The Mayor and City Council seek to recruit a new City Manager due to the resignation of the current City Manager (formerly retired) who served since October 2017. The City has been served by four City Managers over the past thirty-three years. Mary Esther is a charming, friendly costal community approximately 37 miles east of downtown Pensacola, nestled on the northwest coast of Florida, and totals 1.5 square miles along the Santa Rosa Sound in Southern Okaloosa County. It has a population of 3,900 with a small-town residential atmosphere, the Central Commercial Core; is anchored by the Santa Rosa Mall and complimented by several restaurants and fast food outlets. The City prides itself on delivery of quality services, with a moderate property tax rate.
Mary Esther operates under a Council/Manager form of government. The City Council is vested by Charter with policy-making and legislative authority. The Council is made up of the Mayor and five-voting Council members, elected on a non-partisan basis with staggered 4-year terms. The Mayor serves a two year term and has no voting authority. The City Manager serves at the pleasure of the Council and is the Chief Administrative Officer. The Manager has oversight of city departments including Law Enforcement (provided under contract with Sheriff), Utilities, Finance, Municipal Library, Facility/Parks Maintenance, Planning/Zoning/ Building Permits/Code Enforcement and Cemetery Services. Fire/Rescue service is provided under contract with Special District staffing; housed in City Fire Station Facility. The City Charter and Code information on the City Manager may be found at:
Major challenges the new city manager is expected to address include economic development that is compatible with the small-town character of the community, improving infrastructure as it applies to water, sewer, stormwater and roads; encompassing commencement of a $30MM capital infrastructure rehabilitation project beginning in FY 2019/20.
The City Council will provide a competitive salary and benefits. Starting salary will be $105,000-$125,000, depending on qualifications. The City Manager is required to live in or, with Council approval adjacent to the City. All candidates are subject to a full background check and include a credit report. No internal candidates for the job are anticipated.
More information is available in the City Manager Position Profile which can be found at:
NOTE: Under Florida Law, all information and document submitted are public records and will be provided to the press and /or others upon request.
The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with a major in administration, management or related field and relevant experience as a city manager or assistant manager. A Master’s Degree is preferred but not required. The successful candidate must be able to foster effective council relations, have strong administrative skills, maintain positive community and intergovernmental relations, support economic development and revitalization and understand the Florida open meetings and public records laws. Traits looked for by the Council are good judgment, effective decision-making skills, and integrity. Keeping current on City projects and updating the Council is essential. Treating others with respect and dignity, and possess a working knowledge of municipal finance, human resources, public works, public safety, and community development are highly desired.
Additional Salary Information: Generous benefits package with details to be negotiated through employment contract.
About City of Mary Esther
Mary Esther is a small, quiet coastal community nestled on the northwest coast of Florida between Pensacola and Panama City. Mary Esther has a comfortable, casual and laid-back atmosphere that invites people of all ages to enjoy the beach and other areas of natural beauty. The mix of small shops and restaurants provide the opportunity to shop and dine during both the day and evening. There is also fishing, golfing, tennis, and boating. The community is resident focused and boasts one of the largest military installations in the country, Eglin Air Force Base including Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) at Hurlburt Field.
According to the US Census Bureau, Mary Esther had an estimated population of 3,951 as of July 1, 2018. Of those, 19% were over 65, approximately 78% of the population is White, 12% Black or African American, and 9% are Hispanic or of Latino origin. The neighboring city of Fort Walton Beach, population 22,284, is home to 3,032 veterans.
Almost 56% of housing is owner-occupied and the median value of those housing units is $166,800. Over 76% of the households have a broadband Internet subscription and 90% of residents are over 25 years old with a hi...gh school diploma or higher; and over 25% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Mary Esther operates under a Council/Manager form of government. The City Council is vested by Charter with policy-making and legislative authority. The elected body is comprised of a Mayor and five Council members. The councilmembers are elected on a non-partisan basis with staggered 4-year terms, while the Mayor, who has no voting or veto authority, is elected every two years. The City Manager serves at the pleasure of the Council and is the Chief Administrative Officer. The Manager has oversight of city departments including Police (Sheriff’s Office Contract), Utilities (consisting of Water & Waste Water, collection, conveyance, and treatment plant operations – under Contract with Jacobs Engineering, Inc.) Finance, Library, Planning/Zoning/ Permitting/Code Enforcement Services, Parks & Facilities Maintenance, and Fire/Rescue services which are provided by a Special District (under contact for services; but housed in city owned/maintained fire station). The City has 19 full time employees and another 22 part-time or contractual support staff who maintain operations.