No locals apply for city manager position

By Mike Linn

As of Monday afternoon 19 applicants have applied for the Portales city manager position, not one of whom live in Roosevelt County.
City clerk and co-interim city manager Joan Martinez-Terry said a majority of the applications are from New Mexican candidates, a few from Oklahoma and one from as far as New Jersey.
“We don’t have any (from Roosevelt County) yet, but of course we’re still taking (applications),” Martinez-Terry said. “The council is going to sit down and set their criteria for evaluations and then once they do that they will be able to look at the applications. I would imagine in another week or so they would be starting to look at them.”
Martinez-Terry noted a few Portales residents have informed her of their plan to apply for the position.
The process for acquiring a replacement for former city manager Gerald Depo — who was relieved of his duties earlier this month — will probably take at least a few months, Martinez-Terry noted.
“The mayor would like to have it filled in a month or so, but if you really look at the whole process the council is going to have to evaluate then set appointments with candidates…” she said. “We may hire, but I doubt if we have somebody in place by the end of the year. I really honestly don’t think so. That’s the process. I’ve been through this three times and that’s (the amount of time) it usually takes.”
Mayor Orlando Ortega noted the initial goal was to hire Depo’s replacement within 60 days — which he still feels is possible — but depending on the circumstances the new hire may not start working until 2004.
“I think we can meet that goal, but as far as the person starting, that may not happen (until later). Generally if they’re working somewhere else then they have to give a notice and stuff like that,” Ortega said.
The new city manager will make at least $55,000 annually.