William “Bill” Studer, Jr. has stepped down as Interim City Manager for the City of Las Cruces and will be replaced by David Maestas, who has been serving as the City’s Public Works Director.
The changes in City administration become effective March 16, 2020. Studer has been serving as Interim City Manager since April 2019. The changes were announced Monday, March 9, 2020, by Mayor Ken Miyagishima after he and City Council met in a closed meeting at City Hall.
“When the City Council appointed Bill Studer as interim city manager, it was unknown to the council that he would apply for the full-time position of City Manager,” Mayor Miyagishima said. “Now that both he and Assistant City Manager David Dollahon are finalists for the top job, Bill has graciously decided to step down so as not to give the appearance of having an unfair advantage not only on David Dollahon but the other candidates as well.
“The council appreciates this and has decided to appoint Public Works Director and long-time city employee David Maestas as interim city manager.”
As it was with Studer, Maestas’ interim appointment will remain in effect until a new city manager is hired. This process, dependent on which candidate is chosen, could be as short as one month or as long as three months.
On March 4, 2020, City Council selected five finalists to continue through the selection process for the city manager. Studer and Dollahon were among the five finalists along with Gregory “Greg” Martin, Village Administrator in Los Lunas, New Mexico; Veronica Soto, Neighborhood and Housing Services Director for the City of San Antonio, Texas; and Kenneth Young, Assistant County Administrator, Loudoun County, Virginia.
Interviews with the finalists will be March 17 in Las Cruces. The interviews will include a panel consisting of the Mayor and City Council; a stakeholder panel whose composition is to be determined; and a panel of City of Las Cruces department directors.
On the evening of March 18, a community reception will be scheduled.