City Manager Applications Expected to Being Rolling In

The City Council unanimously approved a planning document at Tuesday evening’s Special Council meeting that will be distributed to potential city manager applicants and will mark the beginning of the long-awaited application process.

The Council voted 10-0, with Councillor Chris Cataldo absent, after having met individually with members of the search firm, the Collins Center, over the past month to craft the seven-page document. A second reading on the document was waived due to the time constraints on the process after having missed several meetings due to snow. The document was originally supposed to come before the Council on Jan. 26.

The document states that all applications and salary requirements will be due on March 15.

“This is not a learning position,” read the document, under a heading of ’The Ideal Candidate.’ “The city manager will need to embrace Chelsea’s diverse cultures as an asset in shaping the City’s future. Chelsea seeks a city manager willing to commit to a tenure long enough to build a multi-year approach to ensure the sustainability of the City’s finances and service levels…Chelsea needs a city manager who can help set the stage for community-wide approaches to addressing the City’s needs; approaches that produce sound collaborative outcomes that circumvent polarization.”

The qualifications outlined in the document include a Bachelor’s Degree, with a preference for those with a Master’s Degree. It asks for at least five years prior experience as a city or town manager or assistant city or town manager or the equivalent public or private sector level experience.

“Experience as a highly visible leader in a public sector organization governed by an elected body is desirable,” it read.

The document also outlined eight challenges for the next manager, including Building on the Foundation, Maintaining a Positive Management-Labor Climate, Financial Planning and Service Delivery, Communication Skills, Public Safety, Public Education, Building a Management Team/Staff Development and Morale, and Public Role.

Under the Communication Skills category, the document outlined that the next manager must be comfortable in dealing with Chelsea numerous diverse cultures.

“The city manager must be skilled and comfortable serving as a major public spokesman for the city,” it read. “Equally important, the city manager must actively engage the many diverse constituencies within the city. Chelsea is a ‘Gateway City’ with a high proportion of the City’s population foreign born. The city manager must be able to engage a multiplicity of groups, gain an understanding of their needs and ensure that the City’s services effectively respond to those needs. The city manger must also be able to engage the members of the City Council in an ongoing dialog about the critical issues that face the city.”

On Public Safety, “The city manager will need to work closely with the City Council, police chief, residents, community groups, and other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure that the City remains vigilant and proactive in combatting criminal activity and continuing efforts to reduce overall crime…The city manager will have the opportunity to appoint a new leader for the fire service free from the constraints of the Massachusetts Civil Service system.”

Under the section outlining several personal characteristics the Council desires, was one about how the new manager will work with others.

“The city manager cannot be a micromanager,” it read. “He or she needs to delegate, while maintaining strict accountability. As the City’s chief executive officer, the city manager must be direct, facilitative and unambiguous.”

For those interested in applying, the Collins Center will be accepting the applications and prefers them to come electronically. A resume with a cover letter addressing job requirements should be e-mailed to [email protected] Please combine all documents in a single file and include ‘ChelseaCM’ in the subject line. A PDF format it preferred.

More information is available at www.umb.edu/cpm.

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