By David Irvin
Curry County has narrowed its list of candidates for county manager to four.
Candidates being considered to succeed Geneva Cooper when she retires in December are:
• Roosevelt County Administrator Charlene Hardin;
• Capt. Chris L. Pacheco of the national guard;
• Curry County special projects coordinator and purchasing officer Twila Rutter-Wooley;
• and Master Sgt. Brian Rogers of the United States Air Force.
Commissioner Kathrynn Tate said each commissioner reviewed nine applications for the job and reached a consensus on the four most qualified. Each finalist will be subject to a background check and an interview before the county commission, Tate said.
Hardin has worked with the Roosevelt County administration office for three years, manager much of that time, Hardin said. She received a degree in restaurant management with a double minor in business administration and agriculture business from New Mexico State in 1996.
“I believe I have the county government experience and awareness of issues that affect several counties around the state, like county detention,” she said. “ I’ve met all the (commissioners) and had a chance to have a conversation with them during my tenure here.”
Pacheco is deployed with the national guard to Guantanamo Bay, but his wife, Therese Pacheco, spoke about his qualifications.
She said he works as a facilities manager in the national guard, taking care of armories and other facilities around the state. He received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from New Mexico State in 1991. He is looking for a public administration position outside the national guard, she said. They have lived in Clovis for 12 years.
Rutter-Wooley has been employed by Curry County for 10 years as special projects coordinator, managing grants worth $20 million during her tenure, she said. She received a bachelor’s degree in public relations in 1986 from Texas Tech, a master’s in business administration from Eastern New Mexico University and recently passed her certification as a flood plain manager through the New Mexico Flood Plain Manager Association.
“What I bring to the table is a heart for Curry County,” she said. “I want to do a job that is the best for residents of Curry County. I also have an understanding of some of the challenges we are facing in Curry County.”
Rogers has been in the Air Force for 21 years in a variety of capacities, but if offered the county manager job he would retire from the service, he said. Currently he works as a human resource manager in the Air Force, but he has also managed a $12 million budget in the communications field and has background in security police. He recently completed his course work for a bachelor’s in business administration at Wayland Baptist University and has three associates degrees, in human resources, electronics and police administration.
“This is going to be my home no matter what. This is what I want to help make a better place for all of us,” Rogers said. “With my experience with the Air Force, I’m able to adapt, to take (hold of) change, and move with it, rather than resist it.”
Tate did not know when the interviews of the candidates would take place.