Thoughts On David Cavazos' Departure

August 07, 2013

Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos seemed to take everyone by surprise when he submitted his resignation recently. Cavazos had been on the job for four years after succeeding Frank Fairbanks who by holding the position for 19 years was the longest-serving manager in Phoenix history. Cavazos was not a slam-dunk choice when the council approved his selection. The other three finalists for the position were deputy city managers, as Cavazos was, and in recent years Cavazos has been involved in coming up with budgets while Phoenix was hammered by the recession and when many wanted to repeal the polarizing food tax.

Critics also shook their heads when a $78,000 raise was approved for Cavazos last December. Others argued that the city was still not competitive when it came to salaries.

Cavazos is leaving Phoenix to become city manager of the much-smaller Santa Ana, Calif. where his compensation package will be similar to what he is receiving now.

Tom Simplot is in his final few months on the Phoenix City Council which will determine the next city manager.

Former Arizona Republic columnist Jon Talton gives another perspective on the departure of Cavazos. Although he now writes for The Seattle Times, he follows Phoenix and Arizona very closely on his blog