Will Patrick Banger be Gilbert’s New Town Manager?

One of the most important decisions that Gilbert’s Town Council Members have had to make is the selection of the new Town Manager. The finalist is Patrick Banger. He was the City Manager of O’Fallon, Missouri from 1998-2004. He also has held executive positions in private industry for several years including his own consulting business.

Since announcing their selection of Mr. Banger at the 6/23 Council meeting, the Council members have continued their research, including a detailed background check with approximately 20-25 reference checks as part of the process. The Council has completed the vetting process, and they are ready to put Mr. Banger to work!

The final piece is a public meeting which is to take place Tuesday, July 12, at 8 am in the Council Chambers, 50 E Civic Center Drive.

If you cannot attend the meeting, you can obtain a copy of the DVD of the 6/27/2011 “Live! Town Manager Interviews” from the Town Clerk for only $6.00. Email Cathy Templeton at Cathy.Templeton@gilbertaz.gov to obtain a copy.

My own opinion is that, among the six candidates, Patrick Banger’s presentation stood out as the most visionary, articulate, and professional. His extensive executive experience in both the public and private sectors emphasizes Organizational and Results-Oriented Leadership, Financial Management, and Economic Development.

Some highlights of Mr. Banger’s 20-Minute Presentation:

In just over a year at O’Fallon, here are a few achievements: 1) a reduction of turnover from 20% to 4%; 2) a 53% reduction in accidents; 3) a 60% reduction in workers compensation premiums.

During his 6-year tenure, he: 1) increased the General Fund’s reserves from 17% to 22.24%; 2) improved their Moody’s credit rating; 3) reduced property taxes every year; 4) increased the City’s revenues by 168% in 6 years through organic growth, NOT through tax increases.

While working in both the public and private sectors, he brought several companies to O’Fallon, providing 10,000 jobs. These included MasterCard International’s Global Operations and Technology Center, Citicorp’s National Mortgage Operations Center, the MEMC Silicon Wafer Plant expansion, to name a few.

Mr. Banger has studied Gilbert’s finances, commenting that Gilbert, like many other communities, has many challenges, including SB1525, which changes the way cities can collect developer impact fees. He stated that “the burden of new growth must not be on the backs of existing residents and businesses. There are solutions. We’ll roll up our sleeves and find them.”

He noted three facts about Gilbert that has positioned it well to fuel growth and attract businesses to relocate here. He stated that, while these are not enough, they are fundamental pillars:

* Gilbert’s low employee/resident ratio. He stated that O’Fallon had a similar ratio and they took great pride in that.
* Gilbert’s ability to deliver its services to residents and businesses at very low cost.
* Gilbert’s very low tax burden.

He complimented Gilbert on some solutions they have already implemented, and noted the rolling 5-year financial plan.

He stated that employee salary freezes are tough but necessary in today’s economy, and that this is happening in the private sector as well.
He identified several areas of opportunity. Some of those include: 1) Lease versus buy; 2) Outsourcing; 3) Reevaluation of lines of business, suggesting that we should ask the question: “Should government be doing this, or is it better left to the private sector”?

He firmly believes that Gilbert can be the Employer of Choice and the Community of Choice.