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City manager applicants sent questionnaires

By Staff | May 18, 2010

The top 17 applicants for the position of Cape Coral City manager have been sent a series of questions developed individually by members of the Cape Coral City Council.
Applicants have until noon Friday to answer the 17 questions, most of which are Cape Coral specific. The question-and-answer component is the next step in the Cape’s quest to fill the top administrative post.
At the request of Cape Coral City Council, the city’s Human Resources Department ranked 33 applicants who met the city’s “minimal qualifications” based on advertised criteria into three -tiers – Best qualified, better qualified and qualified. The top 12 “best qualified” candidates were then submitted for council consideration Monday night. Council added five more names, including one, Cape resident Tom Leipold, who was not included on the staff-prepared “minimally qualified” list.
The city has refused to release the methodology used to determine how the 33 candidates were ranked for tier or “band” placement or the candidates’ individual rankings.
The questions asked of the candidates are:

1. Are you familiar with the challenges currently facing the City of Cape Coral? If so, please list the two most significant and tell us how you would address them.

2. In your work experience, have you had the occasion to design, direct or oversee the reduction of expense for an operation or activity? Please briefly describe including degree of success achieved. “Success achieved” is defined the reduction, either in monetary units or percentage (or both), and whether or not services provided were reduced, and if so, by how much.

3. Are you familiar with the process(es) referred to as “zero based” and/or “performance based budget? Have you ever participated in one? Do you believe such a process is appropriate for a municipality like Cape Coral and why?

4. One of our highest strategic priorities (perhaps the highest) is to update our city’s comprehensive plan with a current vision of what we would like to have at “build out.” Engaging the public in this process is considered vital to its success. Past efforts to accomplish this have been less than ideally productive. How would you approach it?

5. Why are you motivated to seek the job as City Manager of Cape Coral, FL? If you are currently employed, why do you believe this position might be better suited to you than your current position?

6. What do you see as the role of government?

7. What will be your 3 most important goals if hired as city manager?

8. What do you know about Cape Coral Finances?

9. Have you looked at the last 5 years Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and can you see any ways to save money?

10. Are you familiar with the latest public opinion poll (The National Citizens Survey)? If yes, what do you intend to do about it?

11. Name the 3 to 6 most important things you hope to accomplish in first year, and what do you hope to accomplish in later years if you can’t get these things done?

12. How would you want to be measured on your job performance, and would you be willing to apply the same standards to your employees?

13. What do you see as the proper ratio between management and subordinates?

14. What skills, accomplishments and accountabilities have you demonstrated that make you the beset candidate for City Manager?

15. What management philosophy do you practice and how will those attributes best serve Cape Coral?

16. What key actions will you take to optimize the working relationship between City Council and City Administration?

17. What are the major impediments to economic development in Cape Coral and how will you address them?