The Prescott Pioneer Stories by Ray Newton
The past seven months have given Gilbert Davidson, recently named Prescott Valley town manager, an opportunity to meet and work with town and community leaders in establishing major goals.
“It is gratifying to work with the professional personnel employed by the Town who have such a high level of experience and knowledge and are part of a leadership team with such a strong focus on service to the community,” Davidson said. “I know this — Prescott Valley is a unique place in Arizona where people really want to live”
Davidson said his 12 years as town manager in Marana made him feel comfortable with a similar role in Prescott Valley.
He said the pandemic has changed the way people work.
“It made us look at our work priorities and responsibilities and figure out which are the most important,” Davidson said. “It also made us realize we can be effective in doing our jobs in nontraditional ways and locations. The key thing — identifying and prioritizing tasks that are absolutely necessary to keep the system moving forward. We must fulfill absolutely our legal and ethical responsibilities to taxpayers who pay us.”
One of Davidson’s first actions when he arrived in early August was to schedule workshops and study sessions with key town employees and staff members.
Davidson said they established and endorsed four major focal points:
• Exceptional service to constituents; anticipate and solve issues so recipients of town services know they will receive the best that can be delivered within existing circumstances.
• Acknowledge the critical water crisis; emphasize more the need for safe yield, water conservation and protection of water resources.
• Sustain and protect community quality of life; identify, encourage, protect and develop parks, trails, recreational, cultural and public areas that enhance the community.
• Develop and increase opportunities for more and better jobs; emphasize developing economic opportunities for younger people to find meaningful jobs with good salaries so they can remain in the area.
Davidson said one continuing challenge was finding revenue to meet concerns such as improving roads and transportation, especially along Highway 69.
Davidson said he admired how the Quad City communities cooperated and collaborated on projects and programs that affect the greater region.
Prescott Valley Mayor Kell Palguta praised Davidson.
“Davidson is the tip of the spear when it comes to his vision, dedication and desire to make Prescott Valley an even more amazing place,” Palguta said. “We are all fortunate to have such a person leading our organization.”
Davidson replaced Larry Tarkowski, who retired last spring. He came from the University of Arizona, where he had been a senior consultant from February 2020 until July 2021. Earlier, he was in the State Capitol, where he served as Chief Operating Officer for Gov. Doug Ducey from November 2017 until December 2019. Davidson also had experience as city manager for Wilcox from July 2002 until July 2005.
He has three degrees from the University of Arizona and a certificate from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
His wife Paige teaches in an ESL program in Prescott Valley. Their 8-year-old daughter Ann is a third-grader.
Gilbert Davidson, recently named Prescott Valley Town Manager, says Prescott Valley is a desirable community in Arizona where people want to live.