Since being notified of City Manager Rick Horst’s decision to step down July 1, Maricopa City Council explored the best way to proceed with filling this pending vacancy.
“City council understands that one of the most important roles of the council is the selection of a city manager and the success of a city is tied to its elected officials and the city manager,” the city said in a statement last night.
During this time, council evaluated the qualifications it wants the next city manager to possess. This process included analyzing the current trajectory of the city, discussing whether there is a need for a change and how to continue the current momentum of the city.
“The city has focused on building consistency in staffing and succession planning to ensure the best fit for the organization,” the statement read. “Therefore, after careful consideration, the city council directed staff to discontinue the process of hiring an executive search firm and to proceed with working to fill the role with an internal candidate. The city is currently in a great position of growth and economic development while maintaining fiscal responsibility with an outstanding team of employees who continue to get the job done even when faced with significant challenges. The city’s positive momentum will be maintained with one of the internal candidates who has worked to guide the city to the position it is in today.”
The three internal candidates considered for this position are Assistant City Manager Jennifer Brown, Deputy City Manager Ben Bitter and Deputy City Manager Matt Kozlowski.
“All three of these candidates possess the talent, skills, education, integrity and experience for the continued success of the city,” the city’s statement read. “Council believes the city of Maricopa has one of the strongest leadership teams in the state and believe the best direction for the city is for one of them to fill the city manager role with the continued support of the other two candidates.”