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Granite Shoals’ Novo gets permanent job

Granite Shoals City Council voted to offer Interim City Manager Sarah Novo the full time job during its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 28. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Granite Shoals City Council unanimously voted to offer the permanent city manager position to Sarah Novo on May 28. The decision was made during Tuesday’s regular meeting following several positive comments from residents regarding Novo’s work as interim city manager and a 90-day performance review by the council in executive session.

“We will hopefully remove the ‘interim’ tag from your nameplate soon,” said Mayor Ron Munos after the vote.

The council instructed Granite Shoals City Attorney Josh Katz to enter into negotiations with Novo and hammer out a contract.

Novo told she is optimistic about her future in Granite Shoals.

“I’ve been very impressed with the city,” she said. “I’m excited about continuing to move forward, and I think the city is on a great track. We’ve got a lot of people pulling together in the same direction for the betterment of this community, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Novo was hired as interim city manager in February following the resignation Peggy Smith. Mayor Munos said she quickly and expertly took on the role, pointing to her communication skills, rapid accomplishment of goals, and the praise she has earned from residents in her short time with the city.

“We had established some criteria when we hired her that we wanted to accomplish in 90 days, and she basically accomplished all of it within the first 63 days,” he said. 

One of Novo’s major accomplishments has been hiring city staff, an issue for Granite Shoals in recent years. She filled out the roster in the Streets and Parks Department and brought aboard a city finance director and building inspector. Granite Shoals has been without the latter two since 2022.

Three residents spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting prior to the performance review to express their support for Novo.

“I want you all to know how diligent, hardworking, knowledgeable, and diplomatic I have found Sarah Novo,” Robin Deberard said. “I am just one citizen with one opinion, but I felt it important to share as you go into her evaluation.”

Pat Bradshaw and Robin Ruff echoed that sentiment.

“I agree with (Deberard’s) comments about Sarah,” Bradshaw said. “She seems to be an asset. So when y’all go into executive session, if our voices matter, put mine in her column.”

“Go, Sarah,” said Ruff, following Bradshaw. “Be good to her tonight. She has done a great job, and she is a breath of fresh air for the city.”

Munos took note of the accolades.

“We’ve never had that (kind of support for a city manager) before,” he said. “Usually, people are wanting us to fire the city manager, and now they’re coming in singing her praises.”

Place 5 Councilor Michael Berg told that Novo’s communication with the council, city staff, and residents was “number one” for him.

“The city has needed this,” he said. “I’m excited to come to meetings again.”