. The City is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Diversity and inclusion are particularly important to the City of Portsmouth. The City strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

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