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Eight men vie for city manager

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By David Giuliani

Eight men, half of whom live in the area, have applied to be Las Vegas’ next city manager.

The candidates are Rey Herrera of Rociada; Paul Skotchdopole, Patrick Alarid and Alex Tafoya, all of Las Vegas; William Sheridan of Billings, Mont.; Roberto Salazar of Alexandria, Va.; Dan Stovall of Murrieta, Calif.; and Fred Stephens of Cameron, Texas.

The city manager’s position became vacant in February with the resignation of John Avila. Since then, the city has had two interim managers, Elmer Martinez, the city’s longtime community development director, and Jeff Condrey, who has served in a number of municipal and state posts around New Mexico.

Condrey, who was appointed to serve three months, said last week that he didn’t “formally apply” for the position, but he said he would consider the job if the city doesn’t find the type of candidate it is looking for.

“It’s really the mayor’s call,” he said.

Mayor Tony Marquez said in a statement last week that he would form a review and interview committee to look at the eight candidates. He said the committee would be three to five members and include a cross-section of the community.

Marquez said the committee would likely identify three candidates as finalists for him to interview and then he would make a recommendation to the council.

The candidates and their information follows:

• Patrick Alarid is the director of planning and budgets with the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association and was previously a budget analyst with the state Human Services Department, among other state government positions.

• Rey Herrera is a native of Rociada who recently returned from a career in aviation management. He has been a systems operations program manager with the Federal Aviation Administration.

• Roberto Salazar is the national administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service in Washington. He has his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Highlands University. In his current position, he makes $172,000, which is far more than what the last city manager made, $75,000 a year.

• William Sheridan has led a consulting firm for the last five years. He was previously city manager in Lewistown, Mont., population 13,000, from 1997 to 2000. He was also the borough manager of the Borough of Phoenixville, Pa., population 22,000, from 2000 to 2001.

• Paul Skotchdopole was with the Las Vegas Police Department from 1983 to 1999, serving in a number of positions and rising to the rank of deputy police chief. Currently, he is an investigator with the Albuquerque Police Department’s Police Oversight Commission. He was the Belen police chief from 1999 to 2003. He has a bachelor’s degree from Highlands University.

• Fred Stephens, a graduate of Eastern New Mexico University, was manager of Cameron , Texas, population 5,600, from 2005 to 2008. He left that city because a new mayor and city council wanted to go in a “different direction,” he stated in his cover letter. From 1999 to 2005, he was manager of Post, Texas, population 3,700.

• Dan Stovall, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of new Mexico, has been a real estate owner, broker and developer since 1979. In his resume, he listed a number of his developments in California. He said in his cover letter that he would require $90,000 a year, with relocation expenses reimbursed within six months of employment.

• Alex Tafoya is the planning and zoning supervisor with San Miguel County. He has been in public positions in the area for more than two decades. He was a city councilman in the 1980s and has served in city positions such as utility administration director, water department director, solid waste director and safety supervisor. He has his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Highlands University.