City Manager

Organization: City of Palatka, FL
Salary: The beginning salary for the position is negotiable based on qualifications and experience.
Close Date: The first review of applications is scheduled for Friday, September 29, 2023.

Job Description:

Palatka is located in northeastern Florida’s Putnam County. The City sits on the western banks of the scenic St. Johns River, one of the few rivers that flow north. A city of about 10,500 residents, Palatka is located between Jacksonville to the northeast and Orlando to the south and is the county seat of Putnam County.

Palatka is a place of striking natural beauty where the majestic St. Johns River serves as its lifeblood. Palatka is a community of natural riches, with sunrises that paint a silhouette of sailboats resting on the glistening water, framed by a canopy of live oaks and Spanish moss waving in the breeze. This beauty is also evident in the lush native vegetation that grows throughout the community. Images of lily pads blanketing a bright green pond, with a backdrop of ferns and palm trees, complement those of brilliant azaleas blooming along brick streets and historic homes. Palatka is the gem of Old Florida, a humble community with nature to shine and an eagerness to tell its story.

Palatka’s history is unique with native Floridian roots that run deep. By 1880, Palatka had thousands of hotel rooms and steamboats carried travelers seeking a haven from harsh winters and northern cities. Through the years visitors were entertained by Annie Oakley, learned baseball from the great Babe Ruth, and saw Hall of Famers Lefty Turner and Pop Lloyd, considered by Ruth to be the best baseball player of all time.

Palatka has a Council-Manager government that operates with an adopted City Charter. Accordingly, the City Manager is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of five-member City Commission. All other municipal officials and employees are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the City Manager. The Mayor is elected as Mayor. The Mayor and all four Commissioners serve four-year staggered terms. All are elected at-large.

Palatka provides a full range of municipal services including General Administration, Public Safety, Planning and Zoning and Community Enrichment and Development. In addition, the City owns a municipal golf course, an airport, and sanitation, water, and wastewater utilities. The Palatka Downtown Redevelopment Agency and Palatka Gas Authority are considered components of the City and the City is accountable for them. The City’s current all-funds budget is $80.4M and features a $38.2M fund balance.

Visit Palatka at

THE CITY MANAGER - Under general policy guidance from the City Commission, the City Manager plans, organizes, and integrates fiscal controls; directs, administers, reviews, and evaluates the activities, operations, programs, and services provided by the City; and serves as the top appointed administrator in the City. He or she is responsible to carry out the policies and programs determined by the City Commission; develop and administer of the Budget; ensure that City government operations and functions effectively serve the needs of Palatka residents and other stakeholders while complying with applicable laws and regulations; and performs related duties as assigned by the City Commission.

The position requires a combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years of increasingly responsible management experience preferable gained in a local government of other public agency of similar complexity to Palatka.

The Ideal Candidate will have strong communication and listening skills; knowledge and understanding of historic preservation, community revitalization, and the role of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in addressing these areas; knowledge of ecotourism and heritage tourism and how they can be economic drivers for a community; an understanding of the culture and personality of a small town; and a willingness to live within the City limits (preferred).
With the City Commission, The Ideal Candidate will view the City Manager position as a technical and professional resource and advisor; project a management style that facilitates collaboration among staff and the City Commission; routinely provide informative updates regarding emerging issues and progress toward meeting City Commission established goals; have an independent, professional approach to elected officials by treating all fairly and in a nonpartisan manner; understands that it is okay to not immediately have the answer to every question; be available and accessible to equally to all Commission members.

With Staff, the Ideal Candidate will be an ethical leader who inspires and supports the work of the team; be an effective listener and communicator who inspires and empowers staff to be creative; open to new ideas; be fair, evenhanded and consistent; support continuing and ongoing professional development; solicit, listen to and accept ideas and input from department heads and other staff members; functions as an effective bridge between the City Commission and staff; trust and support employees; not micromanage staff rather will inspire them to perform at their highest potential; have experience or exposure to managing or overseeing community-wide emergencies.

With the Community, the Ideal Candidate will be actively involved with events and organizations in the community; be accessible, knowledgeable and serve as a conduit for problem-solving.

Beginning salary for the position will be competitive and negotiable based on qualifications and experience. Benefits for the City Manager include four weeks of leave time, 12 paid holidays and a personal day, 80% of health and dental insurance for the employee and family members paid, 100% of vision insurance paid, and a City automobile and cellphone. The position also provides a tax-advantaged deferred retirement saving account and one of Florida's most generous pension plans.

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS The recruitment will remain open until the position is filled. The first review of applications is scheduled for Friday, September 29, 2023.

To apply, please send a letter of application, detailed resume, and current salary to:
Robert E. Slavin, President
3040 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite A-1
Norcross, Georgia 30071
Phone: (770) 449-4656
Fax: (770) 416-0848

Electronic submissions are preferred.


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