Shafer expected tough decisions

By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer

After 34 years in city politics, former Portales Mayor D.K. Shafer, jokingly says he’s now a “has been” in local government.
The recently retired councilor has had his share of battles over the years.

“When Portales was dry for a long time and then became wet in the 1980s, we had to make some tough decisions on zoning,” Shafer recalled. “A lot of people were not happy, but it’s like Harry Truman said, ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!’”

Shafer resigned from his position as mayor pro-tem on April 1. On Monday, a formal reception in his honor will be held at the Memorial Building to bid him a formal good-bye prior to his upcoming move to Clovis.

Shafer abruptly resigned from his position shortly after beginning a new term in March, saying that his home sold a lot faster than he and his wife, Pam, expected. His wife, Pam, a teacher at Portales Junior High School, will resign from her position in May and go to work for her daughter in Clovis, which is the reason they are moving. Shafer said he will continue to commute to Portales where he is an electrical contractor.

“It was a tough decision for me, but there comes a time when you need to move on,” said 68-year-old Shafer, who was born and schooled in Dora and has lived in Portales since 1959.

Shafer served his first stint as city councilman for six years and then held the office of mayor for 16 years. This was followed by another 12 years as a city councilman. During his political career, he also served on the New Mexico Municipal League. During the past 34 years, he said there was only a two-year gap, from 1992 to 1994, when he was not involved in city politics at all.