The Oro Valley Town Council unanimously voted to hire a new town manager at its Wednesday, July 21 meeting.

The council gave interim Town Manager Jerene Watson the job she has held since September on a permanent basis.

"After a lot of deliberation, we have offered the job to acting Town Manager Jerene Watson," said Councilman Steve Solomon.

He said the strength of Watson's resume and qualifications would be difficult to equal in a nationwide search of candidates. Solomon also extolled Watson's grasp of local and statewide issues as a reason to hire her.

"It would be a good year before that person would become an effective town manager," Solomon said.

"Thank you Mr. Mayor and council," Watson said after the vote. "I appreciate your vote of confidence."

Watson's annual salary would be $155,648, plus $14,000 in yearly deferred compensation paid into a retirement savings account. Watson also would receive a $1,832 annual vehicle stipend.

She would work on an annual contract basis. The council would review her performance annually and decide whether to officer a contract renewal.

Watson has worked for the town since January 2007, when she was hired as assistant town manager. She later was hired to fill in as town manager after the resignation of former Town Manager David Andrews.

The previous town council has initially intended to conduct a nationwide search for candidates to fill the job of town manager. The council planned to set aside as much as $30,000 to pay an outside firm to conduct the search.

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