Don McDaniel, a former Winslow city administrator and acting county manager in Maricopa County, has been named Gila County’s new manager.
“I’m just really looking forward to the opportunity,” said McDaniel. “I feel really honored that they would select me.”
McDaniel takes the position vacated by former Manager Steve Besich, who passed away in late January.
About 300 people applied, and the other top two candidates were Arthur Rullo, a former budget director for Scottsdale, and Gregory Lewis, a county manager from Niagara County, N.Y.
“I think he’s going to be a great addition to this team,” said Supervisor Tommie Martin. “We wound up interviewing three very qualified people. Any one of them could have been a county manager.”
Martin said she liked that McDaniel had worked his way up through county government, which gives him an idea of the daily tribulations occurring at lower levels.
McDaniel begins his new job June 7, and will make $113,048 annually. The county manager is an at-will employee and does not sign a contract.
Most recently, McDaniel served for nine years as senior vice president for operations of Arizona Baptist Children’s Services. The organization downsized, and McDaniel has been job searching since April 2009.
“I’ve been looking for the right job,” he said.
Prior to that, he worked as Winslow’s city administrator from 1994 to 2000 and deputy county manager of Maricopa County from 1990 to 1994, even serving a stint as the county’s acting manager from 1989 to 1990.
McDaniels wrote in his resume that he has changed organizational cultures to become more responsive to constituents rather than the institution.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from California State Polytechnic University, and took graduate classes in public administration at California State University at Fullerton.
McDaniel said he believes in teamwork.
“A lot of times things aren’t getting done that should be getting done,” he said. “Sometimes things are done that don’t need to be done.”
He said he’ll start by reviewing the county’s operations to see if the government is the right size — “to make sure we’re providing the taxpayers with the most bang for the buck.”
McDaniel is married with two children in their late 30s. He and his wife will move to Globe.