Deputy City Manager
Situated in northern Virginia, just across the Potomac River from the District of Columbia, the City of Alexandria is bordered by Arlington and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 155,000 residents and covering an area of 16 square miles, Alexandria ranks as the seventh-largest city in Virginia. It boasts a unique and historic character, undergoing significant urban redevelopment driven by the strong demand for urban living in a high-quality environment. While being part of a larger metropolitan area that includes the nation’s capital, Alexandria has managed to preserve its historical charm. About one-quarter of the City’s total area, equivalent to 16 square miles, has been designated as national or local historic districts. These districts house thousands of buildings that serve as both monuments to the past and vibrant spaces actively used by residents for residences, businesses, and museums.
The City is racially and ethnically diverse, with approximately one-quarter of the City’s residents foreign-born. Students at the City’s single public high school come from 88 countries and speak 69 languages. Overall, Black and African Americans comprise approximately 22 percent of the residential population, Hispanic or Latinos constitute over 16 percent, and Asians constitute almost 6 percent. In 1988, the City amended its Human Rights Ordinance by adding sexual orientation as a protected class. In 2001, it became the first city in Virginia to adopt a living wage ordinance for its employees and service contractors. Alexandria has one of the highest per capita incomes and one of the highest higher education attainment levels in the United States. Alexandria was founded almost 50 years before the District of Columbia.
In 2020 City Council unanimously passed the All Alexandria referendum with the goal of reducing and eliminating disparities and inequities experienced by City residents. The City’s Old and Historic District is the third oldest historic preservation district in the U.S. Historic landmarks include the recently opened Freedom House, which honors the lives and experiences of the enslaved and free Black people, Christ Church, where famous Virginians worshiped; and Gadsby’s Tavern, a meeting place visited by Lafayette and George Washington. In addition to its historic sites, Alexandria includes a variety of attractions. One of the metropolitan area’s largest concentrations of international restaurants can be found in Old Town. The Torpedo Factory Art Center, located on the City’s waterfront, provides an opportunity for the public to meet more than 200 professional artists. The City’s Farmers Market, at 261 years old, is the nation’s oldest farmers market that has been meeting continuously at the same site, Market Square. The City’s Del Ray/Rosemont areas offer beautiful tree-lined streets, eclectic shops, and various annual community events. The City’s West End is filled with vibrant neighborhoods and will be the site of a new Landmark Center, which will serve as a major residential, shopping, and dining attraction.
Alexandria is home to over 12,000 thriving businesses and organizations, which includes a significant representation of technology companies, the fourth-largest concentration of professional and trade associations in the country, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and a tourism industry that hosts nearly 3.3 million visitors and brings in over $700 million in visitor spending each year. A new headquarters for the National Science Foundation and its 2,100 employees opened in 2017, and Virginia Tech will open its innovation campus in Alexandria near National Landing, the site of Amazon’s second headquarters.
Alexandria has had a strong tradition of self-government since its founding in 1749. It is an independent city (Virginia cities have no county affiliation) and derives its governing authority from a Charter granted by the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, which means that local governments have only the authority expressly granted to them by the Virginia Constitution or by the Virginia General Assembly in the City Charter or general law.
The City adopted the Council-Manager form of government in 1922. The City's governing body is the City Council, which formulates policies for the administration of the City. The City Council is composed of a Mayor and six Council Members elected at-large on a partisan basis for a three-year term (not staggered). The Mayor is chosen on a separate ballot and presides over sessions of the Council. Legislative sessions of the City Council are held on Tuesday evenings twice per month except in August. Public hearings, which focus largely on land use and development decisions, are held on one Saturday per month when Council is in session, allowing citizens an opportunity to speak on matters that concern them, especially relating to land use. In addition, there are about 80 City Boards and Commissions with Council-appointed citizen representation. These bodies compose a formal system through which citizens can advise City Council on major issues. Boards and commissions are responsible to City Council, and Council makes appointments at their regular legislative meetings.
The City Council appoints the City Manager, who serves as the City’s CEO. The City Manager has appointment and removal authority over most City personnel. The City Manager is responsible for implementing the policies established by the City Council. The City Manager, James F. Parajon was appointed on December 1, 2021, after the retirement of City Manager Mark Jinks. The City provides a comprehensive range of municipal services, including land use planning, education, health, welfare, housing, and human services programs; public safety and administration of justice; community development, recreation, library, consumer assistance, cultural and historic activities, and transportation and environmental services. The City budget provides for approximately 2,400 full-time employees, excluding school employees. The City of Alexandria’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 approved All Funds Operating Budget is $ 839.2 million. The FY2023- FY2033 approved Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is over $2.7 billion.
The City of Alexandria, Virginia, is seeking an exceptional individual to fill the role of Deputy City Manager. As a dynamic and integral part of the leadership team, the Deputy City Manager will work under the guidance of the City Manager to lead the City government. This position requires a forward-thinking leader who can effectively contribute to the City's vision, alongside a team of motivated individuals dedicated to serving the residents of Alexandria that aim to develop and implement programs and strategies that enhance the vibrant community of Alexandria.
The Deputy City Manager will have the opportunity to work with a dynamic leadership team and provide guidance to a highly capable staff of over 2,700 employees. With an operating budget of approximately $884.3 million for the fiscal year 2024, the role will assist the City Manager in managing the day-to-day operations of the City Government. Serving as the Deputy Chief Executive, they will support the City Manager and directly supervise designated departments. The portfolio of specific departments will depend on the strengths of the selected candidate and may vary over time. The role will undertake the crucial task of establishing and maintaining strategic partnerships with City departments and key internal stakeholders. Additionally, a key priority will be to develop robust relationships with residents and elected officials.
This position demands an individual who is data-driven, possesses experience in program development, and exhibits a high level of proficiency in implementing strategic initiatives. The Deputy City Manager will effectively address the needs of residents, businesses of varying scales, and regional partners to foster the creation and preservation of the distinct and prosperous neighborhoods that define our city. The ideal candidate for this role should be an extraordinary team-builder and leader who is capable of organizing, managing, and directing the organization's services. Relationship-building skills, adaptability, and the capacity to work in a matrix organization where teams are prioritized are required of the perfect applicant.
The next Deputy City Manager will be required to deliver information effectively before employees, citizen groups, committees, and City Council. To do this, they will need to have exceptional oral/public speaking and writing communication skills. The Deputy City Manager will adapt their communication style to fit their audience to ensure the topic at hand is articulated clearly. The ideal candidate will understand when to approach problems entrepreneurially. It requires a practical attitude and a readiness to set an example.
The chosen candidate will possess impeccable integrity and a sincere dedication to treating all employees with respect. They should be always responsive to the organization's needs and maintain open and honest relationships both internally and externally. Furthermore, the desired candidate should be recognized for their proactive, forward-thinking, and innovative approach to workforce development planning. Managing a team responsible for handling intricate matters should be well within their capabilities, and they should exhibit curiosity and a bias towards action.
The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate for this role should be an extraordinary team-builder and leader who is capable of organizing, managing, and directing the organization’s services. Relationship-building skills, adaptability, and the capacity to work in a matrix organization where teams are prioritized are required of the perfect applicant. The next Deputy City Manager will be required to deliver information effectively before employees, citizen groups, committees, and City Council. To do this, they will need to have exceptional oral/public speaking and writing communication skills. The Deputy City Manager will adapt their communication style to fit their audience to ensure the topic at hand is articulated clearly. The ideal candidate will understand when to approach problems entrepreneurially. It requires a
practical attitude and a readiness to set an example.
Review and Evaluation of Qualifications
The City of Alexandria will give serious consideration to all qualified candidates that apply who have considerable supervisory experience, a solid understanding of technology, and a proven track record of success. The review and evaluation of qualifications will be at the discretion of the City, based on the most appropriate combination of experience, curiosity, and education that provides the knowledge, skills, and abilities required by the position and that fits the needs of the City of Alexandria.
The successful candidate will receive a highly competitive salary with an excellent executive benefit package. The salary range for this position is competitive and dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. In addition, benefits are provided, which include: annual leave, holidays, and sick leave; a retirement plan; health insurance, dental plan, life insurance, and long-term disability insurance; optional deferred compensation; credit union membership; sick leave bank; and an employee assistance program.
Minimum & Additional Requirements
Four-year college degree or equivalent experience is required. A minimum of five years of
relevant experience at the Department Head or Office Director level in local or state government, as well as in-depth familiarity with a variety of local government policies, programs, and procedures, and expertise in collaborating with a variety of stakeholders to find solutions to problems.
A master’s degree in a relevant field. Five years of experience as a deputy city manager,
deputy county manager, or in a position in local government that requires extensive program management and knowledge. Substantial knowledge of the theories and practices of local government management, or any comparable combination of experience and training that provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities. Substantial experience in project management or leading policy or program development. Extensive experience in involving
multiple stakeholders, including the general public, in problem-solving and negotiating solutions to issues.
How to Apply:
Interested individuals should be aware that Ralph Andersen & Associates has been contracted to manage this recruitment and will work closely with the City throughout this process to fully ensure as much confidentiality possible. References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. Candidates should apply by Monday, November 20, 2023. Interested candidates should email a compelling cover letter, comprehensive resume, and six professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org .