010- Economic Development Secrets- Mary Jacobs, Sierra Vista, AZ


This month’s installment of Economic Development Secrets features Mary Jacobs. Mary was hired as Sierra Vista’s first Assistant City Manager in March of 2000.  Prior to this position, Jacobs served as the Assistant Town Manager of Barnstable, Massachusetts on Cape Cod for six years.  She also worked in several professional and managerial positions for Maricopa County, Arizona from 1989 – 1994.

Jacobs functions as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer and currently supervises all non-public safety operational departments, constituting a wide span of functions to include the library, leisure and recreation, planning, building inspection, fleet and facility maintenance, parks and grounds maintenance, streets, engineering, capital planning, wastewater, refuse, transit, and the airport.  She also oversees the economic development, intergovernmental relations and the marketing and public affairs functions for the City.  She is also involved in leading a variety of special projects such as community engagement efforts, development and management of the City Council’s strategic plan, City-wide annexation efforts, and overseeing the City’s legislative agenda.

From 2011-2014, Jacobs was appointed by the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to serve on the national Wildland Fire Executive Council as the official representative of the National League of Cities, a body established to oversee development of a national cohesive strategy on wildfire mitigation and management.

Jacobs is an active member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and served as Vice President on its Executive Board from 2012-2014, chairing the Membership Committee and serving as board liaison to the Task Force on Women in the Profession.  Also a member of the Arizona City/County Management Association (ACMA), Jacobs was elected to the Board of Directors from 2003 – 2008, serving as President during her tenure.  In 2009, she was honored as the recipient of the prestigious ACMA Catherine Connelly Award for Outstanding Assistant City/County Manager.

Jacobs is a volunteer for the Cochise County Juvenile Detention Center with a focus on providing mentorship to young women, and also serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She also volunteers her services to non-profit organizations to assist them with strategic planning.

Jacobs holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of Arizona.  Jacobs grew up in Tucson where her parents and many family members still reside.  Jacobs has one daughter, Rachel, a senior in high school.

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