Town Manager

Town of Payson, AZ | Full-time


The Position

Payson's next Town Manager will have the opportunity to lead an organization in the "Heart of Arizona." Situated in Northern Arizona just below the Mogollon rim, Payson provides residents with a truly superb quality of life.

Appointed by the Mayor and Town Council, the Town Manager serves as the chief administrative officer and is responsible for the oversight of the Town's daily operations. The Manager works collaboratively with staff to implement policies set forth by the Town Council and provides organizational leadership for department directors and employees. The Manager provides elected officials with information and policy recommendations and regularly interacts with the media and the public. In addition, the Manager serves as the organization's intergovernmental liaison and represents the Town at the local, state, and federal levels.

The Town Manager has ten direct reports, including the Assistant Town Manager/Public Works Director; Town Clerk; Police Chief; Fire Chief; Chief Fiscal Officer/HR Director; Information Technology Manager; Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director; Library Director; Planning/Development Director; and Management Associate.

The Organization

The Town operates under the council-manager form of government. The Town Council consists of the Mayor and six Council members, all of whom are elected on a nonpartisan, at-large basis. Council members are elected to serve staggered four-year terms, and the Mayor is elected to a two-year term. The Town Council appoints the Manager and Attorney.

The organization has a philosophy of providing government services that are efficient, effective, and the best the private sector has to offer while being mindful of the highest ideals of public service. The organization has adopted core values, which include leadership, empowered employees, customer focus, and continuous improvement. The Town is a full-service organization and includes the following departments: Town Manager; Town Clerk; Financial Services; Human Resources; Legal; Law Enforcement; Fire; Community Development; Parks, Recreation and Tourism; Public Works; and the Library. Currently, the Town has 173 budgeted full-time employees.

The Town's total operating budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 is $42.6 million, of which $20.6 million is the General Fund Budget. Local sales tax is the primary source of revenue for the Town.

In 2012, the Town Council adopted a Corporate Strategic Plan, which is aligned with the Town's mission and its General Plan by specifying priorities and strategies for achieving these priorities over a three-year period. Funding is allocated during the subsequent budget process. The strategic plan is reviewed annually and updated every three years. The current strategic plan covers the period 2018 to 2021 and is divided into ten Key Results Areas, which are specifically defined by priorities and strategies that help guide the organization. The Key Results Areas include the following:

  • Economic Development, Tourism and Economic Vitality
  • Financial Excellence
  • Infrastructure
  • Innovation and Efficiency
  • Neighborhoods and Livability
  • Social Services
  • The Payson Team
  • Public Safety
  • Sustainability
  • 10 Technology

The Ideal Candidate

Payson's Town Manager is a seasoned local government professional who has a collaborative management style and excellent communication skills. The ideal candidate is strategic, can see the big picture, and has demonstrated success in moving communities forward. This person also brings a fresh perspective, new ideas, and best practices in performance management, local government service delivery, and governance to Payson.

The Manager will have a background in local government operations, including budget and financial management, human resources, public works, public safety, economic development, and community development. This person can effectively prioritize issues while balancing multiple priorities and projects. The ideal candidate is a critical thinker, analytical in nature, who uses data to inform recommendations and decisions. The next Manager is innovative, open to new ideas, and focused on finding solutions and solving problems. This person demonstrates sound judgment and exceptional decision-making skills and operates well under high-pressure situations.

The ideal candidate is committed to public service, trustworthy, and demonstrates high ethical standards and integrity. The Manager values community engagement and is a relationship builder who effectively communicates and interacts with residents and stakeholders. This person is transparent, approachable, and accessible and can instill trust throughout the community, region, and organization.

The Town Manager has worked effectively in a council-manager form of government and has successfully implemented and carried out Council priorities and policies. This person is a skilled facilitator and mediator, politically astute, and able to navigate political change while recognizing the importance of remaining neutral. This individual demonstrates exceptional character, has the courage to stand up for what is right, and has no conflicts of interest with the Town.

The successful candidate has strong organizational leadership skills and can create an environment of trust. This person is skilled in implementing organizational and cultural change and believes in providing outstanding customer service to the community. The individual leads a team of accomplished professionals and is fully invested in their continued development and success. The ideal candidate leads without bias, engages with staff throughout the organization, and provides support, direction, and feedback. The Manager models consistent and fair behavior and holds staff accountable.

The next Town Manager recognizes the importance of the rich history of Payson and is fully invested in the community's continued success. This person will work closely with the Council to preserve the community's identity and history while planning and preparing for its future.

Experience and Education

The minimum requirements for this position are a bachelor’s degree and seven years of progressively responsible experience in municipal government with at least five years in a local government executive-level leadership role including administrator/manager, assistant administrator/manager, or department director.

Preferred qualifications include a master's degree in public administration or related field, ICMA-Credentialed Manager or Certified Public Manager designation, and previous town/city manager experience. Other preferred qualifications include strong financial management and budgeting skills, and a track record of success in economic development, business and civic engagement, and intergovernmental relations.

The Community

Payson is one of Arizona's jewels, nestled among the largest contiguous stand of Ponderosa pine in North America, where you can experience the beauty of dramatic mountain vistas, the serenity of wide open spaces, and a rich western rodeo heritage along with a variety of outdoor adventures and first-class accommodations and entertainment.

The Town of Payson is situated in Gila County near the geographic center of the state just 90 miles north of Phoenix. Payson is nestled below Arizona's Mogollon Rim at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet and enjoys a moderate, four-season climate. The Town is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest and the world's largest stand of virgin Ponderosa Pines.

Payson's economy was originally based on logging, ranching, and mining. This western heritage still lives on through the Town's many festivals and events, including arts and crafts fairs, classic car shows, the Mountain High Days Festival, Annual Monster Mudda, farmer's markets, and the State Championship Fiddlers Contest. The Payson Rodeo, now billed as the "World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo," can be traced back to 1884.

The region provides a wide array of outdoor recreational opportunities from hiking through the vast Tonto National Forest to fishing and kayaking in one of Rim Country's many lakes; adventure is never far away in Payson. Payson's dark sky ordinance makes it the ideal location for stargazing, with the Northern Lights sometimes visible during solar flares. Due to its relatively moderate climate, almost every day offers ideal conditions for golfing at one of Payson's three golf courses.

Tourism, home building, and the retirement industries dominate Payson's economy, with a growing emphasis on manufacturing, service firms, and light industry that is compatible with the community's "High Quality of Life." Payson's largest employers include the Payson Unified School District, Mazatzal Casino, Banner Payson Medical Center, Walmart, and the Town of Payson. Students in the community are served by the Payson Unified School District and a branch of the Gila Community College.

Community Facts*                                            

  • Population: 15,710

  • Median Household Income: $50,049

  • Median Home Cost: $221,700

  • Median Age: 58 years

  • Elevation: 5,000 ft

*2018 US Census Population Estimates


The salary range for this position is $120,000 - $165,000 depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Open until filled with the first review of applications on May 18.


Please direct questions to Jenn Reichelt at 513-221-0500 or

Download Recruitment Brochure