Frisco officials select a finalist for its vacant town manager position

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct Tom Fisher’s title.

The town of Frisco waded through 74 candidates for its town manager position and has settled on one finalist, Tom Fisher. The months-long recruitment process began after former Frisco Town Manager Tony O’Rourke resigned in January 2022.

Frisco Town Council will formally consider Fisher’s appointment to the position in two or more weeks at a town council meeting. That time allows for contract negotiations and for the town council to hear public comment on Fisher’s possible appointment.

“He is such a dedicated civil servant,” Frisco Mayor Hunter Mortensen said.

Mortensen said Fisher’s proven track record of passion and dedication to the communities he has served made him an ideal candidate.

“He checked every box,” Mortensen said.

Fisher has served as county manager for a different Summit County — that of Summit County, Utah — a county with an operating budget of $65 million and more than 320 employees, town staff stated in a press release. According to the town’s recruitment brochure, the incoming Frisco town manager would be responsible for 98 full-time, year-round employees in addition to 130 seasonal employees, and the incoming town manager would work with Frisco’s approved fiscal year 2022 budget of approximately $41.9 million in appropriations.

Summit County, Utah, is also home to Park City, a resort town. Mortensen said familiarity with managing a resort town played a key role in the interview process. Frisco isn’t like other towns, Mortensen said.

Governments in resort communities have a customer service component, he said, given the number of visitors and the town’s business entities, like the marina, tubing hill and nordic center. And, Mortensen said, Fisher has lived and fully understands how government operates in such a resort community.

Likewise, the size of Utah’s Summit County is far greater than Frisco’s normal population, but the two can become more comparable when Frisco reaches its peak seasons, Mortensen said.

Fisher has held his Summit County, Utah, position since 2015. Prior to that, he served in various leadership roles for Mesa County, Colorado, including positions like deputy administrator for internal services, deputy administrator for regional services and director of the regional transportation planning office, staff stated in a release.

Fisher has a military background. He served in the Utah Army National Guard and Army National Guard as a brigadier general, commander of land component command, deputy commanding general and senior commander, according to town documents. He was deployed in Iraq and reportedly served in relief efforts after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Overall, his military experience spanned 32 years.

The interview process began with 74 candidates. Recruitment company Strategic Government Resources cut that pool down to about 40, Mortensen said. That diminished pool was then trimmed down by a town subcommittee and again by Strategic Government Resources until three names were left, Mortensen added.

Town councilors, other local town managers, a town of Frisco leadership team and Frisco police leadership were part of four hiring panels. Each interviewed the three semi-finalists on June 27 to just three, the town said in its press release.

Fisher earned his Bachelor of Science in resource development and planning from Michigan State University and a Master of Science in resource development and planning with a minor emphasis on parks and recreation from Michigan State University. Fisher also attended the U.S. Army War College for the university’s Master of Strategic Studies resident program.

About Fisher, Mortensen said his resume demonstrated to the panels of interviewers that he could be depended upon as a dedicated and passionate face for the community.

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