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4 finalists for Oro Valley manager post include Sierra Vista ass't manager

Oro Valley has been without a permanent town manager for nearly a year, with one search process that didn't pan out. The Town Council named four finalists for the post on Thursday, including an assistant city manager for Sierra Vista, Mary Jacobs, who was a finalist for the Tucson city manager job two years ago.

The four finalists for the OV post, who will be interviewed by the Council and town staffers next week, are:

  • Mary Jacobs, assistant city manager, Sierra Vista
  • Bruce Messelt, county administrator, Chisago County, Minn.
  • John Murphy, city manager, Hobbs, N.M.
  • Dave Ross, county administrator, Rock Island County, Ill.

The OV Council worked with a consulting firm to pick the final four from a group of 61 applicants, town officials said.

The town, north of Tucson, has been without a permanent manager since Greg Caton resigned in June 2016 to take a post in Grand Junction, Colo. Caton, who been town manager since 2011, announced his resignation in April of last year.

After not hiring a candidate during an initial recruitment process, the town reposted the position in February. OV Police Chief Daniel Sharp has been serving as interim manager for the town.

The backgrounds of the finalists, as provided by town officials:

  • Mary Jacobs has served more than 17 years in her current position. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Arizona.
  • Bruce Messelt has served more than five years in his current position. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science, history and international relations from Concordia University, and a master's degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota.
  • John Murphy has served more than four years in his current position. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from King's College, and a master's degree in public administration from Marywood University.
  • Dave Ross has been serving in his current position for two years. Prior to that, he was village administrator for the Village of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, for more than three years. He holds a bachelor's degree in public administration from Upper Iowa University, an executive master's degree in business administration from Golden Gate University, and a doctorate of business administration from Northcentral University.

Jacobs was tapped as one of the two finalists to be Tucson's city manager. The City Council picked Michael Ortega for the job in 2015.

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