City News

Back to City News

City to host open house for Administrator finalists
City Administrator finalists

The City invites Yuma residents to attend an open house to meet the finalists for the City Administrator position, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 in Council Chambers and the lobby of Yuma City Hall, One City Plaza.

During the event, the four finalists for the City Administrator position will introduce themselves and interact informally with attendees. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the finalists and provide the City Council with feedback on their impressions of the candidates.

The City Council will then interview the finalists in executive session on Oct. 10 and 11.

The City of Yuma operates under the council-administrator form of government. The administrator is appointed by the City Council and serves as the chief administrative officer, implements Council policies, provides organizational leadership for department directors and employees, and oversees the day-to-day business of government operations. The Novak Consulting Group has facilitated the City Administrator recruitment process, which resulted in a total of 34 applicants.



Michael Celaya – Former City Manager, City of Page, Ariz.

Celaya has 24 years of experience in municipal administration. He has served in Arizona as the City Manager of Page and as the Town Manager in Gila Bend. In addition, he worked for the City of Surprise for 14 years in various roles including the Director of Human Services and Community Vitality, Director of Intergovernmental Relations, and Grants Manager. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University.

Jacob Ellis – Deputy Town Manager, Town of Gilbert, Ariz.

Ellis has 14 years of experience serving local governments and has worked for the Town of Gilbert for the past four years, most recently serving as the Deputy Town Manager. Prior to working in Arizona, he served the Cowichan Valley Regional District in Duncan, British Columbia in various roles including Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, General Manager of the Regional Services Department, and Manager of Corporate Planning. Ellis has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Brigham Young University, a Master of Public Administration from Cleveland State University, and a Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Philip Rodriguez – Catalyst for Innovation & Resiliency in Local Government, Catalyst Resource Management

Rodriguez has more than 17 years of local government experience including serving as the City Manager in Brighton, a suburb of Denver, Colo. He also served as the City Manager in Athens, Texas; the Executive Director of Economic Development and City Manager for the City of Fate, Texas; and as the Assistant to City Manager in Cedar Park, Texas. Rodriguez has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management from Colorado Christian University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas

John Simonton, Interim City Administrator, City of Yuma

Simonton has worked for the City of Yuma for 16 years and was appointed as Interim Yuma City Administrator this past April. He also served as Yuma’s Deputy City Administrator, Utilities Director, and Capital Improvement Program Project Manager. In addition to his work at the City, Simonton worked as an engineer for Arviso Engineering and Nicklaus Engineering, private engineering firms in the Yuma community. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Technology and a Master of Administration from Northern Arizona University.