Deputy City Manager Larry Rains has been formally named Casa Grande’s next city manager.
The vote, during the April 18 City Council meeting, was unanimous.
His appointment will be effective Aug. 7, which is the day present City Manager Jim Thompson previously announced he will retire.
Mayor Bob Jackson said that date could be moved up if Thompson decides to leave earlier.
Prior to the vote, Jackson said, “A couple of months ago, Jim tendered his retirement to us and we’ve kind of gone down this road. He authorized me to sit down and work out an agreement with Larry and I think what we’ve done is provided you with what he feels is fair and certainly I feel is fair, as well.”
According to the staff report accompanying the agenda item, Rains’ yearly salary will be at step 10 of the city manager pay scale, or $178,662.43. That scale runs from $145,475 to $200,440 annually.
Rains would also receive, in addition to the standard city benefits, an automobile allowance, cell phone allowance, and city-paid dependent insurance and life insurance, the staff report adds.
“I will say that the appointment of Larry as the city manager, he certainly is capable and I think is the best candidate we would have found to begin with, Jackson said. “Also, it really provides a good transition for the city. So with that, it’s my recommendation that we appoint Mr. Rains as the city manager.”
After the vote, Rains told the council, “First of all, I truly thank you for this appointment. I can’t tell you how excited I am about the opportunity of being the city manager for the city of Casa Grande. Your vote tonight certainly shows a confidence and I appreciate it.”
He added, “I’ve had a lot of folks ask me throughout the last couple of weeks about this position, and quite frankly the outpouring of support from many of the folks sitting in this audience and the community has just been overwhelming and certainly caused me to reflect and it just humbles me, quite frankly.”
Rains pointed out that it was 14 years ago in May that he came to Casa Grande as city finance director.
“A couple of things that I think are just impactful and one of the reasons why I looked at Casa Grande to come here 14 years ago and why I’m so excited about this opportunity today is, number one, Casa Grande as an organization and community has such a rich leadership fabric and most communities that those of us in this profession move to from community to community can’t say that,” he said. “The fact that the city of Casa Grande serves as an economic hub to western Pinal County, the fact that things are very, very stable here, comparatively, to pretty much the rest of the nation, the fact that we have such a fine community and the folks that are willing to really work for the betterment of this community have all been motivating factors for me to really put my roots here in Casa Grande and call this place home.”
Rains said he looks forward to “working through the transition with Jim. I mean, obviously, he’s had a fantastic career here and as he concludes his tenure, my goals these next couple of months will be to make this transition as seamless as possible.”
He added, “I also look forward to working with each of you (the council) individually and collectively, with our experienced management staff and the 450-plus employees that work here daily to make Casa Grande a better place. I’m excited about working with everybody and getting on that common vision and moving forward. Thanks to all the folks that have been supportive over these last couple of weeks and my family and friends who have supported me for 27 years in this government endeavor.”
Jackson said, “Thank you, Larry. And thank you, Jim, for picking somebody as your deputy that could step into the job when you retired.”
Thompson, who came to the city in 2004, announced his retirement in an employee newsletter in February. The resignation date was accepted during the March 7 City Council meeting, beginning the process of finding a replacement.
“Part of this process included engaging in a discussion with Larry Rains, the current deputy city manager, who has served in that role since 2008,” the staff report accompanying the agenda item said. “After the interview process, the council instructed the mayor and staff to attempt to reach an agreement with Rains to serve as the city’s next city manager.”
Rains came to Casa Grande as finance director, then was appointed deputy manager.
“Rains possesses more than 25 years of experience in the public sector, including service as the finance director for the cities of Wilcox, Clifton, and Eloy,” the staff report says. “He also previously served as the city manager for the city of Wilcox for eight years. For the last 14 years, Rains has been with the city of Casa Grande, where he has provided exemplary service as the city’s finance director and deputy city manager.”
The report continues, “The appointment of Mr. Rains will provide the city with a capable leader who is already familiar with the community as well as has detailed knowledge concerning the operations of and issues facing the city. His appointment should provide for a smooth transition from Thompson’s retirement to Rains’ assumption of the city manager position.”