Former Mesa mayor named Valley Metro interim CEO

Scott Smith

Scott Smith

Following a joint meeting of the Valley Metro RPTA and Valley Metro Rail Boards of Directors, action was taken to select Scott Smith, former mayor of Mesa and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, as the interim chief executive officer for the Valley Metro organization.

An employment agreement is being prepared with an effective date of February 1, 2016.

“The Valley Metro agency is too important, with too many important milestones and programs, to be without a good leader,” stated Phoenix Councilmember, Valley Metro Rail Board Chair and Valley Metro RPTA Board Vice Chair Thelda Williams, in a press release. “We greatly appreciate the interest of Scott Smith and the service of acting CEO Eric Anderson.”

Mr. Smith, a private sector CEO, accountant and attorney, was elected as mayor of the city of Mesa in 2008. He used his business experience to reorganize the city and reduce the city’s budget by nearly 20 percent. Mr. Smith spearheaded efforts to attract new and small businesses to the area, create economic activity with spring training facility investments and a thriving East Valley airport and leverage grassroots, community support for parks and other city enhancements.

Additionally, he was successful in recruiting five liberal arts colleges to Mesa, complementing the recent light rail expansion into the downtown area. Mr. Smith left office in spring 2014 to run for state elected office. Most recently, he served as a Resident Fellow in the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

“It is with great appreciation for public transit and the Valley Metro agency that I accepted the challenge to serve as the interim CEO,” stated Mr. Smith. “I thank the Boards of Directors for this opportunity and look forward to building upon the foundation they’ve established to bolster the organization’s fiscal controls, transparency and positive momentum in expanding high quality transit to all in the region.”

Eric Anderson has served as the acting CEO since December 2015 following the departure of Stephen R. Banta. Mr. Anderson will stay on board through the execution of an employment agreement with Mr. Smith, eventually returning to his post as Transportation Director for the Maricopa Association of Governments.

Mr. Smith has agreed to serve as interim CEO until the selection process of a permanent CEO for Valley Metro is complete.

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