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Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Location:  City of Chester, PA Download:  City of Chester, PA - Chief Operating Officer (COO) Brochure

Chief Operating Officer 
City of Chester, PA  

The Community

Incorporated in 1682, Chester is located on the Delaware River and situated between the major business centers of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Chester offers easy access to I-95, the Commodore Barry Bridge to New Jersey, and the Philadelphia International Airport. Chester has a population of 33,982 and is the only City in Delaware County. 

Chester is one of the most historic and culturally diverse areas in the region. Chester is a city with a big heart and a strong spirit with numerous claims to fame including William Penn's first landing; the home of the original hoagie; Ethel Waters was born and raised in Chester; and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. studied and preached in Chester.  Major businesses such as Wells Fargo, Kimberly Clark, Harrah's Casino, Crozer Hospital, Widener University, and the Philadelphia Union have significant operations in Chester. 

Today, Chester is experiencing a major metamorphosis, making improvements for residents and businesses by way of housing, public safety, public property and recreation, and streets and infrastructure.  Chester is embracing the concept of the “City Beautiful Movement” in Vision 2020 and seeks to use it throughout future planning and development efforts. The City acknowledges that economic development is not only about creating new jobs, building new infrastructure, attracting more businesses, providing housing, and increasing the tax base, but also includes considerations for a high quality of life for residents. The City is striving to enhance its existing assets by expanding access to natural systems, building a sustainable and diverse economy, and creating an attractive place to live, work, and play. 

Government

Chester has a Mayor-Council government system consisting of the Mayor and four council members. Council members are elected at-large to serve the entire city and help administer the five municipal departments. 

The Position

The City of Chester is currently under receivership.  The City has been subject to Commonwealth financial oversight under the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act (Act 47 of 1987) since 1995. Chester is struggling with multi‐million-dollar deficits, past due obligations to its employee pension plans, and very marginal investments in the infrastructure that Chester residents and businesses use every day. 

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the City shall be responsible to the Mayor and City Council as a whole for the proper and efficient administration of the affairs of the City.  The COO will provide leadership, management, and vision to ensure that the City has effective people, operational controls and administrative and reporting procedures in place. The COO’s powers and duties shall relate to the general management of all City business not expressly by statute imposed or conferred upon other City Officers. 

Objectives of this Role

  • Collaborate with the Mayor and Council in setting and driving organizational vision, operational strategy, and hiring needs in the City
  • Translate strategy into actionable goals for performance and growth helping to implement organization-wide goal setting, performance management, and annual operating planning
  • Oversee City operations and staff productivity, building a highly inclusive culture ensuring team members thrive and organizational outcomes as set by the Mayor and Council are met
  • Ensure effective professional development, performance management, and retention of staff 


Essential Duties of the Chief Operating Officer

  • Analyze internal operations and identify areas of process enhancement
  • Develop actionable business strategies and plans that ensure alignment with short-term and long-term objectives developed in tandem with the Mayor and Receiver
  • Directly oversee operations, HR, and accounting, and partner with the Mayor on the budgeting process
  • Monitor performance with financial tracking and establish corrective measures as needed, and prepare detailed reports, both current and forecasting
  • Maintain and build trusted relationships with key customers, clients, partners, and stakeholders
  • The COO shall keep the Mayor and City Council informed as to the conduct of City affairs; submit periodic reports on the condition of City finances and such other reports as the Mayor requests and make recommendations to City Council as he/she deems necessary
  • The COO shall submit to the City Council, in accordance with the Charter and Third-Class City Code, a complete report on the financial and administrative activities of the City for the preceding year
  • All concerns regarding services or personnel of the City shall be referred to the Office of the Chief Operating Officer. The COO, or an officer designated by him/her shall investigate and resolve of such concern
  • The Chief Operating Officer shall keep a current inventory of all real and personal property of the city
  • Establish lines of administrative direction and control for all City Departments
  • The Chief Operating Officer shall maintain an Office in the City Municipal Building and shall spend such time in the performance of his/her duties as may be required. 


Education and Experience


Qualified applicants will have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in business administration, or related field and at 5+ years’ experience in executive leadership positions.  An equivalent combination of education, training, and experience that demonstrates required knowledge, skills, and abilities may be considered. 

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate should be a strategic, completion-oriented leader, who has excellent business acumen and a successful record of financial management.  The ideal candidate should be open to new perspectives designed to increase productivity and have a solid grasp of data analysis and performance metrics. 

The ideal candidate should be a collaborative leader with the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the Mayor, City Council, staff and citizens. The ideal candidate should be politically savvy with skills in contract negotiations and mediating conflict.  The ideal candidate must possess executive-level communications skills with the ability to resolve issues and build consensus among diverse stakeholders both internally and externally. 

The ideal candidate should have strong interpersonal and managerial skills, be an effective listener, responsive to input, and provide timely feedback. Excellent oral and written communication skills along with team building and conflict management skills will be necessary for this individual to be successful; advanced written/oral communication skills are imperative. 

Salary

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

How to Apply

Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to: 

resumes@affionpublic.com
Reference: CHESTERCOO
 

Affion Public
PO Box 794
Hershey, PA 17033
888.321.4922
www.affionpublic.com

**The deadline to receive resumes is April 07, 2022** 

 

The City of Chester is an equal opportunity employer. 

Posted: 03/21/2022