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You are here: Opinions Letters to the Editor County premature to hire new manager during election season

County premature to hire new manager during election season

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April 4, 2016

On Tuesday, April 5, 2016 the County Commissioners is meeting in closed session on what to do to fill the County Manager position after Bill Lee leaves in May 2016 to run for the District 3 County Commissioner position.

Here is what I think.  Simply appoint an Acting County Manager for the rest of the year.    When I become County Manager in August 2011 the County had been on auto-pilot with Acting CM’s for 9 months.

In August 2011 we had:  Doug at Attorney – Dez as HR Director – Sara Keeler as Finance Director – Theresa Diaz as Head of Purchasing and Procurement – Bernice Martinez – As Head of Grants Management – Mario Gomez as Acting Roads Superintendent – Steve Silversmith Acting Warden of ADC – JDC was under an Acting appointment also – Anthony Dimas over Emergency Management and Bill Woolman over County Fire.

And today, you have Doug, Dez, Sara, and Woolman still there in the same capacities.  Dimas is still there with responsibility for OEM and Grants management.  You have again Steve Silversmith as Acting Warden and you have Donna Goodrich over Juvenile Detention.  You Ron Caivigga over Purchasing -  Debra Martinez over DWI Program - Lori Parra over the JSACC - Claudeen Foutz over DWI Compliance and  Jeff Irving as Roads Superintendent.

I know all of these people and I would say the County is in good hands.  So, my point is the County will do fine with an Acting County Manager – probably with Doug or Dez or Sara in charge or a combination of the three.

If I was the Commission I would not start a selection process until after the election is over and the installation of the new District #3 Commissioner occurs - It’s only fair to let the new Commissioner be part of that process.

As a closing thought I don’t understand why Bill Lee had to quit anyway to run as long as he doesn’t campaign on County time.   I would have let him take an “unpaid leave of absence” to run.  If he won then let him resign then.


Richard F. Kontz

507 Apache Court, Gallup, NM


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