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County Administrator

Find Great People

This is a Full-time position in Chester, SC posted June 23, 2022.

About the Position

Chester County is seeking an innovative and passionate public servant to join the County as County Administrator, providing broad leadership to the County Government, and establishing himself/herself as a strategic advisor to County Council regarding current and future needs of the County. The Administrator will administer County policies as established by County Council, directing the personnel and activities of all County departments through department directors, managing the preparation of the County budget, serving as County spokesperson, and performing related administrative and supervisory work as required. The Administrator will ensure high quality services are delivered to citizens and that the agency is a responsible steward of the County’s financial resources.

The County is governed by six Council members elected from single member districts, with a seventh Council member joining County Council in January 2023. Chester County is transitioning to a Council-Administrator form of government in January 2023. The newly hired Administrator will be instrumental in ensuring an effective transition.

The ideal candidate will have prior local government leadership experience and will be skilled in budget management and long-term strategic planning. This candidate will have the ability to build trusting relationships with the community, Council, and staff and will be an effective communicator whose transparency encourages collaboration and engagement. Additionally, the ideal candidate will be energized about leading the County into a period of growth and transition, understanding the criticality of the work that will take place in the next few years.

Primary Responsibilities

Strategic Planning and Visioning

  • Oversees the strategic planning and visioning process for the County, working with County Council and other elected officials to determine long term needs/goals as well as strategies and coordinating action plans to achieve those goals.
  • Generate buy-in amongst County leaders by clearly communicating the established vision and each department’s role in implementing action plans required to pursue the County’s goals.
  • Evaluates all County services and develops policies and procedures to improve overall efficiency and service. Continuously monitors the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. Implements actions to improve services as approved by County Council.
  • Advises Council on analysis and trends of services as well as on growth trends that might affect the County; makes recommendations for change, as necessary. Works with County Council and other elected County officials to discuss recommendations for improving County services, operations, and programs.
  • Directs and coordinates short-term and long-range work planning to include goal setting, prioritizing, funding, monitoring, and reporting. Implements action items and establishes evaluation and accountability procedures.
  • Organizes special projects to address organizational, administrative, and management needs.

Operational and Financial Leadership

  • Directs and coordinates all operational and administrative activities of County government through leadership of department directors and other staff. Ensures department and division leaders understand all policies and procedures relevant to County services; Establishes regular communication and leadership team meetings to create alignment and compliance with adopted and approved policies.
  • Implements the directives and policies of the County Council; Enforces all directives, ordinances, resolutions, regulations of the County Council, and state and federal laws relevant to the County.
  • Establishes accountability measures and key performance indicators for County operations; works with the leadership team to evaluate progress towards established goals.
  • Leads during crisis situations, such as weather emergencies; advises Department Directors during emergency events. Ensures that personnel in all departments receive training for crisis situations and that emergency response teams are adequately equipped to respond.
  • Prepares annual operating and capital improvement budgets for submission to County Council; supervises the expenditure of funds appropriated by the Council.
  • Ensures appropriate internal controls are implemented to provide safekeeping of tax-payer funds, assets, and the maintenance of financial accounting records. Establishes accountability measures for department leaders regarding effective budget management.
  • Assists elected and appointed department heads regarding budget creation and presentation to meet program needs and requirements of planned services.
  • Collaborates with the Finance Director to ensure the completion of the annual audit.
  • Evaluates equipment needs and authorizes procurement of equipment with the approval of Council.
  • Manages capital improvement programs; gains an understanding of personnel, space, and equipment needs through collaboration with department leaders.
  • Appoints Department Directors and other members of County service who serve at the discretion of the Administrator. Employs, pursuant to positions authorized and the County Code, the personnel necessary to administer County functions and services.
  • Selects, employs, promotes, and supervises all department heads under his or her authority. Utilizes innovative methods to attract new talent and to retain existing talent.
  • Adjusts compensation levels per the County’s Personnel Policies and Classification and Compensation Plan. Keeps County Council abreast of the increasingly competitive talent landscape.
  • Coaches, mentors, and guides senior leadership staff, providing necessary training and support to accomplish goals set for their respective departments.

Community and Stakeholder Engagement

  • Serves as spokesperson for the County; represents the County to the news media and other county, city, and state agencies; coordinates County activities with those of other agencies and organizations as appropriate.
  • Manages the media response during emergency situations, ensuring that citizens are appropriately informed. Guides the development of media talking points and response to media inquiries during times of crisis.
  • Engages actively with the community by attending County and community events, establishing residence within the County, and deliberately seeking opportunities to understand the community needs and desires.
  • Invites public participation in the strategic planning, capital improvement planning, and other community planning initiatives.

Qualifications for Consideration

Education and Experience

· Bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration, or related field from an accredited college or university is required. Master of Public Administration is preferred. Preferred education requirements may be substituted for relevant experience.

· Local government experience at the executive level of Administrator, Manager, Deputy Administrator, Assistant Administrator, or Director of a large department for a county or municipality is required.

Required Expertise and Skills

· Expertise in local government strategic planning, budgeting, and management.

· Expertise in overseeing complex budgets and leading or participating in the budgeting process.

· Ability to lead in crisis situations and establish crisis management procedures.

· Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.

· Excellent decision-making and leadership abilities.

· Technical skills and the ability to quickly learn new software and technology tools.

· Ability to follow the SC Code of Laws relating to the powers and duties for the County Administrator under the Council-Administrator form of County Government.

Candidate will be required to obtain residency within Chester County within 6 months of hire.

To Apply

Interested candidates are asked to submit a resume and email of interest to Christin Mack, Manager of Public Sector Executive Search at Find Great People, at cmack@fgp.com. Please indicate “Application for Chester County Administrator” in the subject line. The deadline to apply is July 11th. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis by the FGP team with the final review conducted the week of July 11th. Interviews with County Council will begin shortly thereafter.

Candidates must meet the requirements above in order to be considered.

South Carolina FOIA laws require the release of the finalist’s names (at least three finalists). Confidential interest will be possible early in the process; however, candidates should be aware of the FOIA requirements as the process moves towards finalist selection.

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