Bobbye Rose, the current manager of the Village of San Jon, has been named the new city manager of Tucumcari.
City Commissioners met Monday night, reviewed applications, interviewed Rose, and voted on her hiring.
According to a verbal agreement between Rose and the commission, her salary will be $70,000, said Rose Tuesday.
Rose, 55, will start the job on March 30, according to a press release from the city.
“Whatever it entails to do the job, I’ll do it,” Rose said.
For the past several months Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry has been serving as acting city manager. The contract of the former city manager, John Sutherland, was terminated in early January by the commission.
Rose, who has served for the past 20 years as San Jon’s village manager with staff of three, will be overseeing a city government with a budget of $22 million and 20 department heads with a staff of about 140.
In her interview, Rose said the commissioners stressed communications and a open door policy.
“I certainly want to keep the board advised of things that happen so that they can make educated decisions,” she said.
Rose said she brings a strong work ethic to the job. “I’ve done everything here from pulling weeds to giving presentations in Santa Fe. I think I bring a broad area of expertise.”
Commissioner Robert Lumpkin said that Rose was the best candidate.
“I think it was a good move,” Lumpkin said. “She was the best one for all our needs. She has experience in a lot of the areas that we’re concerned with, such as water issues and streets. She’s been real successful in grant writing and has a good relationship with our state represenatives. The experience factor is there. And since she is a local she is familiar with our culture. Those are positive factors.”
Rose began as a city clerk, became the treasurer and then village manager.
Throughout her tenure as village manager, she said, she has worked on local, federal and state permitting processes, inter-agency and inter-governmental agreements, budgets and environmental issues. Tucumcari has a number of projects in various phases from the closing of one landfill to the opening of a new landfill to making improvements in its water and wastewater systems. “There are an awful lot of projects going. It’ll just have to be fast and furious for a while,” Rose said.
Rose was born in Tucumcari and reared in San Jon by parents who have also been drawn to public service, she said. Her father Robert Thrasher served as a Quay County Commissioner and her mother, Joyce, most recently served two terms as probate judge. Rose is married to Harvey Rose, who has been with the Tucumcari Public Schools for four years, and is a counselor.
“I love it here” in San Jon, Rose said. “If it wasn’t for the financial problems we’ve been having I wouldn’t even consider making a change.”
San Jon has seen a drastic drop in its gross receipt taxes, more than $50,000 annually, because the new Flying J truck plaza and the expanded Love’s operation in Tucucmari have drawn business away from San Jon’s truck plazas, Rose said. And north of San Jon is another threat, a Russell’s truck plaza that is under construction in Endee. In addition, tied to a drop in gross receipt taxes is the evaporation of gas tax income, she said.
It is not certain what San Jon’s village board will decide for San Jon’s future, but Rose said that her salary may save someone their job in the small community.
On Feb. 10, Rose said she informed the village board that she would be applying for the city manager position. “They were supportive of whatever I needed to do,” she said.