Officials eye city manager replacement

The Roosevelt County Community Development Corp. director is among the six candidates being eyed to replace retiring Portales City Manager Tom Howell.

City officials said although they are tightening the scope of nearly 20 candidates to the few selected for interviews, the city will not close the search until the position is filled.

The city manager search committee, comprised of the mayor, city councilors and a community member, is reviewing the applicants' resumes and is set to interview them soon.

RCCDC Director Doug Redmond is the only local candidate of the six. Redmond first came to Portales nine months when he accepted his position as RCCDC director.

Redmond has also served as a city and county manager for 10 years in his home state of Georgia and says his experience and his local connection separates him from the other candidates.

"I think with my past experience and having been in Portales for nine months, it's allowed me to make a lot of contacts here locally and in Santa Fe," Redmond said. "There's obviously going to be a learning curve getting to know people, and I've already got a head start on anybody from the outside doing that."

Redmond said the city of Grantville, Ga., where he served as city manager, is similar to Portales as far as being a full-service city and how it operates.

Redmond said his goals, if selected to be city manager, are to continue working on local development, addressing issues such as water resources and housing, and continuing to see the community prosper while keeping the city's relationship with Cannon Air Force Base and ENMU strong.

The other five candidates have experience in city government and range in location from Texas to California.

Candidate Peter Kampfer, former city manager of Raton, said he's also no stranger to economic development. Kampfer said he's currently working to bring a racino (race track and casino) to the state on behalf of the city of Raton.

Kampfer says the growth of Portales has attracted him to apply for the position. He cited the climate and the people of Portales as other reasons.

"I've been familiar with Portales since my college days. I've been coming and going through here for such a long time," Kampfer said. "I've seen it change and grow and I'm impressed."

If selected to be city manager, he has hopes to continue to grow the city.

"My deep background has been along the lines of economic development," Kampfer said. "My forte has been to bring business and enterprise to the community."

Candidate Alan Grindstaff said he works currently as a consultant but has served as the city manager of a few Utah cities and of Jasper, Texas. He said he has more than 20 years of experience working in city administration.

The other three candidates were not available for comment Monday.

According to Portales City Clerk Joan Martinez-Terry:

  • Candidate Stephen Holsinger serves as city manager of Willows, Calif., and was assistant to the city manager of Cloverdale, Calif.
  • Candidate Stanley Livengood serves as the manager area council of the Alamo Area Council of Governments and also has experience as a city manager.
  • Candidate Curtis Shrader is the current city manager of Jal and has also served as city manager of Eunice.

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