City manager short list gets shorter

October 15, 2010 • Local News

A candidate in the running for the position of Roswell’s next city manager pulled his name from consideration, leaving two applicants on the short-list of contenders. Jeffrey Lester, currently an assistant city manager in Moline, Ill., told city officials recently that he decided to rescind his application.

The candidate was slated to visit Roswell on Monday to tour the city and meet with local officials. Mayor Del [auth] Jurney said Lester made the decision after being told he would bear the cost of having to fly to Roswell and stay the night.

New Mexico’s antidonation clause in the state’s constitution prohibits the city from paying for such costs. Lester would have also been taking a pay cut if he were to be offered the city manager position.

His current salary is about $30,000 to $35,000 more than what Roswell’s city manager earns, officials said.

“He just explained that when you look at the economics of it … (that) it was starting to mount,” Jurney said. Roswell’s assistant city manager, Larry Fry, and a city manager from Raton, Pete Mileta, are the two remaining candidates for the position. Jurney said he doesn’t plan to pull another name from the previous list of 26 applicants to fill Lester’s slot.

“We’re going to two,” he said. Fry and Mileta will have their own day to tour the city and meet with officials. Fry’s slated to tour Oct. 21 and Mileta will visit Oct. 20.A special City Council meeting for a final vote on the next city manager is slated for Oct. 28.

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