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Oro Valley picks SV's Jacobs as new town manager

Oro Valley is set to hire Mary Jacobs, the assistant city manager of Sierra Vista, as the town's new manager. Jacobs will take over the post in September.

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 earlier this month, including Jacobs, who was a finalist for the Tucson city manager job two years ago.

"Her wealth of knowledge and experience, combined with her contagious enthusiasm, will help lead us into the next chapter of our community's story," said OV Mayor Satish Hiremath in a news release.

Jacobs will be paid $160,000 per year, plus benefits. The Town Council will vote on her appointment at a special meeting on Tuesday.

Jacobs said she was "deeply honored" to have been picked.

"I've lived and worked in Arizona local government long enough to know that Oro Valley is indeed a gem," she said in the release, describing the town's government as "led by a forward-thinking council and staffed by dedicated professionals."

"I am excited to be joining an organization committed to providing superior services and an exceptional quality of life for its residents, a commitment I passionately share," Jacobs said.

She will begin her work in Oro Valley on September 5.

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 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.

The other three finalists who were interviewed for the OV post were:

  • 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. He'll return to that post when Jacobs begins work in the fall.

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

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