Chandler: Chandler chooses city manager after national search

Chandler: Chandler chooses city manager after national search

Joshua Bowling | Arizona Republic

Troy Warren for CNT


Chandler announced it would promote an internal candidate, Joshua Wright, to lead the city after conducting a national search to replace City Manager Marsha Reed, who retired in March.

The City Council is expected to approve Wright’s contract at an Aug. 12 meeting.

Since March, Wright has served as interim city manager in the suburb of some 260,000 residents southeast of Phoenix. He joined the city as an assistant city manager in 2017.

Wright was one of four city manager finalists named earlier this month.

“I am honored by the Mayor and council’s confidence in me to serve as Chandler’s city manager and am excited about our community’s bright future,” Wright said in a statement. “As an East Valley native, I have always admired Chandler’s visionary leadership and couldn’t be more excited to serve the city my family and I call home.”

Mayor Kevin Hartke in a statement touted Wright’s contributions to the city and reputation as a “natural and inspiring leader.” 

“Joshua has guided the city through many challenges and has led the city to record-setting successes, including the largest private investment project in Arizona’s history with Intel,” Hartke said.

Chandler sought leader to strengthen community relationships

Chandler’s elected leaders entered the recruitment processing saying they sought a leader with experience in medium and large cities or counties. They also sought a city manager who could diversify the city’s economy and strengthen its relationship with businesses, residents and nonprofits.

Before joining Chandler, Wright served five years as town manager in Wickenburg and five years as assistant to the town manager and director of strategic initiatives in Marana near Tucson.

The City Council received 34 applications for the job and pared down the list in closed-door meetings. The other three finalists were:

  • Milton Dohoney Jr., who has 36 years of municipal experience. He last served seven years as assistant city manager and chief operating officer in Phoenix. Prior to his time in the Valley, he was the city manager in Cincinnati and spent 20 years in government in Kentucky.
  • Sarah Hensley, who was appointed in February as interim city manager in Denton, Texas, a city of about 136,200 in the Dallas area, where she has worked since 2019. She has more than 20 years of experience leading city departments, primarily parks and recreation, including in Phoenix.
  • Tom Hutka, who has served as public works director for 11 years in Broward County, Florida, a county of nearly 2 million on Florida’s Atlantic coast. He has experience serving as a top executive in smaller cities and counties in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.

Republic reporter Paulina Pineda contributed to this report.

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By Troy Warren

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