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City Manager

Location:  City of Columbia, MO Download:  City of Columbia, MO - City Manager Brochure

City of Columbia, MO - City Manager 

Columbia is a diverse, vibrant and growing city located in central Missouri, 120 miles from both St. Louis and Kansas City, and 29 miles north of the state capital, Jefferson City. With an estimated population of 102,324, Columbia has seen a population increase of about 18.75% since the year 2000.

Much of Columbia's growth and character can be attributed to its strong college presence and the influence of medical, technology and insurance industries. Studies consistently rank Columbia as a top city in which to live for educational facilities, health care, technological savvy, economic growth, cultural opportunities and low cost of living.

Columbia is often referred to as "Collegetown U.S.A." because it is home to the University of Missouri, Stephens College and Columbia College. The city's nationally recognized public school system and educational institutions make Columbia one of the most well-educated cities in America.

Columbia's downtown, called "The District," offers an exciting mix of unique restaurants, specialty stores, galleries and coffee shops. The District has over 70 restaurants and bars to choose from and boasts over 45 live performances every week in an eclectic mix of venues, from renovated theaters to bluesy bars, aromatic coffee houses to state-of-the-art clubs as well as its beautiful historical architecture, sidewalk cafes and street musicians.

The award-winning Columbia Parks & Recreation Department maintains over 42 parks and recreation facilities on more than 2,400 acres including the 111 acre Stephens Lake Park in the center of the city, Twin Lakes Recreation Area, Rainbow Softball Center, MKT Nature & Fitness Trail, Martin Luther King Memorial at Battle Gardens, Nifong Park, Grindstone Nature Area and Capen Park along with numerous county, state and federal parklands located close by. Athletic and sports opportunities abound: golf, tennis, swimming, bowling, skating, football, basketball, etc. for participants as well as spectators.

Festivals are also popular activities and highlight the best of what Columbia has to offer for fun, family and cultural events. First Night®, Earth Day, the Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Airshow, Art in the Park, the Root 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival, the Boone County Heritage Festival and the internationally acclaimed True/False documentary film festival are just a few of the many annual events that Columbians, and others throughout the state, enjoy and love.


  • Forbes magazine ranked Columbia one of the "Best Small Places for Business and Careers" in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
  • Forbes magazine ranked Columbia 11th on its list of "Smartest Cities in America", 2008.
  • Money magazine placed Columbia on its list of "100 Best Places to Live", 2006.
  • ranked Columbia 24th in its list of "50 Smart Places to Live", 2006.
  • ranked Columbia 8th in the "Top 10 Places to Live" in 2006.
  • The Reader's Choice Awards published by Rural Missouri magazine ranked Columbia the "Best Town to Live" in Missouri, 2005.

The city of Columbia has a Council-Manager form of government. The City Council is composed of the mayor and six ward representatives. The council directly supervises the city manager, the city clerk and the municipal judge. The city manager is the chief administrator of Columbia and all municipal department heads report to the manager directly.

The city is divided into six wards, and each elects one representative to the council every three years on a staggered basis with elections held each April. The mayor is elected every three years as a council member at large.

The City Manager is appointed by and serves at the discretion of the City Council. The City Manager is responsible for the general administration of the City of Columbia, program coordination and development, preparation of City Council agendas, special staff reports, annual budget, and an annual statement of city programs and priorities. As Chief Administrative Officer, the City Manager is directly responsible to the City Council for all operations of the city as well as implementation of policies and programs adopted by the Council. The City Manager appoints all officers and employees of the City except for the City Clerk and Municipal Judge. Appointment of subordinates is generally delegated to the appropriate Department Director.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • The ideal candidate will have experience working in a university town or a growing community and have coordinated activities consistent with established goals, objectives and policies.
  • The ideal candidate will be fiscally conservative and have a strong background in finance. Knowledge of and familiarity with the budgetary process, innovative funding, and benefit and pension funding will be imperative.
  • The City Council will rely heavily on the expertise, judgment and recommendations of the City Manager so this individual must be able to keep council well informed to aid in their decision making process.
  • The ideal candidate will be a professional leader who inspires his / her staff to achieve excellence. He / she should have the ability to effectively delegate authority and responsibility while maintaining appropriate levels of operational control.
  • The candidate's background and experience should include exposure to all aspects of a full-service city and the capacity to understand municipal issues on a technical level and convey them to laypersons in a concise, articulate manner. Prior experience with utilities will be beneficial.
  • This individual should have experience in strategic planning and organizational development. Effective communication along with strong collaboration and team building skills will be necessary for this individual to be successful. A desire to work with the County, University, Colleges and public schools is important.
  • The successful candidate should possess experience in economic development and land use planning in order to support the continuous growth of Columbia, as well as to preserve and protect the natural environment and the character and history of the community and neighborhoods.
  • This individual should be comfortable addressing the media, community groups, and other audiences.
  • This individual will be an outgoing, visible leader with a genuine interest in actively participating in the community.
  • He/she will have political acumen and the ability to make firm recommendations and decisions based on professional judgment, employee input and experience.
  • He/she must be able to adhere to the highest ethical and moral standards and be able to practice and demonstrate transparency.

Education and Experience:
Interested candidates should possess a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited four-year college or university in Government, Public Administration, Business, or a related field. A Master's Degree is preferred.

Candidates should possess at least 8 years of experience within a government agency, preferably a municipal environment including at least 5 years of progressive supervisory and administrative experience. 

The City of Columbia 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:
Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: COLCM

Affion Public
20 North 2nd Street, Suite 200
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Fax: 717-214-2205


Deadline to apply: February 18, 2011

Posted: 03/22/2022