Chris Brady has been selected as the new city manager for Mesa, bringing new blood into a city that's headed for an uncertain future.
The Mesa City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint the 42-year-old Brady as city manager, replacing Mike Hutchinson, who is retiring at the end of the year.
Brady, the San Antonio assistant city manager for the past five years, will start his position Jan. 1. He will earn $187,500 plus a $600 a month vehicle allowance.
Although coming from outside the city, Brady, a Brigham Young University graduate and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, already has ties to Mesa. His wife grew up in Scottsdale and her parents and sister now live in Mesa.
Brady becomes just the fourth Mesa city manager — and first hired from outside the organization — since the position was created 50 years ago. He was selected over Aurora, Colo., City Manager Ron Miller.
Brady will be tested in his first-ever job as a city manager, inheriting a looming budget shortfall of about $36 million, an uphill battle to convince Mesa voters that a property tax is needed, low staff morale, the departure of many longtime employees and a demographically-changing city with a population of nearly 500,000.
But Brady also will have the opportunity to help turn Williams Gateway Airport into the thriving business area Mesa envisions, strengthen relations with the Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens and other groups seeking more influence at City Hall and oversee continued high-end growth in the eastern portions of town.
Brady graduated from BYU in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and two years later with a Master of Public Administration. He worked as an intern for the city of Provo, Utah for two years. He then worked as a management analyst and financial analyst for Houston, followed by a term as assistant city manager in Bellaire, Texas, near Houston.
He was hired by San Antonio in 1996 as assistant to the city manager and promoted to assistant city manager in 2000.