Reader Reaction: Readers split over city-manager call

Compiled by CNJ Editor David Stevens

A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked, “What do you think about the city hiring Joe Thomas as city manager without looking for outside applicants?”
Some responses:

“JOE GOES BACK A long way in this city … The City Commission (and its residents) were very happy with Raymond Mondragon’s management style and the effectiveness of his decision making. Joe is very familiar with Mondragon’s style, the results it obtained, and what the commissioners want.
“I’m not saying Joe will (or should) be a mirror image of Raymond, but I can’t believe that we could find any individual more qualified to take on this very important job. I believe this decision was in the best interests of everyone and I wish Joe well.”
— Bob Baker

“I AM SURE THAT Mr. Thomas is qualified to serve as our city manager. There may be others that desire the position that are equally qualified and maybe better qualified. My position of the present City Commission is that they think they should make all decisions without input from any of the citizens of this community. They have made some stupid decisions, in my opinion.”
— Mac McDonald

“HIRING JOE THOMAS AS city manager was, in my mind, unnecessary. What does a town this size need with $90,000-a-year manager? What is wrong with a full-time mayor? If as mayor you do not have time, then why run for the office?
“I was a mayor in a small New Mexico town and all the department heads took directions from me. The department heads know more about what is going on than the city manager. We could use that $90,000 for other employee raises.”
— John Frey

“I FEEL THAT PERHAPS Joe Thomas might be the most qualified for the job, as he has been a police officer and was the assistant city manager. He knows what Clovis is about, has seen the increase not just in new business coming to Clovis and what might need to be done to help it thrive, but he should also be aware of the increase in crime in the city. Someone who is not that familiar with the city might not be aware of all that has been happening in Clovis. Let’s give him a chance to prove he was the correct selection for the job.”
— Dan Toledo

“THE IDEA OF HIRING Mr. Thomas is good in certain aspects. He already knows the situations that are going on in the city and where to go to fix them. But bringing someone in from the outside would also be good. They could bring new and fresh ideas and they wouldn’t fall into that good ol’ boy situation.
“… I just hope now that Mr. Thomas does a good job for the city and maybe we can start getting answers from city officials on the things that people ask. Or will it be politics as usual?”
— Steve Gershon

“ONCE AGAIN, THE COMMISSION has made a snap decision. I am quite sure Mr. Thomas is highly capable and should be a prime contender for the manager’s position. However, the commission should not have been in a rush to fill the position. What is so urgent that the city could not operate with Mr. Thomas as an interim manager and then advertise for qualified candidates?
“The city is growing, and with that new challenges and problems are being presented. As such, we should open the field to those who are interested and qualified, then make a selection based on who could best serve the welfare of the city’s citizens.
“Again, Mr. Thomas would likely be one of the finalists for consideration, but let’s not unnecessarily limit our options.”
— Bruce Ford

“I SUPPORT THE CITY hiring Joe Thomas as city manager. Because of his unblemished record of efficiency as assistant city manager, and his long association with the city, I do not believe that Clovis could have located a person more qualified and deserving.”
— Harold Burris

“I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST Joe Thomas, but I think we should have looked at some of the outside applicants. Maybe there was someone better to take the position. Anyway, good luck Mr. Thomas.”
— Ardyth Elms

“JOE HAS WORKED HARD for this city for many years and has done an outstanding job at everything he has undertaken. He is also a man of integrity and honesty. I feel like the city had no reason to look elsewhere when we have such a qualified individual in line for the position. I like seeing the people of Clovis rewarded for sticking it out here and making Clovis a better community. Kudos, kudos, kudos.”
— Don Reid

“WHO IS JOE THOMAS anyway? It would be nice to know a little about the man. One good thing about it, people can see that the city commissioners look inside before going outside to hire someone. They saved a bunch of money also.”
— Charles Hemphill