New City Manager For Tucson

New City ManagerThis month brings a new City Manager to City Hall. Martha Durkin, who has served as Interim City Manager since August of last year, returns to her position of Deputy City Manager. Michael Ortega takes over as City Manager July 1. I’d like to take a moment both to thank Martha and to welcome Michael.

For nearly 30 years, Martha has devoted her professional life to public service, working for the Tucson City Attorney and City Manager’s Offices, for Pima County, and for Tucson Unified School District.

Martha has done an outstanding job in her 11 months as Interim City Manager—bringing us through the budget process, winning numerous awards for city projects from national organizations, completing renovations at the Tucson Convention Center, and adding streets to be repaired under Proposition 409.

Our last city manager oversaw construction of the streetcar line, a major accomplishment. Martha has seen the streetcar go from zero to more than one million riders, sooner than expected—also a major accomplishment.

Martha is a hard worker, very smart, and holds staff to high standards. She is also a genuinely nice person. Her many accomplishments and qualities earned her the Pima County/Tucson Women’s Commission Special Award of Distinction.

I’m very pleased that Martha will continue to serve as our Deputy City Manager. She’s a top-notch manager and will be a great help with the transition to our new City Manager, Michael Ortega.

Michael comes to us from Cochise County, where he served as County Administrator for eight years. Prior to that, he was the City Manager for Douglas, Arizona. A civil engineer, he has held positions in the private sector and the public sector, working at IBM and at the Arizona and Pima County Departments of Transportation.

A Southern Arizona native, Michael earned both his undergraduate degree and his MBA at the University of Arizona.

Michael comes to us highly qualified and highly recommended. I look forward to working with him on issues important to Tucson, particularly economic development, infrastructure improvement, delivering outstanding customer service in all city departments, and ensuring the long-term financial health of city government.