The Payson Town Council unanimously voted on Aug. 27 to hire Troy Smith, the deputy city manager from the City of Commerce, Colo., as Payson’s new town manager at a salary of $155,000.
The search for a town manager took more than a year to complete after the council fired LaRon Garrett on Aug. 8, 2019. Since that time, Sheila DeSchaaf has served as the acting town manager and was a finalist for the position. She will now return to her positions as deputy town manager and public works director.
“I am very excited to welcome Troy to Payson,” she said. “All of the department heads and I believe Troy’s experience and leadership style will be a great fit for the organization and we hope he will receive the utmost support and encouragement from the entire community.”
Smith looks forward to arriving in Payson by Oct. 19, a date “driven by my current employment, which requires a minimum of 45 days notice and the need to relocate,” he said.
“I am honored to have been chosen as Payson’s next town manager,” said Smith. “I am excited about the bright opportunity I have witnessed throughout the town.”
Smith comes from a town administration and law enforcement background.
For the last three years, Smith served as the deputy city manager of the City of Commerce, a northern suburb of Denver. With a population around 62,000 that supports about 1,400 businesses, the town had a $100 million budget and a staff of 401 employees.
Smith’s duties as deputy city manager included overseeing human resources, risk management, information technology, finance and budget, municipal court, city clerk’s office and the communications and community relations division.
While in that position, Smith also managed a $100 million voter approved bond that funded a five-year plan.
Before serving as deputy city manager, Smith was the City of Commerce’s chief of police for three years.
While chief, he oversaw 125 employees and served on numerous governing boards including the FBI Metro Gang Task Force, Regional Communications Center Board, a countywide criminal justice reform committee, and as chairman of the Colorado Information Sharing Consortium.
In Smith’s other police positions, he served as deputy police chief in Grand Junction, Colo., and held leadership positions at the Thornton, Colo. Police Department.
In between his police and town hall positions, Smith served as executive director of the Colorado Regional Community Policing Institute and Colorado Police Corps. The organization helped to provide continuing education and certification for Colorado’s law enforcement community.
The salary offered to Smith is in the range of what Garrett received. After a merit raise in October of 2019, Garrett was reported to make more than $160,000.
This is much more than Debra Galbraith, the town manager prior to Garrett made. Her salary topped out at $128,000.
The council had debated whether to have a higher salary range that would have offered more than $200,000 at the top end, when it started the town manager search in April. The council ultimately decided to settle on a range from $120,000 to $160,000.