Lakeland, FL (pop. 110,000) The City of Lakeland is seeking a highly collaborative, progressive, innovative leader to serve as its next City Manager. Lakeland is a growing, complex, full-service city encompassing 75 square miles and strategically located between Tampa and Orlando along the I-4 corridor. The City is a racially and culturally diverse city that offers a small-town sense of community with big city amenities, a wide variety of recreational opportunities and a charming, thriving downtown. Lakeland has received national recognition as a Playful City USA Community, ranked sixth in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2019 list of Safest Places to Live in the U.S., and designation as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community, and Bronze Level Walk Friendly Community.
Lakeland is one of the fastest growing cities in Florida and since 1935 has been the Spring Training Home to the Detroit Tigers’ Baseball Team. The City is the headquarters for Publix Super Markets and home to five universities including Florida Polytechnic University which is the only Florida college or university focused solely on STEM education. The City operates Lakeland Linder International Airport, the Lakeland Electric Utility, an extensive library system, convention center, water and wastewater utilities and a full array of municipal services for its residents and businesses. The wide variety of parks and recreation investments include a 27 hole recently renovated community golf course as well. COVID-19 has impacted Lakeland’s businesses and non-profit organizations, and the City’s residents are working diligently to support them.
The next City Manager will lead a staff of 2100 full time and 200 part time employees and oversee a budget of $626 million. Several collective bargaining agreements cover employees in police, fire and utility operations. The City Manager is appointed by the Mayor and six-member City Commission, who serve as a combination of at large and district representatives. The Commission is a collaborative body, engaging one another, the public and the City staff in a respectful, approachable manner. The current City Manager is retiring after 23 years of service to the City, the last five as the City Manager.
The City is interested in candidates with growth management experience, with the ability to strategically plan and partner with the Mayor, Commission and City staff to lead Lakeland’s growth and development. In recent years, the City has attracted and negotiated agreements with Amazon Air for a 220,000 square foot cargo facility at the Lakeland International airport (the first flight occurred on July 23, 2020); the location of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hurricane Hunters operation also at Lakeland International airport; and the construction of a 135,000 square foot office building for the headquarters of Summit Insurance in downtown Lakeland which broke ground in March 2020.
The City Manager will ideally have at least seven years’ experience in a senior executive position in a full-service city of similar size or larger and complexity to Lakeland. Experience in a City that operates an electric utility is valued. The City Manager must be a people person – a highly communicative, approachable leader who genuinely enjoys engaging with the community and the employees in the municipal organization The ability to listen, facilitate discussions among competing interests and address short and longer term challenges in a collaborative, strategic and innovative manner are extremely important. Experience in complex municipal budgeting and finance is important.
The next City Manager must possess a Bachelor’s Degree in public administration, business administration, urban planning or related field. A Master’s Degree in a relevant field is preferred. The starting salary range is $196,000-$215,000 +/- DOQ. Residency in the City of Lakeland is required within a reasonable time period. Apply by September 4, 2020 to www.GovHRjobs.com to the attention of Heidi Voorhees, President GovHR USA, 630 Dundee Road, #130, Northbrook, IL 60062. Tel: 847-902-4110. The City of Lakeland is an Equal Opportunity Employer.