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Lafayette, Colorado

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City Administrator – Lafayette, Colorado


The Position

Lafayette’s next City Administrator will have the opportunity to lead a team of dedicated staff in one of Colorado’s most financially and politically stable communities. Located in Boulder County, the city has maintained its charming Old Town and walkability, preserved open space, and has grown its business and retail base to ensure economic sustainability. The city has been recognized for several awards for its livability, enjoys numerous parks connected by trails, and has spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. The city has a sound financial base and a history of political stability, community engagement, and good governance. The City Administrator is retiring after 21 years in this position.

The City Administrator oversees the daily operations of the city, works collaboratively with department heads to implement policies set forth by City Council, and provides leadership in the development of short and long-range plans. The next City Administrator will establish working relationships with the City Council, City staff, and the public to deliver effective and innovative services and coordinate significant projects within the community. Lafayette’s City Administrator will have the responsibility of drafting and presenting the annual budget to members of the Council and advising the governing body of financial conditions, concerns, and future needs. The city is poised to update its Comprehensive Plan, which will provide the next City Administrator the opportunity to engage residents, staff, and key stakeholders to determine the city’s long-term vision.

The City Administrator has 13 direct reports, including the Arts and Cultural Resources Director, Assistant City Administrator/Economic Development Director, City Clerk, Deputy City Clerk, Finance Director, Fire Chief, Human Resources Director, Library Director, Parks and Recreation Director, Planning and Building Director, Police Chief, Public Information Officer, and Public Works Director.

The City of Lafayette’s 2018 budgeted expenditures are $75,941,000, up from $66,650,000 in 2017. There are 200 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. The city provides comprehensive services that include Arts and Cultural Resources; Planning and Building; Finance; Fire; Human Resources; Library; Parks, Recreation, and Open Space; Police; and Public Works.


The minimum requirements for this position are a bachelor’s degree and at least ten (10) years of increasingly responsible professional experience in a municipal administrative role with a minimum of eight (8) years of management experience.

Preferred requirements include a master’s degree, experience in budget development and financial management, community and economic development, energy sustainability, business and community engagement, intergovernmental relations, labor and employee relations, and project management.

Applicants must also be bondable and should possess a valid Colorado driver’s license with a safe driving record.


At the time of their appointment, the City Administrator need not be a resident of the city or state, but residency is required after appointment.

The Organization

The City of Lafayette is a home rule municipality, granting the community the opportunity for self-governance. A seven-person City Council serves as the city’s governing body, providing policy direction through the appointment of a City Administrator, enacting ordinances, and appropriating funds to conduct city business. Non-partisan councilors are elected in odd-numbered years, with four seats filled each election year. The three councilors who receive the most votes during a single election serve four-year terms, while the councilor with the least number of votes serves a two-year term. The mayor and mayor pro-tem are selected internally by the City Council to serve two-year terms.

Ideal Candidate

Lafayette’s next City Administrator is a knowledgeable local government professional with an empowering management style and exceptional verbal and written communication skills. The ideal candidate is fiscally responsible, approachable, highly energetic, and passionate about Lafayette’s continued success. He or she has demonstrated experience in building rapport with residents, key community stakeholders, and intergovernmental agencies, and values the importance of a diverse workforce.

The ideal candidate will foster an innovative and effective work culture, recruit talented applicants to fill key staff positions as necessary, and will bring fresh perspectives to the table. The next City Administrator is resilient in the face of adversity, assertive, and politically astute. This candidate will understand how to adeptly navigate through concerns with growth and will assure the efficient use of budgeted funds, personnel, materials, and time.

The next City Administrator will coordinate department activities with internal and external entities as necessary and will review proposed state and federal legislative impact reports prepared by staff members. He or she will also develop workloads and plan staff assignments, train and evaluate assigned staff members, and direct changes to expedite work flow and improve the overall efficiency of the city. Lafayette’s next City Administrator will make certain that all laws and ordinances are faithfully observed and will represent the community in a professional and reputable manner.

The ideal City Administrator has considerable knowledge of municipal finance, human resources, public works, and community development. This candidate is well-versed in modern public administration practices; supports and invokes environmental sustainability; and understands the intricacies of current technology, economic development practices, and urban planning. The next City Administrator has demonstrated success in preparing budgets, drafting comprehensive reports, and giving presentations to essential stakeholders and elected officials both inside and outside of the community.

The Community

The city is situated along U.S. Highway 287, just over 22 miles north of Denver, Colorado and 11 miles east of Boulder, Colorado. Lafayette encompasses 9.54 square miles and is home to a population of approximately 28,903.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lafayette’s median household income is $74,424 and the median age is 39.1 years. The ethnic makeup of the city is as follows: 87.6% White, 14.8% Hispanic or Latino, 5% Asian, 1.5% Black, 0.4% Native American or Alaskan Native, and 3.5% Two or More Races.

Lafayette was founded by Mary E. Miller in 1888, when she allocated 150 acres of her own farm land to establish the Town of Lafayette. Within six months, several coal mines were in operation within the town and the population had grown significantly. Coal-mining defined the labor force in Lafayette from the time of its formation through the 1930s, with the city’s last mine – The Black Diamond Mine – remaining open until 1956.

While once an industrious coal-mining center, Lafayette has grown into a unique community with a vibrant arts and entertainment scene and unparalleled opportunities for indoor and outdoor recreation. Each year, the city hosts many exciting community events, including the Lafayette Oatmeal Festival, a Fourth of July Celebration, the Lafayette Peach Festival, and Lafayette Brew Fest. During the summer, residents and visitors alike can be found in Old Town Lafayette, perusing the Farmers Market on Thursday evenings or attending Art Night Out, a lively arts festival held monthly during the summer. The newly constructed festival plaza in Old Town Lafayette was recently awarded the Governor’s Award for “Best Public Space” in the state of Colorado, speaking to the charm and small-town ambience that makes Lafayette so unique.

The city has been ranked highly and appears on numerous national lists of top communities to live and raise a family. It was also ranked number four in AARP’s 2018 Most Livable City index for populations between 25,000 and 99,999. Additional awards and accolades that demonstrate Lafayette’s appeal include being ranked the third best small city in the State of Colorado in 2015 by Wallethub, receiving Gold designation from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SolSmart Awards, and earning recognition as the sixth safest city in Colorado with a population greater than 20,000.

Lafayette has great financial and political stability. In 2014, Standard and Poor’s credit rating agency upgraded the City of Lafayette’s General Obligation Bonds to a AA+ rating. Two years earlier, the city also received a AAA rating for its Water Enterprise Fund Bonds from Standard and Poor’s. Lafayette’s 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, indicating that the city went above and beyond in its obligations to adhere to generally accepted accounting principles and remain fiscally transparent.

As a result of the School District Reorganization Act of 1957, the Boulder Valley School District was formed to serve all students residing in southern Boulder County. Today, the District operates 35 elementary schools, 20 middle schools, 14 high schools, and a notable early childhood education program. Easily accessible by car, more than ten colleges and universities are positioned within an hour’s drive from Lafayette, including the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Northern Colorado, and several institutions affiliated with the Colorado community college system.


The salary range for this position is $175,000 – $200,000 depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group at Applicants first complete a brief online form and then are prompted to provide one document (Word or PDF) that contains a cover letter and resume with salary history. Open until filled with first review of applications September 17, 2018.


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

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