The Marana Town Council appointed Jamsheed Mehta to act as the interim town manager Monday, replacing Gilbert Davidson.

Mehta, who was deputy town manager, will serve in the position until a permanent replacement is selected by the council. Davidson announced earlier this month that he would be taking a position with the state in mid-November, serving as its chief operating officer.

He will serve as a member of Gov. Doug Ducey’s senior staff and oversee operations of all state agencies. He replaces Henry Darwin, who left the administration in July to serve as COO for the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.

Davidson said he was interested in the position after Ducey described it as part of a city-manager-style governance model. He will be running the state as he helped to run Marana for more than a decade.

“I’m honored to join Governor Ducey’s team with the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of people across our state,” said Davidson.

During his tenure as town manager, Marana’s population increased to over 10,000 people in a 12-year timespan.

“Gilbert has earned a reputation as a consummate professional, who has driven results and led Marana through growth and expansion,” said Ducey.

Davidson starting working in Marana as the deputy town manager in June 2005 and was appointed to the position of town manager three years later.

Marana Mayor Ed Honea said Davidson was integral to the town’s success.

“Gilbert’s impact on Marana has been essential to creating an organization that responds quickly and efficiently to its residents,” said Honea.

Mehta became deputy town manager in March 2014.

He was appointed by Davidson to oversee the departments of development services, airport, engineering, utilities and public works.

Mehta has degrees in civil engineering and urban planning from the University of Kansas.

The council delayed a decision Monday to adopt a specific strategy to find a new town manager until a future meeting.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4197.


Reporter with the Arizona Daily Star. I cover politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona.