New County Manager Sought

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors is selecting a new county manager this year, following Louis Andersen’s resignation from the post last fall.

Andersen, who took over as manager in September 2019, submitted a one-sentence resignation letter to the board Nov. 9, to take effect eight days later. Deputy County Manager Leo Lew, who was a finalist for the top job at the time Andersen was selected, was appointed interim manager at a special meeting Nov. 10.

Board Chairman Anthony Smith said Lew “is well-placed to take on the role and steer the County until the appointment of a permanent county manager in the new year.”

Lew has been the deputy county manager since 2013 and still holds that title along with the interim manager job. He is a credentialed manager with the International City/County Management Association and has worked in local government for more than 15 years.

He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is a certified public accountant, having begun his professional career with a Big Four professional services firm. Lew completed the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia and the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Andersen has not commented on his reasons for leaving or his future plans. He signed a mutual severance document entitling him to a one-time payment of $150,000.

His departure closely followed the Nov. 3 election, which led to the exit of the three county supervisors who voted for him over Lew for the county manager job — Smith chose not to run again, Board Vice Chairman Pete Rios was defeated in the general election and District 5 Supervisor Todd House lost in the primary.

Due to the turnover on the board, any decisions related to appointing a permanent county manager will not happen until January, County spokesman James Daniels said.

Rios thanked Andersen for his leadership: “He has kept the County on the straight and narrow and growing economically in spite of COVID-19. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Andersen had been the County’s public works director for six years before being appointed manager following an in-house search. He’d previously worked for the Seattle Housing Authority and the Town of Gilbert before being hired as Pinal County’s public works director in 2013, where he oversaw the transportation infrastructure, engineering flood control, solid waste recycling, airport and emergency management divisions.