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Posted on: June 20, 2020

Selection Process Continues in Determining Next City Manager

City Council

A Special Las Cruces City Council meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 23 and will be followed by a closed meeting as the council begins its determination of who will be the next City Manager. The special meeting will take place virtually via Zoom and can be viewed on CLCTV Comcast channel 20, CLCTV.com or YouTube.com/clctv20. The closed meeting will take place in City Hall Conference Rooms 2007B and C to allow for social distancing amongst the Mayor, council members, consultants and staff. 

The Novak Consulting Group, of Cincinnati, Ohio, continues to assist the City in the recruitment process of candidates for the City Manager position, which has been vacant since April 2019. The Novak Group has received 63 applications.

The Novak Consulting Group has developed an initial list of top candidates. Listed alphabetically, those candidates are: 

  • Brian Bosshardt, Former City Manager, City of Bedford, Texas 

  • Estrella Escobar, Senior Advisor to the President, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas

  • Gary Halbert, City Manager, City of Chula Vista, California 

  • Jose Madrigal, Consultant, Former Deputy City Manager, City of McKinney, Texas 

  • Gregory Martin, Village Administrator, Village of Los Lunas, New Mexico

  • Mary O’Neil, Director of Strategy, Planning and Analysis, Jefferson County, Colorado 

  • Ifo Pili, City Administrator, City of Eagle Mountain City, Utah 

  • Michael Renshaw, County Manager, Barrow County, Georgia 

  • Troy Smith, Deputy City Manager, City of Commerce City, Colorado 

Of the 63 applicants for the City Manager position, 11 said they have a bachelor’s degree, 39 have a master’s degree, and 12 have higher than a master’s degree. The applicants have an average of 16 years of local government experience, according to data compiled by The Novak Consulting Group.

The agenda for the June 23 special meeting includes an overview of the recruitment process to date, City Council’s finalization of logistics for interviews, and a discussion of next steps to be taken.

In the closed meeting to immediately follow, City Council will discuss limited personnel matters regarding the City Manager candidates. Finalists may be selected from the list of recommended candidates. The City Manager is sole City employee that is hired by, and answers directly to, the City Council. 

A tentative timeline offered by The Novak Consulting Group proposes candidate interviews could be conducted on July 21, 2020 and July 22, 2020.  

The first round of interviews will be with semifinalists who will meet with the Mayor and City Council and could include a tour of the City with key staff members. At the conclusion of the first round of interviews, the Council will determine who to invite back for a second round of interviews the following day.

Interviews both days could take place in closed session as personnel information will be discussed. 

Optional candidate interview components the Council could consider include: panel interviews; a community open house; a Meet and Greet session with City staff members; a writing sample exercise; or a presentation exercise.  

In an effort to seek public input through video conferences, City Council asks residents who may have comments, concerns, or questions for any regularly scheduled or special council meeting or work session to please e-mail their City Councilor as follows:  

District 1 – Councilor Kasandra A. Gandara at: kgandara@las-cruces.org 

District 2 – Councilor Tessa Abeyta-Stuve at: tstuve@las-cruces.org 

District 3 – Councilor Gabriel Vasquez at: gvasquez@las-cruces.org 

District 4 – Councilor Johana Bencomo at: jbencomo@las-cruces.org 

District 5 – Councilor Gill M. Sorg at: gsorg@las-cruces.org 

District 6 – Councilor Yvonne M. Flores at: yflores@las-cruces.org 

Mayor Ken Miyagishima at: mayor@las-cruces.org 

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