The Oro Valley Council voted to accept Town Manager Jerene Watson’s resignation June 1, putting the four-year employee on paid administrative leave starting June 12.

Watson submitted her resignation on May 22, stating she would be taking a deputy city manager position in Flagstaff.

Watson had planned for her final day as June 29, but for structural reasons the council voted to make her final day with the city Friday, June 10.

Starting June 12, Greg Caton, who currently serves as the assistant town manager, will become acting town manager. On June 30, when Watson’s resignation is official, Caton will start serving as the interim town manager.

Mayor Satish Hiremath said it is not a negative reflection on Watson. The decision to put her on paid administrative leave was so Caton can easily transition into the role, and Watson can have more time to tie up loose ends.

Hiremath said the council has not discussed how to replace Watson, but that they are confident in Caton’s ability to serve as interim town manager until a decision is made.

“Even if we started to search for a new town manager today, it could take up to a year,” Hiremath said. “I believe no one other than someone within our own house can handle the town’s affairs. Greg has been here six months, and has plenty of experience prior to coming here.”

The council is expected to discuss the matter during an executive session on July 6.

Watson, who became town manager last year, was making $155,000 annually.

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