Ray accepted a city manager job in Lago Vista, Texas

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FARMINGTON — Aztec City Manager Joshua Ray handed in his resignation this week after accepting a job in Lago Vista, Texas. His family will be moving to Texas in November.

The Aztec City Commission will have a closed meeting on Friday, Sept. 22, to determine its next steps.

"He is such an outstanding city manager, it will be hard to replace him," said Commissioner Sherri Rogers.

Aztec Mayor Pro-Tem Sheri Sipe acknowledged that hiring a new city manager is a lengthy process. She said it took almost a year for the city to hire Ray in December 2009.

"I hate to see him go," Sipe said. "But I wish him and his family the best."

She said when Ray was hired he was given a list of 47 projects that were not completed. Out of those projects, only the East Aztec Arterial Route is left. When reached by phone today, Ray said he hopes to have awarded bids for the final section of the arterial route as well as an extension project for North Main Avenue by the time he leaves at the beginning of November.

Ray said he hadn't intended to stay about eight years when he took the job. He said he had told the city he would stay for five years. When those five years were over, he said there was still work to do, so he decided to stay longer.

Ray said Mayor Sally Burbridge's decision not to run for reelection next year was one of the factors that led him to begin looking for a new job.

"I think she's the greatest mayor ever elected to the position," he said.

Commissioner Katee McClure said his resignation did not come as a surprise. She said she looks forward to the new ideas and fresh thoughts a new city manager will bring Aztec. Some of the qualities she wants to see in a new city manager including keeping the commission informed, working well with city employees, being open to innovative ideas, having a realistic attitude and being able to follow through with promises.

Ray said the decision was hard for his family. His wife, Savanah Ray, was born and raised in Aztec and recently won the title Mrs. San Juan County 2017.While his family will soon be moving to Texas, Ray remains optimistic about Aztec and its surrounding communities. 

"I hope the economy will take a turn for the positive and we can see the full potential of San Juan County over the next 10 years," Ray said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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