city with overly for city search banner

Application Window Opens for City Manager Position

Posted May 22, 2019 in Uncategorized by David Ball

For Hilliard’s first city manager, City Council will be seeking a skilled local government professional who is a strong and proactive leader, an excellent communicator, and committed to exceptional customer service and sound financial management.

Those are among the qualities identified while developing a search profile for the city manager, who is expected to begin work on Jan. 1, 2020. The profile was developed by Council and the Novak Consulting Group, which the City hired earlier this year to help with the search.

The completed search profile, which was posted online this week, was reviewed and approved by all members of Council.

Council members promised from the beginning of the process that the community would play a key role in helping determine the kind of person who should fill the role of Hilliard’s first city manager. The preferred qualifications in the profile are based on data from online surveys and focus groups that included both the general public and City staff members.

“The ideal candidate will make him or herself accessible throughout the community, engage and inspire staff throughout the organization, and establish productive working relationships with all members of City Council,” the search profile says. “The ideal candidate will be open and honest, skillfully balancing day-to-day service issues while staying focused on long-term strategic objectives.”

The City will transition from a mayor-council form of government to a council-city manager form of government at the beginning of 2020. That’s when a charter amendment approved by voters in November 2018 takes effect. (Read more about this change at

In January, City Council created a subcommittee of its members and City administrators to develop a hiring process that included contracting with Novak, an executive search firm that specializes in helping local government agencies fill key positions.

“The City Manager will be able to help Council come to consensus on difficult issues, guide Council and staff on changes needed in practice and policy for the new form of government, and develop sound systems to support the City’s government and service delivery,” the search profile says. “The ideal candidate will have experience working in a fast-growing community, supporting sound economic development that helps the residents and businesses thrive while addressing key infrastructure needs as well.”

Other desired qualities include:

  • Helps Council establish both short and long-term goals, promotes economic resiliency, and increases transparency throughout the organization.
  • Keeps Council informed of matters of importance, engages the community, and is able to explain complex issues effectively.
  • Is an approachable, collaborative leader who builds partnerships in the community and region, including Norwich Township (which provides fire services in the City) and Hilliard City Schools.
  • Helps the organization evaluate its practices and policies to ensure they align with best practices, support council-manager government, and help employees grow and develop so they can best serve the residents and businesses in Hilliard.
  • Is skilled at orienting elected officials and department directors to council-manager government and partners with them to help Hilliard continue to thrive and become a leading city in the region.
  • Possesses high ethical standards and provides Council with candid advice on difficult issues.
  • Has strong budgeting, human resources, economic development, community and intergovernmental relations, and technology skills.
  • Is able to bring best practices in local government service delivery and governance to Hilliard.

Council is seeking someone with at least seven years of local government experience with demonstrated leadership as a manager, assistant manager, or department director and experience working in the council-manager form of government.

Preferred qualifications include possessing a master’s degree, is an ICMA-CM, and has demonstrated success in economic development, building strong intergovernmental partnerships, technology improvements, and strategic planning and implementation.

Experience serving as a community’s first manager or administrator is also preferred but not required.