Incorporated in 1682, Chester is located on the Delaware River and situated between the major business centers of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Chester offers easy access to I-95, the Commodore Barry Bridge to New Jersey, and the Philadelphia International Airport. Chester has a population of 33,982 and is the only City in Delaware County.
Chester is one of the most historic and culturally diverse areas in the region. Chester is a city with a big heart and a strong spirit with numerous claims to fame including William Penn's first landing; the home of the original hoagie; Ethel Waters was born and raised in Chester; and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. studied and preached in Chester. Major businesses such as Wells Fargo, Kimberly Clark, Harrah's Casino, Crozer Hospital, Widener University, and the Philadelphia Union have significant operations in Chester.
Today, Chester is experiencing a major metamorphosis, making improvements for residents and businesses by way of housing, public safety, public property and recreation, and streets and infrastructure. Chester is embracing the concept of the “City Beautiful Movement” in Vision 2020 and seeks to use it throughout future planning and development efforts. The City acknowledges that economic development is not only about creating new jobs, building new infrastructure, attracting more businesses, providing housing, and increasing the tax base, but also includes considerations for a high quality of life for residents. The City is striving to enhance its existing assets by expanding access to natural systems, building a sustainable and diverse economy, and creating an attractive place to live, work, and play.
Chester has a Mayor-Council government system consisting of the Mayor and four council members. Council members are elected at-large to serve the entire city and help administer the five municipal departments.
The City of Chester is currently under receivership. The City has been subject to Commonwealth financial oversight under the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act (Act 47 of 1987) since 1995. Chester is struggling with multi?million-dollar deficits, past due obligations to its employee pension plans, and very marginal investments in the infrastructure that Chester residents and businesses use every day.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) reports to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), and has overall responsibility for the City of Chester's budget, including the development, implementation, and monitoring of the budget. The CFO works with the City's various departments to ensure overall coordination of the City's fiscal management. The CFO is responsible for all finance, accounting, budget, debt, investments, and related programs and provides coordination across the various City departments to ensure a systemic approach to the City's financial management.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Overall responsibility for developing and implementing the City's annual budget.
Serve as the City's representative with respect to various financial institutions, banks, creditors, lenders, auditors, and others.
Work with department heads, City Council, and the Mayor to develop short term and long-term financial goals.
Monitor and evaluate the City's financial performance and ensure that it is consistent with established short term and long-term goals, including any Act 47 Recovery Plan or Plan of Adjustment.
Overall responsibility for City revenues, including revenue enhancement efforts and revenue collection rates.
Approve all expenditures and contracts for goods or services above $1,000; work with the Solicitor to ensure compliance with applicable procurement laws.
Manage cash flow planning process and ensure fund availability; oversee cash, investments, and asset management, and ensure investments consistent with fiduciary and legal obligations.
Actively monitor accounts payable and accounts receivable; oversee the collection process, including coordination with third party vendors hired for that purpose.
Administer payroll and employee benefit programs, including all employee fringe benefit programs and the City's tax compliance responsibilities.
Evaluate departments' expenses and develop budgetary recommendations based on alignment of resources with City's strategic goals and objectives.
Prepare, analyze, and present monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports, cash flow statements, budget to actual statements, and other financial statements.
Regularly evaluate operating budget and make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council regarding the attainment of financial objectives.
Identify and implement systems to provide critical financial data and reports.
Develop and implement internal financial controls, policies, and procedures.
Oversee the City's debt.
Oversee coordination of grants program.
Oversee the development of a comprehensive risk management plan.
Work with payroll firms, auditors and other third parties as required to deliver necessary services.
Oversee the external audit processes and engage auditing best practices.
Oversee reconciliation of bank statements, journal entries and other financial statements.
Supervise others in the implementation of key budgetary, financial, and accounting initiatives.
Serve as Chief Administrative Officer responsible for the administration of all City pension, retirement, and savings plans.
Serve on City bargaining teams with respect to labor negotiations.
Serve on other teams and committees as directed by the Mayor and City Council.
Education and Experience
Qualified applicants will have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in accounting, finance, business administration, or related field; a Master’s degree is preferred. At least 5 years of public administration, finance, or comparable private sector experience is required, as well as, at least 5 years of government or non-profit experience, and 5 years of combined experience in audit, payroll, bookkeeping and reconciliations.
The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate will have experience in the areas of municipal accounting, budgeting, finance, debt, investments, and financial forecasting methods. The ideal candidate will be a creative and innovative leader who has the ability to effectively make firm recommendations and decisions to the COO based on experience and professional judgment. This individual must be able to adhere to the highest ethical and moral standards and be able to display transparency.
The ideal candidate should be a collaborative leader with the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the Mayor, City Council, staff and citizens. The ideal candidate should be able to make effective and persuasive presentations to groups at all levels of City government as well as outside organizations and have the ability to resolve issues and build consensus among diverse stakeholders.
The ideal candidate should set a positive example of competence, professionalism, energy and work ethic to the City. This person must possess advanced written and oral communication skills.
The City of Chester is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Relocation assistance will also be available for the successful out-of-area candidate.
How to Apply
Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to: