City will not begin search for long-term replacement until after elections in March

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AZTEC — The Aztec City Commission made plans to hire an interim city manager following Joshua Ray's resignation earlier this month.

The commission met Thursday to discuss hiring a recruitment firm. The goal is to find an interim manager who can start by early December. Ray's last day as city manager will be in early November.

The city will send out a request for proposals this weekend. After that, firms can submit proposals. The City Commission likely will review the proposals and select a firm at the end of October.

"We've never done this type of search for an interim," Finance Director Kathy Lamb said during Thursday's meeting.

When former City Manager David Velasquez resigned in 2009, electric utility director Ken George served as the interim city manager until Ray was hired.

The Commission  decided to wait until after the municipal elections in March to begin the search for a long-term city manager. Because that search will not begin until next spring, the interim city manager is expected to serve for nine to 18 months.

The City Commission chose this approach because three of the current commissioners may not be serving next year as they are up for re-election. The current commissioners felt that the future commissioners who will have to work with the city manager should be the ones to make the selection.

If the interim city manager is a good fit for the city, commissioners could choose to hire that individual for the city manager position.

"We could get rain from heaven, and it could be a perfect fit and we could hire them," Mayor Sally Burbridge said.

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

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