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Public Information Office

For Immediate Release:

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Goodyear Director Named Oro Valley Assistant Town Manager


(GOODYEAR, AZ) Jerene Watson, Goodyear Community Services Director, has accepted the position of Oro Valley Assistant Town Manager after a nationwide search. Watson will oversee the Public Works/Engineering, Building Safety, Planning & Zoning, Library, Parks and Recreation, and ITS departments.


During her seven-year tenure in Goodyear, Watson has worn two hats – serving both as a department director and also as the City’s Intergovernmental Liaison.  She formed the Community Services Department from the ground up introducing many key city functions to the City.


Watson first introduced the concept of a Citizen’s Office in which the Community Advocate represents citizens on City issues and handles and tracks citizen complaints. She then centralized into one office the Code Compliance function, which was in Fire, Police and Public Works. In 2001, she began the Public Information Office to provide information to the public and the media, followed by the neighborhood management function in 2004 that works closely with the homeowners associations and has successfully formed neighborhood alliances in Historic Goodyear, Canada Village and North Subdivision. Most recently, this year she oversaw the establishment of the City’s public art program and organization-wide grants and volunteer coordination programs.


“Jerene’s experience in Goodyear will be especially welcomed in Oro Valley,” said Oro Valley Town Manager David Andrews. “Goodyear has undergone tremendous growth, and Jerene has been at the forefront of overseeing new activities and programs that serve the community.”


Besides building the Community Services Department, Watson played an instrumental role as Goodyear’s Intergovernmental Liaison on several major issues including the expansion of I-10, the protection of Luke Air Force Base from closure, and the $27.3 million federal appropriation for acquisition of land around Luke.


“Jerene will be missed by this city,” stated Goodyear Mayor Jim Cavanaugh. “She was well respected by the staffs of Arizona’s federal delegation, members of the Arizona legislature and by the other municipal lobbyists. Because of this, she was very effective on many of the complicated regional, state and national issues we worked together on since I became mayor.”


While with Goodyear, Watson also was co-founder of the Southwest Valley Citizen Academy in 2000 which teaches citizens about local government operations and the importance of state and regional partnerships with the goal of encouraging citizen involvement in government. More than 250 people have graduated from eight of these academies and several have gone on to become council members in Southwest Valley cities.


“I appreciate the experiences I have had in Goodyear in the past seven years,” stated Watson. “This has been a time of phenomenal growth and offered many exciting challenges that prepared me for my new management role in Oro Valley. I couldn’t have worked with more wonderful City staff and am honored to have played a role in Goodyear’s bright future.”


Watson holds a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Masters in Public Administration from Virginia’s Old Dominion University. Prior to her appointment in Goodyear, Watson worked as a professional staff member for two U.S. Senate committees as well as working in the Phoenix City Manager’s Office, Mayor’s Office and the Phoenix City Council District 5. She also has experience in the non-profit sector and an international educational environment.


Watson will remain on the job in Goodyear until Jan. 4, 2007 and is expected to begin working in Oro Valley the second week of January, 2007.


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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749