By Mike Cook
Las Cruces Bulletin
By a unanimous vote, the Las Cruces City Council approved the hiring of Stuart Ed as the new Las Cruces city manager.
The vote came during a council meeting on Monday afternoon, Oct. 3.
Ed was president/CEO of Goodwill Industries of El Paso until July of this year, according to the City of Las Cruces. Since leaving that position, he has served as a consultant to the El Paso Independent School District.
“I think we got some great candidates presented to us,” Mayor Pro-Tem Greg Smith said. Two of the candidates, Ed and another finalist for the city manager’s position, Dan Biles from Jefferson County, Alabama, were “exceptional,” Smith said. Ed, he said, “would be the person who would most fit at this point.”
“We had two very well qualified candidates,” Councillor Gill Sorg said. “We interviewed them thoroughly. I think we have picked the better of the two,” he said.
“I don’t think we could have two better people,” Councillor Ceil Levatino said.
“We are extremely fortunate to have the candidates we did,” Mayor Ken Miyagishima said. “The city is going to be in great hands. We have a very deep bench and we’re going to have a really good team.”
City attorney William R. “Rusty” Babington said “the Mercer Group will take the lead in negotiating” with Ed his start date, salary and other benefits and other conditions of his employment. The Mercer Group, Inc. is a private company based in Santa Fe the city hired to conduct its search for a new manager.
Ed will replace Robert Garza, who retired at the end of May. It’s the first time the city has hired a city manager through the application/interview process in more than 12 years, when it hired Terrence Moore. When Moore resigned six years ago, then Assistant City Manager Robert Garza was a “direct hire” by the city council, Miyagishima said.