Interviews for Florence town manager begin

Former council member applies for position

Posted 5/5/22

The town has been without a permanent town manager since Brent Billingsley announced his resignation to the town council in January. Billingsley had been the Florence town manager since …

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Interviews for Florence town manager begin

Former council member applies for position


The town has been without a permanent town manager since Brent Billingsley announced his resignation to the town council in January. Billingsley had been the Florence town manager since 2015.

Billingsley is now the director of community development for Pinal County.

Deputy Town Manager and Town Clerk Lisa Garcia has been serving as interim town manager since Billingsley’s departure.

Five people have been interviewed for the position. It’s not known when a hiring decision will be made. Here’s a look at the applicants.

Gerald M. Flannery, Centennial, Colorado

In his application letter he wrote, “The variety and depth of my experience combined with my energy and dedication will add measurable value to the Town of Florence by driving focus on superior operations, generating strong citizen relationships and customer relations, and collaboration within the Town and all other regional agencies and governmental partners.”

Currently, Flannery serves as CEO and general manager of the Highlands Ranch Community Association (HRCA) in Highlands, Colorado. According to Flannery’s application, the HRCA provides “community leadership, architectural control and covenant enforcement operation and maintenance of four major recreation facilities, provides over 100 community events a year; youth and adult sports, fitness and educational opportunities.”

He is responsible for:

  • The operation and management of one of the largest master-planned communities in the U.S. with a budget of $28 million.
  • Economic development within the community
  • Setting the vision for the organization and its 900+ employees, including 120 full-time employees
  • Oversight of four large recreation centers and their operations
  • Oversight of school, sports and fitness programs
  • Oversight of 8,000 acres of open space in our backcountry
  • Oversight of over 100 calendared events held annually

Flannery is no stranger to Arizona. He received his Bachelor of Science, Geography with emphasis in Urban Planning from Arizona State University in 1987.

He also had served as deputy county manager for Coconino County and town manager for Sahuarita.

Ruben P. Montano, Florence

In his application letter, the former Florence Town Council member wrote that he has “always had a desire to work in my community of Florence, Arizona. (M)y 35 years in corrections and detention has provided me with experience in employee management, budgets, maintenance, fleet, daily operations, development of goals and mission statements. One area that I have become very familiar with is training and education. As an Arizona state certified principal and teacher, I see the value in ensuring that our staff receives a strong foundation in learning the needs of working for any employment.”

He is currently the chief learning officer and bureau administrator for the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation Reentry. In his position he:

  • Develops curriculum for pre-service Correctional Officer Training Academy (COTA)
  • Develops curriculum for in-service annual training) for all correctional staff
  • Develops curriculum for leadership development for all supervisors
  • Is responsible for tuition reimbursement program
  • Develops curriculum for specialty training for weapons
  • Supervises 22 staff members in staff development and training division
  • Has knowledge of the Six Pillars of Policing in the 21 Century
  • Has knowledge of the Seven Foundations of Policing (Use of force)
  • Has knowledge of non-violent crisis intervention

Montano has a BA in Business Administration and Management, a MA in Organizational Management and a MA in Education Administration and Leadership, all from the University of Phoenix.

Patrick Marsh, Rochester, Minnesota

In his application letter, Marsh wrote that he is “an experienced, visionary leader with strong leadership and management skills. I believe in being proactive and creative in achieving solutions to all local government issues and rely on strong communication skills in working with elected officials and members of the community.”

Currently, he is employed as a consultant for CWIOWA LLC in Rock Island, Illinois, where he has facilitated property acquisition for all company expansion initiatives, implemented long-term growth initiatives, written grants and coordinated development efforts with CEO.

Prior to his present job he was the city administrator for the city of Fitchburg in Wisconsin. He also was city administrator and economic development director for the city of Monona, Wisconsin.

He has:

  • 30 years of public sector experience
  • 18 years as a local government manager/administrator
  • 18 years of budgeting and financial planning leadership
  • 11 years as lead economic development director
  • 15 years of planning/zoning experience
  • 11 years as primary human resources manager

He is an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) credentialed manager. He has a master's degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Arts Business/Public Administration & Political Science Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

Lawrence Dwain Johnson, Florence

In his application letter he wrote that he is “a business professional with over 25+ years of success in various corporate environments while holding various increasing levels of responsibility, such as: chief procurement officer, chief operations officer, general manager, vice president and director. Additionally, I have expert level experience in international sourcing and negotiations for 20+ years in Eastern Europe, South America, Australia, United Kingdom and Mexico.”

He has worked for ARCOSA Wind Towers, in Dallas, where he was senior director supply base and supply chain. He also has worked for Joerns Health Care LLC in Arlington, Texas, where he was vice president of supply chain.

He received a Bachelor of Science in economics from Oklahoma State University, where he also minored in business management.

John Cameron Barklev, Winslow

In his application letter he wrote, “As a tenured and ICMA credentialed local government manager, I know the challenges involved in building sustainability into all aspects of operations to ensure a future of community resilience and organizational excellence.

Currently, Barkley is the city manager for Winslow. He also has been the county administrator for Greene County, Virginia and town administrator for the town of Round Hill, also in Virginia. He also is a member of:

  • Arizona Airports Association
  • Arizona City/County Management Association
  • Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona (ECoNA)
  • International City/County Management Association {ICMA-CM} executive board member
  • League of Arizona Cities and Towns
  • Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG)
  • Winslow Rotary Club

He has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore, Yale Gordon College of Public Affairs William Donald Schaefer Center for Public Policy. He received his Bachelor of Arts, Literature, English from the University of Maryland at College Park.


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