Phoenix Mayor-elect Greg Stanton, who beat his challenger with a commanding 14-point lead on November 8, has tapped Community and Economic Development Director Paul Blue as his first chief of staff.
Stanton won't be sworn into office until January 3, but in the meantime, Blue will help make sure there is a smooth transition as Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon hands the keys to the Mayor's Office to Stanton.
Blue, who was named director in June, is now responsible for stimulating economic development in Phoenix, and among his duties are business attraction, retail, international, downtown development, business retention and expansion, small business, and workforce development.
Blue seems like a good fit given that Stanton made creating a "diverse and sustainable economy" a central theme during his campaign.
His commitment to making that happen "is evidenced by the fact that he selected a top-notch person who is well-respected in the business community," says Ruben Alonzo, Stanton's campaign manager. (No relation to the writer.)
Phoenix usually taps a deputy city manager or department head to serve as chief of staff for the mayor. That individual is on loan from the city to work in the Mayor's Office, and serves as a liaison of sorts between that office and the City Manager's Office.
Several have served under Gordon, including Planning Department Director Debra Stark and Public Information Office Director Toni Maccarone and then-Deputy City Manager Ed Zuercher, who is now Assistant City Manager.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.