PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to promote Assistant City Manager Jeff Barton as the next city manager, according to the city of Phoenix.
Barton will lead the country's largest council-manager form of local government after City Manager Ed Zuercher retires on Oct. 8. Barton will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of nearly 15,000 employees and the needs of about 1.7 million residents, according to the city.
“It is wonderful to have an internal candidate who not only has the skills but also has the passion for the important work we've undertaken as the nation's fifth-largest and fastest-growing city," Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego earlier this month when the city expressed its intentions to appoint Barton.
Barton is a Pennsylvania native and holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Morehouse College, as well as a master's degree in public administration from Shippensburg University, according to the city.
Barton moved to Arizona in 1999 and began working as an auditor, where he had to ensure the operational efficiency of city departments and programs. That experience accelerated his nearly 20-year-career with the city, which includes roles as the budget and research director, deputy city manager, and most recently, an assistant city manager.
Barton helped lead the city through the pandemic's economic downturn and served as staff director of the $293-million coronavirus relief fund, which provided residents and local businesses with vital resources needed to navigate the pandemic, according to the city.
Barton has, at various times, overseen the departments of police, fire, community services, economic development, library services, and the city's education office, according to the city.
“I want to thank the mayor and council for their confidence in providing me this opportunity to serve the people of Phoenix," Barton said. “I consider it an honor and privilege to contribute to making Phoenix an even stronger, safer, better place to live, work and play for all residents, business owners, and visitors."