City Administrator - Milan

Milan, Michigan, United States | Full-time

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The City of Milan, Michigan is seeking a local government leader with a proven record of accomplishment. The previous City Administrator recently accepted a similar position in another Michigan community after serving Milan for more than four years in two positions. On November 2, 2021 voters in Milan will select a Mayor and three Councilmembers to join three current Councilmembers beginning January 1, 2022. The newly established group of elected officials, along with the new City Administrator, will be in a position to confirm a vision to carry the community and the organization into the third decade of the 21<sup>st</sup> Century.

 

COMMUNITY

Milan is an historic community, established as a home-rule Village in 1885 and recognized as a City in 1987. Located on the U.S. Highway 23 corridor, 15 miles from Ann Arbor and 35 miles from Toledo, Ohio, Milan has a strong sense of place for those who value tree-lined streets, historic neighborhoods, excellent schools, community festivals and a commitment to families. Recently named one of the best places to raise a family in Michigan by Niche.com, its 6,043 residents enjoy more than 200 acres of public parks, a downtown listed on the National Register of Historic Places, safe streets, and a connected community moving forward.

 

The strongest employment sectors are educational services, health care and social services, manufacturing, finance, insurance, real estate, food service, and retail trade. With its proximity to Ann Arbor, Toledo and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Milan is also an excellent choice for young professionals, working parents, empty nesters, and retirees. It is a community where all benefit from the network of the village.

 

Nestled alongside Ford Lake, downtown Milan is noted for several significant structures, including the Community House (built in 1834) and the Friend Hack House (built in 1883). The downtown area also hosts several seasonal community activities such as concerts and holiday events. Recognized by the State of Michigan as one of its very few “Master Main Street” communities, the downtown has become a happening place with its Third Thursdays, Route 23 Craft Beer Walk, Let’s Chill Winter Fest, and Downtown Read A Round.

 

The City of Milan weathered the 2008 recession reasonably well and is poised to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with a renewed sense of optimism and a quest for renewed vitality. The next City Administrator will assume the management duties of a community “champing at the bit” to move forward.

 

CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES

Milan elected officials and staff, along with recently interviewed community stakeholders, have identified a series of issues that will be a priority for the next City Administrator and the community Council. Among them are:

 

Vison for the Future

As with many cities in the nation, the last several years have placed unprecedented demands on resident as well as private and public institutions. The Milan community is no different, and robust discussions are taking place around the community’s challenges and opportunities and how to take advantage of those opportunities in the next five to seven years. The election of a several new Council members and the employment of a new City Administrator offer the opportunity to revisit the current landscape and develop a plan for the future, on which the community and the municipal organization can agree to move forward in a unified manner.

 

Service Delivery

The City provides a broad range of services, many of which are well-delivered and appreciated by residents and property owners. However, as in any community, there are operations that could be tweaked to improve delivery, reduce costs, or simply address issues that have lingered in recent years. Among these are street maintenance, sidewalk construction and maintenance, traffic control and the maintenance of some vacant properties. The next City Administrator will be expected to review these issues and develop operating solutions to each.

 

Community Development

With limited land for additional industrial and commercial development, the next City Administrator will be expected to help the community evaluate its options and assist the Council in taking actions to strengthen the economic base. Areas of analysis and commitment will include:

  • Downtown development, which has been the focus of a strong Main Street program effort;
  • Corridor and industrially zoned development, which offer some immediate opportunities; and
  • Residential development and its impact on the overall property tax base.

 

Finances

Milan’s property taxes, while not the highest in the region, are in the upper range and are a continuing concern in the community. Its water and wastewater rates have also come under discussion following an engineering report addressing their operating and capital requirements, as well as utility debt service obligations. The next City Administrator will be expected to help the Council and community look realistically at these matters and bring financial knowledge and experience to address them.

 

ORGANIZATION

The City of Milan operates under the Mayor-Council form of government with a City Administrator who is appointed by the Mayor and whose compensation is established by the Council. The nonpartisan, at-large elections are held every two years, with the Mayor serving a two-year term and six Councilmembers serving four-year terms. Three Councilmembers are elected every two years.

 

The City Administrator is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the City. This includes administration, community and economic development, finance, human resources, information technology, parks and recreation, police, street and storm sewer maintenance, as well as contracted trash collection and water and wastewater plant operations. Fire services are provided by an area-wide agency in which the City of Milan is a contributing member.

The City has a general fund budget of $5.6 million, utility and special activity budgets of $6 million and strong fund balances totaling more than $3.3 million. The City has 40 full-time equivalent employees and maintains productive, professional relationships with its three recognized collective bargaining units.

 

THE IDEAL CANDIDATE WILL…

  • Have demonstrated the ability to work with and earn the respect and trust of his/her elected leaders, peers, subordinates, and community residents.
  • Have a commitment to getting things done in an efficient and effective manner and a proven ability to make things happen.
  • Be able and willing to assist the Mayor and Council in developing a cohesive vision for the future.
  • Be able and willing to evaluate issues and present his/her recommendations to address issues affecting residents and property owners in both the near and long terms.
  • Be an outstanding communicator across the organization and community, facilitating actions necessary to achieve success into the future.
  • Be able to support, develop and motivate staff to provide high-quality services to residents and businesses throughout the community.
  • Have demonstrated experience working with other jurisdictions, including the state and federal governments, to financially support operations benefitting the Milan community.
  • Be transparent in his/her dealings with Council members, subordinates, residents, and business owners, while understanding the importance of upholding the City’s reputation for honesty and openness in all governmental activities.

 

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

A bachelor’s degree in public or business administration or a related field is required, with a master’s degree preferred. Candidates should have a minimum of five years of successful local government experience as a city manager/administrator, assistant city manager/administrator or department director in a large organization. Significant experience in project management, communications, economic development, municipal finance/budgeting and utilities is recommended. Candidates who bring an array of local government management experiences are encouraged to apply for this outstanding career opportunity.

 

EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS AND COMPENSATION

The next City Administrator is anticipated to be selected in early January and should be available to begin his/her duties the first full week in February. Residency is not required but preferred within six months of appointment. The City expects to enter into an employment agreement with a negotiated base salary and an attractive, competitive fringe benefit package.

 

HOW TO APPLY

Interested candidates should submit their resume, cover letter, and contact information for five work-related references

The application period will remain open until this position is filled.

 

Questions regarding this opportunity should be directed to:

Mike Casey, Partner

Management Partners

mcasey@managementpartners.com

703-732-1542 (Direct Line)

 

Please indicate in your cover letter whether you are requesting confidentiality under the Michigan Open Meetings Act. The City of Milan is an Equal Opportunity Employer.