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City Manager Ifo Pili resigning from Las Cruces


Las Cruces City Manager Ifo Pili, who has led Las Cruces’ administration for three and a half years, announced he will leave the city in March. The announcement came Wednesday morning. 

Pili had accepted another city manager position in another city, although a news release announcing Pili’s departure did not say where he was headed. 

“I have been honored to lead the City of Las Cruces for the last several years. It has been a privilege to work with a committed City Council and move their vision forward. I am proud of the work the staff has done and I know I will be hearing more about their future accomplishments,” Pili said in a news release. 

Pili was appointed by the Las Cruces City Council in 2020. 

He was previously employed as the city administrator of Eagle Mountain, Utah, since 2012 and also served as Eagle Mountain City’s assistant city administrator and economic development coordinator for six years before becoming city administrator, according to past reporting in the Las Cruces Bulletin.  

His time in Las Cruces was irrevocably affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the city’s response. But Pili also presided over an ongoing transformation within the Las Cruces Police Department. He oversaw the establishment of several revitalization efforts, such as LiftUP Las Cruces and the two metropolitan redevelopment areas. The birth of a sprawling cannabis market in Las Cruces occurred under Pili’s leadership.  

Both Doña Ana County and the City of El Paso are searching for executive leaders, making the pool of applicants more competitive. 

Mayor Eric Enriquez could not be immediately reached for comment about the process ahead. Mayor Pro Tem and Councilor Johana Bencomo told the Bulletin that a process to select a new city manager had yet to be officially made. 

The news release suggested that the next city would be an internal hire, saying, “Internal applications for the City Manager’s position began being accepted Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. The Las Cruces City Council will hire a new City Manager, and interviews are anticipated to begin in March.” 

Typically, municipalities hire a search firm to provide them with a pool of applicants before interviewing and choosing one. But if the council – who has discretion in selecting the next city manager – decides to hire internally, parts or all of that process may be skipped. 

“I believe we have a really deep bench,” Bencomo said when asked about the future decision. 

Las Cruces City Manager, Ifo Pili, resigned