Gone are the days when San Miguel County government hired based on nepotism and political connections, a county commissioner said this week.
County Commission Chairman David Salazar saluted two outgoing commissioners, Hugh Ley and Kenny Medina, for their efforts to make hiring a fair process in county government. He said the two worked with former Commission Chairman LeRoy Garcia to make such a change happen.
Both Medina and Ley didn’t run for re-election because they can’t serve more than two consecutive four-year terms. Their terms end Dec. 31.
Ley, who represented Pecos-based District 2, will be replaced by Marcellino Ortiz, while District 5’s Medina, who served the eastern part of the county, will relinquish his seat to Nicolas Leger.
Salazar said that over the last nine years, the commission has let the county manager, Les Montoya, make hiring decisions.
“We don’t know the people being hired,” he said.
As an example, he said none of the commissioners knew Leonard Marquez, who was recently hired as the county’s animal control officer.
Salazar, who joined the commission in 2005, said his predecessors “did a heck of a job” picking Montoya as manager.
“These two (Ley and Medina) have allowed San Miguel County to work for the interests of residents, not politics,” he said. “They have set a standard for what county government should be like.”
Ley, Medina and County Clerk Paul Maez, who didn’t attend, were presented with flags that were flown over the U.S. Capitol.
Ley said he liked that the elected officials have been unified, unlike previous periods in county history. “We can vote against each other and then have lunch,” he said.