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PNM commissioned a study in 2010 to look at carbon capture for the San Juan Generating Station. This is why the utility chose not to pursue it. Hannah Grover, hgrover@daily-times.com

City council cites efforts to keep power plant open as reason to raise salaries for the city manager and city attorney

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FARMINGTON — Farmington City Manager Rob Mayes and Attorney Jennifer Breakell will each see a pay raise, which the City Council says the two city employees earned through their hard work to keep the San Juan Generating Station open.

This increase will bring Mayes’ salary to $193,000 annually — a 12.9% increase — and Breakell’s salary to $120,000 — a 13.2% increase.

The City Council unanimously approved the new salaries during its work session on Nov. 19, which can be viewed online at fmtn.org. Mayor Nate Duckett recommended pay raises during closed session and then discussed it following the closed session.

"Without you two, we wouldn't be sitting here today even fathoming the idea of this generating station is actually going to stay open," said City Councilor Sean Sharer. "There's a thousand plus people who thank you. And this is a small price for the city to pay to say thank you for ... actually making this a reality."

Mayes had been making less than the average salary in the state for city managers excluding Albuquerque, which is about $185,000, according Duckett. Breakell had also been paid less than the average salary for city attorneys in New Mexico. Duckett said the average salary for city attorneys is $134,667 while Breakell has been making $106,578 annually.

More: Farmington, Enchant Energy one step closer to keeping San Juan Generating Station open

Councilors Linda Rodgers, Jeanine Bingham-Kelly and Janis Jakino all said the decision to raise salaries was easy to make because of the leadership the city manager and city attorney have demonstrated throughout their careers.

"What was hard about it was putting a dollar amount on leadership and value and courage and community and citizenship and everything that goes into what the two of you do," Jakino said. "And you are both invaluable. We really appreciate everything you're doing for us — past, present and future."

Rodgers thanked both Mayes and Breakell for their leadership.

"We need you in that position," Rodgers told Breakell. "You're crucial to the success of the generating station. We consistently have comments that you're doing such a fine job. And one thing I know about you, you're not afraid to get in there and fight and we need that."

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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