By Christina Calloway
Portales city councilors said Tuesday they were pleased with the performance of City Manager Doug Redmond’s first year, so they decided to invite him back for another two.
The council approved a two-year contract for the Georgia native and former Roosevelt County Community Development Corp. director at its council meeting Tuesday night at an $80,000 salary.
Portales Mayor Sharon King noted that Redmond voluntarily took a 2.5 percent reduction in his salary, a move she commended because all step increases for city employees are scheduled to be frozen after July 1 to compensate for a decrease in revenue.
King felt the gesture showed Redmond leading by example and overall, she said the council is happy with the work he’s done in the past year. King added he is the only city employee to take a reduction in pay for the next fiscal year.
“We feel like he’s done an excellent job this first year and we’re looking forward to working with him in the future,” King said.
Redmond replaced former Portales City Manager Tom Howell last June as Howell moved toward retirement.
Redmond said his first year as manager was a big year for Portales, with many large projects beginning under his direction.
“It was a very good year,” Redmond said. “We accomplished a lot.”
One of the largest projects in Portales’ history is the construction of the new wastewater treatment plant and reuse center.
The $27 million landmark project was awarded one of the largest loans the New Mexico Environment Department’s Construction Program Bureau has ever been involved with.
Redmond said the reuse portion of the project will add sustainability to Portales’ water supply and is a model of conservation.
In regard to the pay reduction, Redmond said he volunteered his salary be cut because he did not feel comfortable expecting his staff to participate in a payment plan freeze without also being affected.
“The money would be better allocated to the employees who do the work of the city and take care of what needs to be done,” Redmond said.