City of Austin, TX

Chief Financial Officer

Location: Austin, TX
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Chief Financial Officer: City of Austin, TX

The Community:
The City of Austin is located in the central part of the Texas Hill Country and has a population of approximately 815,000.  It was chartered in 1839 as the capital of the Republic of Texas, and remained the state capital when Texas was admitted to the Union in 1846.  It is the 14th largest city in the United States, and is the cultural and economic center of the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Area with a population of more than 1.75 million.

In 2010, Austin was selected as one of the "10 Best Cities for the Next Decade" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and one of the "World's 30 Most Dynamic Cities" by The Atlantic magazine. The city placed high in various rankings for quality of life, innovation, "least stressed" and environmental stewardship.

Residents of Austin are typically known as "Austinites" and their official slogan is "The Live Music Capital of the World."  However, Austinites also embrace their unofficial slogan of "Keep Austin Weird," that refers to the eclectic and progressive lifestyle of many Austin residents. 

The city was founded as the Village of Waterloo in 1830, and was later renamed Austin in honor of Stephen F. Austin who is known as the "Father of Texas."  The Texas State Capitol was completed in 1888 and was advertised as the 7th largest building in the world at that time.  Today, the building remains a significant part of the Austin skyline and is, in fact, taller than the U.S. Capitol.  Since its incorporation as a city, Austin has doubled in size every 20 years.  

Austin has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters.  Though people often think of Texas as being dry - and Austin, too, experienced a drought in 2011 -- this is not the normal case in Austin, which is known for being green and for getting plenty of rain throughout the year.  Temperatures in the summer months average 90 degrees (June until September).  There are only 24 days when the minimum temperature falls below freezing.  The city averages 300 days of sunshine each year and about 33.78 inches of rainfall.  It rarely snows in Austin.

Politically speaking, Austin is an anomaly.  While Texas as a whole is hailed as a largely conservative state, Austin has the second highest liberal voting population in the entire country for a city of its approximate size.  Additionally, volunteering is extremely popular and Austin is renowned as the second-most charitable city in the nation. 

Austinites are very engaged and active in local politics and are extremely vocal about their likes and dislikes. They have high expectations for their public officials and are not afraid to voice their displeasure to the top levels of City management and/or the media. They also expect deep involvement and high visibility at neighborhood meetings, school functions, parades, community events, and a variety of other engagements, no matter how large or small.

As a result of its highly educated populace and its universities that bring in people from all over the world, Austin has developed a reputation as being a young and active cultural haven.  Uniqueness is celebrated and encouraged.  Partly due to the influence of the University of Texas at Austin and its school for radio, television and film, as well as an advantageous business climate and low-key celebrity culture, Austin has been the location for many motion pictures and television shows, including the recent television hit, "Friday Night Lights."  The city has taken advantage of this reputation and annually hosts the Austin Film Festival.

The city's nightlife and music scene are also a significant part of Austin's culture.  Many Austinites flock to the legendary Sixth Street to enjoy the nightlife and live music offerings, which are plentiful and varied on any given night of the week.

Austin has a thriving economy that is rich in technology, earning the city the nickname "Silicon Hills."  The City of Austin is one of the area's largest employers alongside the University of Texas, the State of Texas, the SETON Healthcare Family, Dell, IBM and Freescale Semiconductor.  Other high-tech companies with a presence in the city include Apple Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Vignette, Advanced Micro Devices, Sun Microsystems, Samsung and Intel. Additionally, Austin is rich in small businesses and is served by a strong network of independent, locally owned firms and organizations such as the Austin Independent Business Alliance. 

Government:
The City of Austin has a council-manager form of government. The City Council includes seven Council Members, including the Mayor. Council Members are elected at-large for staggered three-year terms. The Council Members' offices are in Austin City Hall.

The Council-adopted vision for Austin is to be "the most livable city in the country."  Toward that vision, City Manager Marc Ott has instilled in the workforce the ideal of being the "best-managed city in the country."  The City's values are reflected by the acronym PRIDE, which stands for:

Public service and engagement      
Responsibility and accountability
Innovation and Sustainability
Diversity and Inclusion
Ethics and Integrity

Position:
The Chief Financial Officer reports to the City Manager. The CFO position has the fiduciary responsibility for administering all financial proceedings of City government, except for the assessment and collection of taxes. The CFO oversees the operations of the City's Financial Services Department including the Budget Office, Controller's Office, Purchasing Office, and Treasury.

Duties, Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Maintain a general accounting system for the City government and exercise financial control over all offices, departments and agencies.
  • Certify as to the availability of funds for all expenditures. Unless the CFO certifies that there is an unencumbered balance in the appropriation and funds available no appropriation will be encumbered and no expenditure will be made.
  • Submit to the council through the City Manager a monthly statement of all receipts and disbursements in sufficient detail to show the exact financial condition of the city.
  • Oversee the development of fiscal budgets for all City of Austin departments.
  • Prepare, at the end of the fiscal year, a complete financial statement and report for City Manager submission to City Council.
  • Manage completion of City's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
  • Oversee the City's annual financial audit.
  • Attend City Council meetings; explain, justify and defend department programs, policies and activities; and negotiates and resolves sensitive, significant and controversial issues.
  • Participate in the City Manager's strategic planning process.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of inter-local agreements and practices and inter-local agency governmental budgetary practices.
  • Knowledge of public administration principles, including the basic principles of organization, management and budget preparation.
  • Knowledge of inter-local agency government purchasing laws and practices.
  • Knowledge of local, state, and city rules and regulations; basic laws, ordinances and regulations underlying a public sector organization and applicable county, state and federal legislation affecting municipalities.
  • Working knowledge of municipal bonds (general obligation, certificates of obligation, and revenue, etc.).
  • Knowledge of municipal investments and investment optimization strategies and techniques.

The Ideal Candidate:
The ideal candidate should possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university in Public Administration, Business Administration, Finance or a related field. At least seven years municipal financial management with at least two years in a senior management capacity, i.e. Budget Director, Director of Finance or Assistant Director of Finance is required; a CPA is strongly desired.

The ideal candidate will have experience in the areas of municipal accounting, budgeting, treasury, auditing, financial control and financial forecasting methods. In addition, this person will have experience working with multiple revenue sources, Enterprise Funds and Tax Increment Financing (TIF); experience working with utilities will be beneficial.  The ideal candidate will be a creative and innovative leader who has the ability to effectively make firm recommendations and decisions to City management based on experience and professional judgment.

This person will need to demonstrate superior management skills and have the ability to make strategic decisions pertaining to staff and procedures within the department.   This person should have the ability to effectively delegate authority and responsibility while maintaining appropriate levels of operational control.

The successful candidate should possess the capacity and interest to be an effective mentor and leader for staff; developing and strengthening relationships across departmental lines. This person must be able to set a positive example of competence, professionalism, energy and work ethic to the department.  Advanced written and oral communication skills are imperative for this position.

Salary:
The City of Austin is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Relocation assistance will be available for the successful out of area candidate.

How to Apply:
Applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:

resumes@affionpublic.com
Reference: AUSCFO

Affion Public
20 North 2nd Street, Suite 200
Harrisburg, PA 17101
888.321.4922
Fax: 717-214-2205
www.affionpublic.com

*Resume Deadline: January 31, 2012