Andrews up for council's review - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

Andrews up for council's review

Manager has been with Oro Valley since 1991

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Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:36 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

The Oro Valley Town Council plans a closed executive session this week for its annual review of the town manager's performance.

David Andrews has been with the town since 1991. He was the finance director for 13 years, then spent two years as assistant town manager. In 2006, Andrews was hired as town manager after the resignation of longtime manager Chuck Sweet.

Under Andrews' leadership, the town has seen rapid growth and development. For several years, Oro Valley rode the wave of the housing boom, seeing unprecedented expansion and reaping the benefits of growth-related impact fees.

In the past year, however, the town's finances have been hit by the housing crisis of 2008 and current recession. With the pace of commercial and residential construction at crawl, the money has stopped flowing into town coffers.

Town finance officials have predicted a $1.2 million deficit by the end of the fiscal year that began July 1, and anticipate a $1.4 million shortfall in fiscal 2011.

Oro Valley, of course, isn't alone in feeling the pinch. Across the state, and across the country, governments have suffered. State government continues to wrestle with its spending plan.

Oro Valley's own budget this year, while completed on time, was one of the most acrimonious in town history, according to many observers. The issue of layoffs weighed heavy on the town as Andrews proposed a reduction in force plan that would have given 33 people their walking papers. That proposal would have trimmed more than $2 million out of town expenses.

Police representatives came out strongly against the plan, which included the possible elimination of six officer positions.

The council ultimately rejected the layoff proposal, opting instead to keep a hiring freeze in place and to use reserve funds to make up a $450,000 shortfall.

More recently, police employee representatives, including the Fraternal Order of Police and Oro Valley Police Officers Association, have vocally criticized Andrews. The groups sent letters to town council members alleging that the manager's actions put public safety at risk, and they believe comments he made potentially violated open meeting laws. The groups also requested the council confer with police when negotiating any severance package with Andrews.

Because Andrews' review will be done in closed session, the discussion won't be open to members of the public. In addition, Andrews' contract is not listed on the agenda as an action item. His contract would be renewed upon completion of the review unless the issue was put on the agenda.

In late 2008, Andrews received a $21,000 raise. Mayor Paul Loomis and Councilman Al Kunisch voted against the 14 percent pay increase, which brought Andrews' annual salary to $164,967.

The town council meets Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. at town hall, located at 11000 N. La Cañada Drive. The executive session is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

What managers make

Pima County

Chuck Huckelberry

$250,312

Town of Oro Valley

David Andrews

$164,967

Town of Marana

Gilbert Davidson

$148,000

Town of Sahuarita

James Stahle

$141,421

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