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Cleveland Heights

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Finance Director – Cleveland Heights, Ohio


The Position

The Finance Director leads a department of five staff, manages a departmental budget of $1.7M, and is responsible for providing leadership and administration, and for safeguarding the City’s assets. The Director reports directly to the City Manager, is a member of the City’s Senior Leadership Team, and interacts regularly with the City Council, residents, and businesses. The Finance Department oversees accounting, AP/AR, annual financial reporting, internal controls oversight, budgeting, forecasting, debt, investments, and grants. The Director works closely with the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and other department directors in developing the City’s budget and capital improvement program (CIP). The FY 2017 budget is $78.6M and includes $11.9M for capital projects. The City, which has an AA- Bond rating, has over 40 different funds and three special improvement districts. The Finance Director assists in collective bargaining negotiations, risk management activities, and is the Fiscal Agent for two separate organizations. The Director will manage the implementation of both a new ERP system and indirect cost allocation process. He or she will create and update financial management policies and conduct a fraud risk assessment.

Form of Government

Cleveland Heights operates under a Council-Manager form of government, which combines representative leadership through elected council members with the managerial experience of the city manager. Cleveland Heights City Council consists of seven members elected on an at-large basis for four-year terms. Council members choose from among themselves the mayor, who also serves as president of council. Council hires the city manager, approves the budget, sets the tax rate, and decides all policies resulting in programs implemented by the city manager and staff. The city manager coordinates the work of department heads and other employees, helping to ensure the smooth and efficient delivery of services.


Minimum requirements for this position are a bachelor’s degree in public administration, finance, or related degree, and local government budget/finance experience with at least 3 years of management/supervisory experience.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal Finance Director will be an experienced and knowledgeable local government finance professional with the ability to be a strategic partner in the organization’s performance. He or she will possess experience and strong skills in debt, risk, and investment management as well as vast knowledge of financial regulations, policies, procedures, and best practices. The ideal candidate will have the desire to develop a team and interest in serving as a working department head. The ideal Finance Director will be able to work across departmental and jurisdictional boundaries, creating an environment of collaboration and partnership. He or she will have talent for innovation and ingenuity in addition to sound judgment and decision making skills. The ideal candidate will be a quick learner and able to work in a fast-paced organization and to adapt to changing priorities. The Finance Director must be politically astute, technologically savvy, and an effective communicator. He or she will be a leader, with the ability to articulate complex issues and long-term implications in a manner that can be understood by various audiences.

The Community

The City of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is a vibrant, creative community of 46,121 residents located in northeast Cuyahoga County, close to the southern shore of Lake Erie, and eight miles from downtown Cleveland. The city is 8.1 square miles with beautiful, walkable neighborhoods where residents have easy access to 11 unique shopping districts, some of the best restaurants in the Cleveland area, many places of worship, professional arts, theater, and concert venues, and numerous parks and recreational amenities.

Cleveland Heights has a rich history and was one of Cleveland’s first suburbs, with streetcars carrying business elite back and forth from their restful homes to the busy commerce of the city center every day. The City was incorporated in 1921, five years after the founding of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, one of the best libraries in the State of Ohio.

Cleveland Heights is economically, racially, ethnically, generationally, and religiously diverse. It has served as a model for integration since the 1960s, following the deliberate plan and leadership of the City Council and residents. The community also provides a broad spectrum of housing options, from affordable rental apartments and homes to large estate-like homes in the City’s older historic neighborhoods. Housing options allow residents from all walks of life
and economic levels to live on the same streets, creating a rich and diverse community fabric. Cleveland Heights is also a place where people of many different faiths live side by side.

The City is a center for the arts, passionately embracing the creative life. Cleveland Heights is nestled among many of the Cleveland area’s best cultural and artistic attractions, like Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Cleveland Playhouse, and many more. The community’s emphasis on the arts also extends to the City’s government. The City owns and operates a summer performing arts park – Cain Park – which includes a theatre, covered amphitheater, and art gallery. The nationally recognized Cain Park Arts Festival, along with professional theatrical productions and dance companies, children’s programming, and an impressive covered outdoor theatre that boasts many concerts and music events, provides a regional draw to the City each summer. Artists from across the country turn out to share their work with the community. Along with Cain Park, Cleveland Heights has over 135 acres of parkland and a state-of-the-art community center with a year-round, Olympic-sized indoor ice rink and a senior activity center. The City provides an array of high-quality public services, from public safety to recreation to public works and many others. Cleveland Heights’ numerous cultural institutions and emphases on the needs of residents of all ages truly make it “the city for a lifetime.”

Cleveland Heights is also surrounded by three great universities: Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, and Case Western Reserve University, in addition to the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Music. The City is near University Circle, an area focused on arts, health, and innovation, as well as the University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. Many of the City’s residents work in the health, higher education, or arts-related fields providing a wonderful wealth of local creative talent.


The expected salary range is $90,000-105,000, with an excellent benefit package.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group at and will be kept confidential. Applicants first complete a brief online form and then are prompted to provide one document (Word or PDF) that has a cover letter, resume with salary history, and a list of 3-5 professional references. Open until filled with first review of applications March 13, 2017. All applications are subject to Ohio public information laws but will not be released without notice to candidates.


Questions should be directed to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 513-221-0500.

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