Collins: Time of change for the office of town manager

Mayor Michael Collins talks with Town Manager Kevin Burke after a Paradise Valley Town Council study session. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

This week Town Manager Kevin Burke announced that he has accepted an offer of employment from a municipality across town, and provided 60-day notice as required by his contract. Their gain is our loss but also an opportunity for both.

Some of you may recall that Kevin was hired in 2014 to replace the retiring Town Manager Jim Bacon. As vice mayor running unopposed for mayor, I led the recruitment process that hired Kevin away from being the city manager in Flagstaff. We were lucky then, and his new organization will be lucky now.

Over the past four years I have worked closely with Kevin and have always been impressed with his ethics and commitment to public service.

Under his leadership the residents of the Town of Paradise Valley have recorded unprecedented and nationally-recognized resident satisfaction survey results and we’ve made tremendous progress on a number of critical financial, organizational, infrastructure and quality of life initiatives.

Kevin’s decision is a credit to him and his commitment to family. We all strive to find the perfect work-family balance and sometimes it requires us to make a change. I am proud of the success that our town has had under his leadership and wish him well in his new endeavor.

With my friend and our current Vice Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner running unopposed to be our next mayor, I am reminded of my experience four years ago. I look forward to working closely with Jerry and the rest of the Town Council in conducting the next successful town manager recruitment process.

I promise to keep you informed on the progress of our recruitment process and look forward to hearing from you along the way while we work to ensure that the quality of town services provided to residents remains exceptional throughout and beyond the transition process.

This is an exciting time for the Best Small Town in America and I am honored to serve as your mayor.

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