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La Plata, Maryland

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Town Manager – La Plata, Maryland


The Position

La Plata’s next Town Manager will have the opportunity to join a hard-working and committed team of employees who deliver high quality services, work with an energetic and engaged Mayor and Council, and help the Council guide the Town into its vision for the future.

The Town Manager is the executive officer and head of the administrative branch of the Town. The Manager is responsible to the Mayor and the Council for the proper administration of all affairs of the Town. Under provisions of the Town Charter and Code, the Town Manager prepares a budget for the Mayor’s and Council’s consideration; recruits, hires, and supervises staff; serves as the Mayor and Council’s chief administrative officer; and implements their policies.

The Town Manager has six direct reports: Town Treasurer, Assistant Town Manager, Director of Planning, Director of Operations, Police Chief, and Town Clerk. The Town has had two Town Managers in the last 30 years.

The Organization

The Town of La Plata was incorporated on April 4, 1888 and operates under a Council-Manager form of government. The governing body consists of an independently elected Mayor and four Councilmembers, all of whom are elected by ward every four years.

The Town has four departments—Planning, Finance, Public Works, and Police. The General Fund Budget for FY2018 is $7.78 million and the Town has 63 full and part-time employees. The Town operates several Enterprise Funds which support sanitation, water, sewer, and stormwater management programs.

Experience & Education

Requirements for this position are a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of progressively responsible experience in a local government, including three years’ supervision and/or executive level management (manager, assistant, or department director/assistant director).

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree in public administration or a closely related field and strong human resources/employee relations, fiscal management, economic development, and regional and intergovernmental expertise. ICMA-CM and work in a full-service council-manager government are preferred but not required.

Per Town Charter, residency within the Town is required for the Town Manager after appointment.

The Ideal Candidate

La Plata’s next Town Manager will be a personable, hardworking, and ethical local government management professional. He or she will be a strategic thinker and visionary, with the ability to help Council articulate and prioritize goals, while managing day-to-day operations to ensure the future success of the community. The Town Manager will bring creativity and customer-service orientation and be able to implement complex projects and initiatives.

The Town Manager will be a strong leader who can balance conflicting interests, build consensus, be decisive, and provide clear recommendations. He or she will be a collaborative team leader, comfortable giving direction and empowering staff to ensure the long-term success of the Town.

The ideal candidate will be an effective listener and communicator comfortable engaging with a variety of audiences. The Town Manager will be approachable with a track record of community and business engagement and skilled at building partnerships with local businesses, county and state government officials, residents, and nonprofit organizations to achieve community goals.

The Town Manager will be experienced and comfortable handling human resource, employee relations, and other personnel related issues. He or she will be financially and politically savvy and open to ideas from staff, residents, and elected officials that will help the Town deliver high-quality services with limited funding. The ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic supporter of the Town, personally invested in promoting La Plata, and shaping its future growth in the region.

The Community

La Plata was originally founded in the 1870s as the Pennsylvania Railroad was granted a right of way to build its tracks and station. Since then, it has grown into a vibrant community of over 9,000 residents with hundreds of small businesses that serve southern Maryland. La Plata is conveniently located in southern Maryland about 30 miles southeast of Washington, DC; 60 miles south of Baltimore; 45 miles southwest of Annapolis; and 80 miles north of Richmond, Virginia. La Plata serves as the county seat for the Charles County Government.

According to the 2016 US Census American Community Survey, the ethnic makeup of the community is 64% White, 31% Black, 3% Hispanic, and 2% Asian. In addition, the median household income is $87,759 and the median age is 34.6 years old. The Town has a total area of 7.63 square miles and is located just two miles from the shores of the Potomac River.

La Plata’s central location in southern Maryland provides excellent access to some of the mid-Atlantic’s most popular destinations. Despite this central location, La Plata retains its small-town charm and naturalistic beauty. Framed by the Clark Run Nature Area, Laurel Springs Regional Park, and Hawthorne Country Club, La Plata is within a five-minute drive of Chapel Point State Park and the banks of the Potomac River. Highway 301, which brings north-south travelers directly through La Plata, connects Virginia and Maryland via the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge, a span across the Potomac that provides amazing views of the river.

The Town is located on land that was originally part of a 6,000-acre land grant given to Colonel Samuel Chapman, a member of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Colonel Chapman traveled widely during his life, to the western United States as far as Colorado and to South America as far as Argentina. It was during these travels that he encountered the beautiful La Plata River (or “River of Silver,” in English) on the border of Argentina and Uruguay. Upon returning to his home in Maryland, he named a portion of his property La Plata because of its similarity to the shimmering river.

The Town of La Plata has many mature, old growth trees, which gives the area a sense of being far away from urban city life. Unfortunately, this idyllic location was the site of a major F4 tornado in 2002, a natural disaster that destroyed parts of the downtown and damaged Town Hall. But the spirit of the community was reaffirmed as damaged structures were rebuilt with a new vision for the future of La Plata. In fact, the community’s new Town Hall became southern Maryland’s first LEED-certified building.

Residents of La Plata enjoy several community events throughout the year, including the Friday Night Concert Series during the summer and the Fall Festival in October where neighbors come together to enjoy music, crafts, and great food. The community has many interesting cultural attractions, including Saint Ignatius Church, which, founded in 1641, is the longest continually serving Catholic Parish in the United States; the Samuel A. Mudd House and Museum, famous home of the doctor who set the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth; as well as a thriving community theater scene, including the Port Tobacco Players. Major employers of La Plata residents include the Charles County government, University of Maryland Charles Regional Center (formerly Civista), the College of Southern Maryland, and the Naval Support Facility Indian Head. La Plata is truly in the center of it all.


The salary range for the Town Manager is $103,000 – $165,000, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefit package that includes the Maryland state retirement and pension system and 100% Town-paid health insurance for employees and dependents.

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 and resume with salary history. Open until filled with first review of applications on April 2, 2018.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 513-221-0500.

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