After an extensive interview process, the Yuma City Council selected Yuma’s next City Administrator on Monday.
“After a long, thorough search that resulted in more than 30 applicants, the involvement of hundreds of individuals throughout the community and hours of deliberation, the City Council is proud to announce the selection of Philip Rodriguez as our next City Administrator,” said Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls. “He comes to Yuma with over 17 years of local government experience, which will serve our community well.”
At a special meeting held Monday, the Council approved Rodriguez’s four-year contract, which includes an option to renew. His anticipated start date at the City is Nov. 19.
Rodriguez has served as the city manager in the cities of Brighton, Colo., and Athens, Texas. In addition, he held the positions of executive director of economic development and city manager for the City of Fate, Texas, and assistant to the city manager in Cedar Park, Texas. Rodriguez began his career in municipal government with the City of San Antonio, Texas, the seventh-largest city in the United States.
Throughout his career, Rodriguez has also worked as a consultant with Catalyst Resource Management (CRM), where he assisted local governments in becoming stronger organizations and in providing high-quality services. His areas of focus with CRM included developing cultures of innovation, resiliency, strategic planning, cost-benefit analysis, project management, financial management, and organization change.
Rodriguez has been community-active. He was involved in the Youth Initiative of Adams County, which focuses on the success of every child in the community from cradle to career. He serves on several community boards and has a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from Colorado Christian University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas.
When asked about the appointment, Rodriguez said, “I'm humbled and honored to be selected as Yuma’s city administrator. I am especially grateful to Mayor Nicholls and the entire Yuma City Council for their trust and confidence in me and look forward to working with them to ensure Yuma's future is vibrant and successful.
“I'm incredibly eager to work with the quality team at the City, and to serve the community to the very best of my abilities,” Rodriguez added. “Me and my family are excited to make Yuma our home and are blessed to join such a great community as we build our future together. I hope to have the chance to visit with and hear from as many Yumans as possible in the days ahead and learn more about how our organization can best partner with the residents and businesses of Yuma.”
Nicholls thanked Jay Simonton for his work as the interim administrator for the last six months. “The search for the next administrator has been an extensive process, and we have relied on Jay’s leadership to keep the organization operating efficiently. The Council and I express our deepest gratitude for his tireless effort, skill, and willingness to step into the role. We look forward to continuing to work with him as he steps back into his deputy administrator role. We truly believe the combination of both Phil and Jay will provide the strongest team of leaders for our organization to meet the challenges and future of the City of Yuma.”
The City began a national search for their next Administrator in June of 2019, following the retirement of Greg Wilkinson, who had been the City Administrator for nine years.
The City of Yuma’s City Administrator’s recruitment process was facilitated by The Novak Consulting Group and involved extensive community input and feedback. Residents and stakeholders were asked to participate in a community input survey, which was used to develop the ideal candidate profile and identify priorities for the next administrator. In addition, residents were invited to a candidate reception and open house, where they provided feedback to the Council on the candidates; those comments were used as part of the Council’s deliberation process. The Council interviewed the top three finalists Oct. 10-11.