City Manager - Bothell WA

Mason Thompson

This job is open until the end of the month - I probably should have posted it here before now.  :)

Strong-towns friendly Mayor and council majority. 2023 Strongest Town (you heard it here first)

Boring part here, with actual qualifications:

The Position

The City Manager serves as the Chief Executive Officer and is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the City Council. The City Manager directs the operations and activities of the City and makes significant decisions that impact city functions while ensuring efficient and effective performance of city operations. The duties are broad and encompass all aspects of municipal management.

To translate the City's vision and goals into action plans, the City Manager actively engages with the community, City employees, and elected government officials while fostering a welcoming and inclusive work environment and a safe City government. Responsible for overseeing actions and programs to accomplish City Council goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, this candidate ensures that the City provides equal access to City services and that decisions are fair and equitable.

The City Manager attends all Council meetings, makes reports and recommendations, and keeps the Council well-informed on matters affecting the City. The City Manager advises the Council of the City's financial condition and needs, establishes guidelines for preparing the biennial budget, approves budget priorities, prepares and submits a proposed budget, and administers the adopted budget.

The City Manager engages the community and effectively represents the City to the public and outside agencies. The City Manager develops positive external relationships and advises the City on partnerships and other cooperative efforts. The City Manager is visible in the community and meets and confers with local businesses, groups, and other government officials regarding issues, needs, and problems facing the City.

In addition to directing the Council through actionable recommendations, the City Manager leads the executive leadership team in implementing actions that carry out the City Council's policies. This position coordinates the activities of all City departments so that overall organizational goals and functions are met, in addition to conferring with Departmental Directors on departmental goals, organization, staffing, and special needs and problems.

The Priorities

  • Build strong, positive relationships with the City Council. Collaborate to develop a vision and long-term strategy, guide the Council through establishing annual goals and priorities, and promote inclusionary decision-making through a foundation of trust and respect.
  • Provide consistent leadership throughout the City. Foster a welcoming and collaborative team environment, build trust and empower employees to bring fresh ideas, develop innovative strategies, and provide creative solutions to meet the growing needs of the community.
  • Continue to drive financial stability. Develop sustainable budgets, maintain fiscal accountability, and plan for the long-term. Work to understand and communicate the financial impacts of Council decisions.
  • Actively champion, support, and implement the City’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Develop a plan to purposefully weave inclusive principles and equitable practices into everything Bothell does to ensure equal access to City services.
  • Take the necessary time to learn and understand the Bothell community, especially Bothell’s communities of color, including immigrants. Intentionally build connections, encourage diverse perspectives, support authentic engagement, provide transparent communication, and ensure the City remains connected to the community at all levels.
  • Facilitate continued conversations regarding housing affordability. Collaborate to identify creative solutions, prioritize planning, and actively identify and determine the most effective and equitable opportunities to integrate a variety of housing options.
  • Emphasize economic development activities, maintain momentum, and explore diverse opportunities that support existing businesses and identify new opportunities, including the continued redevelopment of downtown and the transformation and revitalization of the Canyon Park Regional Growth Center.
  • Further prioritize transportation and infrastructure projects, including maintenance and multi-modal initiatives. Apply an equitable, sustainable, and financial lens to projects in order to consider the proper timing, planning, and community support to bring reality to these initiatives. 
  • Build deeper relationships with Public Safety (Police, Fire, Emergency Services) through support and implementation of the Public Safety Levy while enhancing the community's understanding of and connection to the efforts and success of public safety.
  • Work collaboratively with the Municipal Court Judge and law enforcement leaders on instituting a culture of restorative justice. Engage in thoughtful conversations regarding the potential development of a Community Court. 

The Successful Candidate

The new City Manager is a strategic thinker who will quickly understand the values of Bothell and easily sees the big picture and long-term vision for the City. The successful candidate understands and appreciates public service and truly values a sense of community. The City Manager is an effective communicator and proactively keeps City Council, staff, and the community well informed on projects and initiatives. Considered a true community ambassador, the successful candidate leads by example and is fully invested in Bothell’s growth and success.

The successful candidate has a strong history of developing effective relationships and partners with the City Council to provide sound advice and guidance, as necessary. The City Manager is familiar with the work and input of organizations like Strong Towns and Congress for the New Urbanism and is excited by the opportunity to collaborate with Council to identify fresh solutions to the City’s most pressing issues. The ideal candidate is politically savvy and maintains objectivity in working with elected officials. The City Manager is also confident yet humble and diplomatic in all interactions and can clearly and effectively articulate the position and the needs of the City. With strong emotional intelligence, the City Manager represents Bothell with integrity and effectively advocates for the City at all times.

The City Manager has a strong background in strategic planning and execution and understands the importance of creating a vision while supporting current programs, services, and daily operations. The successful candidate brings prior experience in a full-service City and is excited by the opportunity to lead a growing community. The ideal candidate has an exceptional financial background with a strong commitment to financial sustainability and management and a solid understanding of budgets. A creative problem solver, the City Manager supports sound decisions while maintaining the flexibility to meet the changing needs of the community.

The City Manager models behaviors expected throughout the organization and sets the tone for a welcoming and inclusive culture built on trust and collaboration. A highly effective leader, the City Manager develops strategy, sets goals, provides clear expectations, and holds the staff accountable. The successful candidate has a strong background in managing and empowering employees and believes in supporting the professional development, growth, and retention of staff. An active listener who values honesty and integrity, the City Manager is genuine and authentic and believes in fostering respect at all levels.

A natural convener and collaborator, the City Manager recognizes the importance of relationships and partnerships at all levels. The successful candidate is an approachable leader with a history of engaging in effective, meaningful communication with business and community leaders, key stakeholders, and regional partners and routinely demonstrates an ability to build consensus and guide others to decisions. The City Manager encourages participation, welcomes input, connects with the community, and effectively garners public support for projects and initiatives. Hearing, balancing, and respecting a variety of views during the decision-making process while moving forward is essential.


Ideally, ten years of progressively responsible experience in municipal government, including at least seven years of administrative or leadership responsibility. Strong managerial experience and the ability to work closely with the City Council are essential. Prior experience in a full-service city with direct experience working in a growing, diverse community is ideal. Broad knowledge of all city services is valuable. A sound financial background with a strong understanding of budgets and financial management is required.

A master’s degree in Public Administration, Public Policy, or a closely related field is desired. An equivalent combination of experience and education that enable success as the City Manager will be considered.

Inside City Hall

The City of Bothell combines the strong managerial experience of an appointed manager with the strong political leadership of elected officials as a non-charter optional code city operating under the Council-Manager form of government. The seven members of the City Council are elected at large on a nonpartisan basis to four-year terms. The Council elects the Mayor and Deputy Mayor from within its ranks and contracts with a professional City Manager to carry out their established goals, policies, and directives.

City services are provided through eleven departments: Community Development, Executive, Finance, Fire, Human Resources, Information Services, Legal, Municipal Court, Parks and Recreation, Police, and Public Works. The City’s Water, Sewer, and Stormwater Utilities are managed through Public Works. Several of the larger departments also have functional divisions within their department. Bothell employs approximately 370 full-time employees and has a 2021-2022 budget of $294.1 Million that reflects the priorities of the City Council and Key City Initiatives.

2021 City Council Goals and Priorities

  • Pursue equity through inclusive community engagement
  • Focus on long-term financial stability
  • Maintain our existing infrastructure
  • Provide a safe and secure community
  • Support our community’s recovery from COVID-19
  • Strive for environmental sustainability

The Community

The City of Bothell, Washington, is a thriving riverfront community that is going through exciting changes. The City is a community with heart, quiet charm, and urban amenities. Bothell offers a sense of community and sense of place with quiet family neighborhoods, bustling urban centers, coffee houses and award-winning restaurants, beautiful parks, the famous paved Burke-Gilman/Sammamish River Trail, and so much more. Steeped in history but embracing the future, residents love living, working, and playing in Bothell.

Located on the shores of the Sammamish River, the downtown area is the hub of the City with popular parks, open green spaces, and multiple play areas for children. Visitors and residents enjoy pedestrian-friendly shopping on the beautiful new Main Street and the newly designed Boulevard and satisfy their appetites at friendly cafes, stylish restaurants, and craft brewpubs. Downtown events such as Fourth of July parades, holiday tree lightings, Main Street trick-or-treating, wine walks and beer festivals, and other family-friendly and community events bring people together.

The City of Bothell’s emphasis on rebuilding the historic downtown district and significant increases in residential units has investors and developers anxious to grow businesses. With the City’s location near the employment and economic centers of Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, and Everett, Bothell is home to innovative technology companies and an attractive location for advanced biotechnology firms, wireless communications, medical device manufacturing, and medical research.

Aside from being a desirable place to live and work with excellent quality of life, Bothell also has a sought-after education system, including Northshore School District, one of the top school districts in the state. The City is home to the University of Washington Bothell, recently ranked number one in the state for value and quality by Money Magazine. Cascadia College shares its campus with the University of Washington Bothell and is the newest community college in the state. Cascadia has quickly built a national reputation for its high transfer rate and innovative approach to student-centered learning. Students and community members alike enjoy the "Bothell Crows" – when 15,000 crows descend on the campus nightly to roost. The event has become a big attraction for bird watchers, animal lovers, and just plain curious folks.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 48,920
  • Median Household Income: $114,068
  • Median Home Value: $666,640
  • Diversity: 32% of residents identify as people of color
  • Language: 24.3% of residents speak a language other than English

Compensation and Benefits

The City Manager contract is at the discretion of the City Council with an expected hiring range of $183,487 – $233,295 and will depend on the qualifications of the successful candidate. The City provides an excellent benefits package. Please visit here to learn more.

How to Apply

We believe, to deliver the highest level of service to all Bothell community members, it is crucial that we employ a diverse workforce, support an inclusive working environment, and ensure our policies and systems result in equitable outcomes. We are committed to maximizing the value of our employees and foster a culture of continuous improvement, wellness, and inclusion.

Applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Please apply no later than February 28, 2022.


For more information or questions regarding the City of Bothell or the City Manager position, please contact Heather Gantz at




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