Ed Zuercher, a longtime city of Phoenix employee, has been selected as new city manager.
Zuercher had been acting city manager since David Cavazos left the post to take the city manager's position in Santa Ana, California, in October.
Zuercher was one of four finalists for the job, beating out Rick Naimark, a deputy city manager who's been with the city for 26 years; Deanna Santana, city administrator of Oakland; and Milton Dohoney Jr., former city manager of Cincinnati.
Zuercher started out as an intern for the city and held posts such as public transit director, deputy city manager, assistant city manager, assistant to the city manager, and former Mayor Phil Gordon's chief of staff, among other things (so he kind of understands how the city manager job works).
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According to his online bio, " Zuercher is the chief operating officer for the city of Phoenix and oversees the largest council-manager form of government in the United States, with 14,500 city employees, including seven employee unions and associations. He encourages city employees to focus on working smarter, saving money aggressively and treating residents kindly in order to maintain residents' high public approval ratings for city services. "
Although a big deal was made over "pension spiking" with Cavazos' departure -- in which he essentially got to cash out unused vacation and sick days for a bigger pension payout, Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilman Bill Gates said as the hiring process began that they wouldn't support a contract that allowed the new city manager to do the same thing.
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