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David Cavazos, New Phoenix City Manager, Announces Innovation and Efficiency Task Force

David Cavazos took the reins as City Manager at Phoenix City Hall Friday -- and immediately announced sweeping changes.

Okay, so we're being a teensy bit sarcastic.

Cavazos, after all, was an inside candidate, a guy who began working for the city as an intern in 1987. He's not expected to shake things up too much. Outgoing City Manager Frank Fairbanks was a much-loved presence at City Hall during his 37 years there, and Cavazos would be foolhardly to rock the boat too much too soon.

So here's what we can report of Cavazos' first 48 hours in office. He appointed Ed Zuercher as the new assistant city manager, effective immediately. (Zuercher is also a longtime insider and was also a finalist for the city manager job.)

Cavazos also issued a new (temporary) organizational chart, which attempts to clear up who reports to who, what with Cavazos no longer serving as a deputy city manager, Zuercher being promoted, and Alton Washington retiring. We've helpfully included a link here; note the two vacant "deputy city manager" positions.

Finally, Cavazos announced a citywide "innovation and efficiency task force."

In an email sent to employees citywide, Cavazos said the new task force would assist him in "identifying specific recommendations for improvements in areas including customer service, alternative delivery methods and revenue enhancements."

Alternative delivery methods? Revenue enhancements? Does anyone else smell the whiff of "privatization"?

The new committee will be chaired by Danny Murphy, the city's aviation director, and Debbie Cotton, its public transit director. If Valley Fever readers have any ideas for the committee -- other than, of course, giving the keys of City Hall to whatever for-profit business you may happen to represent -- we'd be happy to forward them on.

In the mean time, expect more earth-shattering developments from City Hall ... like, say, maybe some deputy will get moved to be an assistant. Stay tuned ...

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