As we look for our new City Manager, we need to critically review the job responsibilities and skill sets which are needed for our community.
We have looked at other cities around the state and have come up with a possible template that we welcome community input.
1.1 Monte Sereno Overview
The City of Monte Sereno (“City”), California was established in the early 1900’s as a rural agricultural
community. The area was dotted with ranch houses, orchards, dairies and livestock, and the mountain
slopes of the southern portion of the city contained summer homes, recreational properties and a few
large estates. The beauty and tranquility of the area attracted artists and writers looking for a peaceful
and inspirational place to pursue their craft. A few of the City points of interest are the home in which
American author John Steinbeck wrote the Grapes of Wrath and the site of the Billy Jones Rail Road.
Unlike many other cities in Santa Clara County, Monte Sereno did not form on a crossroads or from an
historical village. Consequently, a commercial core never developed in the City, leaving Monte Sereno
strictly residential. Monte Sereno was incorporated in 1957, is approximately 1.6 square miles in size,
and has a population of about 4,000 residents. The City’s annual revenue is typically $4 million and
maintains a conservative positive general reserve.
Monte Sereno is a General Law city, comprised of a council-manager form of government. The City
Council has five members who are elected at-large to overlapping, four-year terms. The Council
Members themselves elect the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore for a term of one year. The City Council
meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm in the Monte Sereno City Council
Chambers at City Hall and the selected City Manager should anticipate attendance at all City Council
1.2 An Incredible Opportunity
The City Council of the City of Monte Sereno is conducting an executive search for an experienced
administrative officer to serve as the next City Manager. This is an outstanding opportunity for an
engaged professional to provide leadership, strong management, and transparency to a well-resourced
city with a talented staff. This executive-level career opportunity encompasses the full range of duties as
well as deals with an elected body and a community that welcomes and celebrates diversity. In addition
to handling regional issues, local topics revolve around community values and quality of life issues
specific to preserving community character and promoting environmental sustainability, enhanced
mobility, quality public services, and community safety.
The pathway for success in Monte Sereno will require a City Manager who is skilled in facilitating public
discussion and delivering City services with a high degree of planning, transparency, resident
engagement, fiscal responsibility, and quantifiable results. Additionally, proactively following pending
and future legislation, and at times, influencing legislation and proactively developing mitigating
measures on behalf of the elected body, especially those policies that impact the community, is of major
concern to the City Council.
1.3 The Office of the City Manager
The City Manager is an appointed position and serves at the pleasure of the City Council. The City
Manager is the chief administrative officer of the City, administering local government projects and
programs on behalf of the City Council. The City Manager serves the Mayor, City Council, and the
community by delivering public services effectively and efficiently.
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The City provides services to its residents either directly or by working with other agencies. It is through
these partnerships that the City is able to provide high quality services that are economically efficient.
The City directly provides administrative services, building permits/inspections, planning/design reviews,
engineering/public works, city clerk/election services, and finance.
The City’s dedication to improvement has created an environment where residents are encouraged to
visit City Hall in person, send written correspondence, and attend and speak openly at City Council
meetings to express their views – and many do this regularly on a variety of subjects.
The City Council has recently amended the guidelines related to placing “Future Agenda” items on the
City Council agenda to streamline and encourage public discussion early in the policy development
process. The City Manager is expected to proactively track these Future Agenda Items and facilitate and
schedule Councilmember agenda topics prior to each City Council meeting.
The City Manager must also be an effective and transparent manager with respect to strategy, budget,
and work planning; setting and measuring success metrics; efficient processing and tracking of resident
reported issues; soliciting resident feedback through city-wide and service-related surveys; and publicly
reporting weekly status and quarterly operations performance.
City Council meeting proceedings are video recorded for broadcast on KCAT public television and audio
recorded for posting on the City website. Transparency and openness continue to be important
elements that the community not only expects but demands in all aspects of city government, including
the City Manager and the City Staff.
2. SCOPE OF WORK
2.1 The Ideal Candidate
The City Council is seeking candidates who have strong communication, interpersonal skills, and public
relations skills in order to more effectively address a wide-range of community concerns while also
providing strong leadership to staff in an organization that values a culture of diligence, collaboration,
and cooperation. Candidates who enjoy and embrace this high level of active community engagement
will be well received. Additionally, a commitment to inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability will
be a successful combination for this highly educated and culturally diverse community. Experience or
knowledge of council-manager form of government is also desired.
The City Council desires attracting professionals who reveal the following:
Leadership Attributes and Values:
• A proactive, visionary, and inspiring leader with a commitment to serve a diverse community
and establish trust and credibility with various stakeholders;
• A professional with a collaborative spirit who works well in a team environment;
• A skilled relationship builder and effective communicator, listener, negotiator, and consensus
builder who is naturally engaging and comfortable working across all areas of the organization and
• An effective manager with the demonstrated ability for customer orientation, operational
excellence, fiscal prudence, and to empower and motivate others;
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• An individual who exercises a fair and equitable approach in dealing with the City Council, staff, and
• Someone who will develop a strong identification with the community, its citizenry, and its unique
Competencies and Personal Attributes:
• A well-rounded executive with a breadth of expertise in multiple areas of municipal government
or equivalent; successful experience in the areas of public works, financial management,
contract and employee relations, community involvement, and major infrastructure projects will
be of particular interest;
• An experienced professional who is action and results-oriented, functions well in a fast-paced
environment with high expectations, and displays a passion for good government and quality
• A business-oriented approach to local government combined with increased interaction with partner
• Values cultural sensitivity with a deep appreciation for diversity;
• A confident professional who displays sound judgment, strong character, and uncompromising
• An individual with a balanced approach to civic engagement, delivery of best-in-class City
services, leveraged interaction with partner organizations, and expanded support of elected
officials in local and regional endeavors.
Candidate must have a proven track record and ability to:
• Serve effectively as the administrative agent of the City Council;
• Provide proactive effective leadership, coordinate the activities of the municipal organization,
and oversee staff;
• Develop and administer City-wide goals, objectives, and procedures;
• Analyze and define problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed
actions, and implement recommendations in support of goals;
• Identify and respond to sensitive community, organizational, and City Council issues, concerns,
and needs; research, analyze, and evaluate new service delivery methods and techniques; and
• Prepare clear and concise administrative and financial reports; prepare and administer City
budgets; and make effective public presentations.
2.2 Opportunities and Challenges
Significant initiatives in the short-term and over the next few years that the City Manager and City
Council will need to address include:
• Continuous refinement and improvement of City operations and service delivery to the public
including defining and implementing best business practices, increasing transparency in all
aspects of city government, proactively soliciting resident feedback, and a more consistent
communication strategy that involves an enhanced use of social media;
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• Formulate viable options and obtain policy direction that is consistent with the majority of the
elected body for new State legislation that potentially applies a one-size-fits-all approach to
zoning and could adversely impact our City and its ability to regulate development locally;
• Continuing renewal of the City’s infrastructure, maintaining high quality streets, and improving
pedestrian and bicycle safety;
• Intensify on-going discussions, planning, and awareness for wildfire and emergency preparedness
to help assist with preparing our homes and neighborhoods to be more resilient in the event of a
• Facilitate further public discussion and possible enhancement of the Site and Architecture
Commission’s role to ensure that all land-use development types are overseen by a committee
of resident experts;
• Address on-going staffing needs (recruitment and retention due to high cost of workforce housing
and an extremely competitive market) in a fiscally sustainable way;
• Succession planning due to pending retirements and aging workforce; and
• Expand and build joint-use agreements and/or public-private partnerships to improve the quality of
life for all those who live, work, and visit Monte Sereno.
3. EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION
Experience: Prefer relevant municipal administrative experience or private sector equivalent. Experience
will ideally include high-level administrative and/or executive capacity involving responsibility for
planning, organizing, directing, and financing a varied work program.
Education: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required and major course
work in public administration, business administration, planning, or a related field is preferred. A
Master’s degree or other advanced degree is also preferred.
4. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
The compensation package will remain consistent with the high value placed on the level of
responsibilities for this executive position. A mutually negotiated employment contract will be
developed and reviewed on an annual basis.
5. RECRUITMENT PROCESS
This is a confidential process and will be handled accordingly throughout the various stages of the
process. Candidates should be aware that references will not be contacted until mutual interest has
Early submittals are strongly encouraged. Interested candidates should submit a compelling cover letter
and comprehensive resume no later than Monday, September 2, 2019 to the candidate coordinator:
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Coordinator Email Phone
Andrea Chelemengos email@example.com 408-354-7635
First review of resumes by the City Council will begin on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Appointment and
contract approval are anticipated to take place in September 2019. The start date for the City Manager
position will be at a mutually agreeable date.
The City of Monte Sereno is an Equal Opportunity Employer and celebrates diversity in both the
workforce and the community.
I. Create a strong partnering environment between residents, standing committees, city council members and staff.
A. Develop our “Green Sheets 2.0” for the next 15 years. What are the critical pillars in our community that we want to codify in our General Plan that will require a majority of residents agreeing to changing them?
B. Develop a resolution with City Council and Site and Architecture
C. Review Fence Ordinance
D. Air B&B or Short-Term Rentals Policy
E. SB2 Planning Grant objectives and implementation
1) Review and design of Architectural Standards
2) Consultant assessment and evaluation of city planning operations (get ahead of housing
bills)Quality Public Services
II. Fiscal Prudence
1. Profit and loss experiences are critical. Ideally private and public sector experiences are a plus.
2. Fiscal policies adoption and implementation (in process)User and regulatory fees city resource vs recovery methodology (fee study)
1. Monte Sereno City Employees Labor Union agreement/staffing (in process)
2. Employee Handbook/HR policies/procedures/performance metrics (in process)
3. Council Code of Conduct Policy
4. Online building permit system (ongoing)
5. iCompass meeting software/live streaming meetings (in process)
6. Annual review process for City Manager and City Attorney
7. Operational Excellence Plan
C. Community Engagement
1. League of Women Voters campaign recommendations
2. “Citizen of the Year” award program
3. Create resident newsletter contribution guidelines (just completed)
4. Increased communications with residents (ongoing)
5. Annual City Survey and resident service/feedback and implementation
6. Online resident issue tracking and corrective action process (ongoing)
7. Veteran’s Memorial
III. Enhanced Mobility
A. Transportation, pedestrian, safety, Safe Routes, Daves Avenue plan, streets, sign replacements
B. MS City Hall improvements, ADA improvements and community room
C. Traffic calming policy and implementation (in process)
D. No Right Turn sign on Ridgecrest (Saturday 10-3, May 20-Sept 10)
E. Continue Better Streets Program, pursue CPI from 70 to 75 (ongoing)
F. Internet capacity improved
IV. Community Safety
A. Fire Safety Resolution (align MS City Codes with neighboring jurisdictions, CWPP)
B. Continued Neighborhood Watch/Block Captains/CERT programs (ongoing)
C. “At risk” population identification and safety plan
D. Review of Emergency Operation Plan for enhanced preparedness (earthquake, wildfires, floods,
E. Flood prevention equipment (Noodles)
F. Adopt a Sewer Plan
V. Environmental Sustainability
A. Healthy Cities policies adoption
B. Pursuit of “Tree City” designation
C. Climate Change Resolution
D. LED Streetlights
One of the goals of the TTAGS group is to bring better transparency to all parts of our town governance. Up to this year, the criteria and metrics that our City Manager was analyzed for their performance has only been asked and reviewed by our 5 current City Council members. The residents and staff have largely been left out of the performance evaluation. If the City Manager has treated a majority (3 of 5) of these council members very nicely in the past year, the contract is very easily renewed. Input from staff, residents or committee members, rarely had a way to get their input into these performance evaluations. We want to change that this year and all future years, independent of the City Manager!
This year, 2021, we have been able to obtain legal permission from the Town Attorney of Los Altos Hills to see a copy of the performance evaluation questions that are submitted by our Town Council Members.
Help give City Manager performance Evaluations by completing the form below. This will be shared with Council Members during CM performance evaluation closed sessions before this June 30th 2021 renewal contract period. We invite LAH staff, residents, vendors, committee members or anybody who has interacted with our CM in the past is welcome to fill out out our CM performance evaluation form.