Following a national search which drew more than 115 applicants, Jerene Watson has accepted an offer from the City of Flagstaff to become the new Deputy City Manager (DCM) for Community Enhancement. Watson is leaving her current position as Town Manager for Oro Valley, Arizona and will start work in Flagstaff on July 1, 2011.
Watson brings extensive experience to the DCM positions having served several communities in a variety of positions. Her 24+ years of governmental experience consists of working for Oro Valley as an Assistant Town Manager, then Town Manager; in Goodyear, she served as the Community Services Director; in Phoenix, she held various positions in the City Manager and Council offices. Other previous positions included employment with Nebraska City Government and working for the U.S. Senate.
Flagstaff City Manager, Kevin Burke, announced his decision to hire Watson to the City Council and City staff today. He acknowledged her style of collaboration and robust communication as highly valued by him, the Council, staff, and the community. “We are extremely lucky to have landed someone of Jerene’s caliber on the Flagstaff Team. Her experience, temperament, and work ethic will be a perfect fit,” stated Burke.
Watson is a Credentialed Manager by the International City/County Management Association. She earned a Master of Public Administration with High Honors from Old Dominion University, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. While Watson will officially start working for the City on July 1st, she will attend a previous commitment with the Harvard Sr. Executives in State and Local Government program during the last three week of July.
As the Deputy City Manager for Community Enhancement, Watson will direct the services of the Community Development, Community Enrichment, Economic Vitality, and Public Works Divisions.
Watson was one of three finalist brought to Flagstaff to interview for the DCM position. The interview process included interviews, tours, and meetings with leadership staff, and an informal gathering with City Council members, community members and employees.
Watson will receive an annual salary of $153,000 as Deputy City Manager for Community Enhancement.