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Elephant Butte Irrigation District’s Gary Esslinger to retire; EBID seeks replacement


The Elephant Butte Irrigation District is now seeking applications for replacement of its longtime general treasurer- manager Gary Esslinger, who is preparing to retire after more than 40 years with the district. During his 33 years as district manager, Esslinger has not only focused on the organization’s mission to deliver surface water to its 6,700 farmer members, he has also helped them to adapt and thrive in their quest for efficient water stewardship. He has led the district in forward thinking and planning, improving monitoring and metering methods, collaborating in conservation efforts, educating the public and developing programs like stormwater capture to help offset ongoing drought. Esslinger and the EBID team are dedicated to sustaining agricultural production with data driven tools, technology and a passion to help take the region’s agriculture into the future in a sustainable manner.

EBID is currently recruiting qualified applicants to fill the position of treasurer-manager, the district’s chief executive officer. This position is appointed by and reports to a nine-member board of directors comprised of district members elected from each region of the district. EBID’s board is searching for a leader who can continue Esslinger’s strengths of collaborative leadership, board, staff and member engagement, fiscal management and administrative skills, and someone who will further enhance EBID’s ability to deliver water efficiently to all members.

Located in New Mexico’s Lower Rio Grande Valley, EBID is a federal reclamation project and a political subdivision of the state of New Mexico with responsibility for delivering water to 90,640 acres of farmland in Doña Ana and Sierra counties. District farmers raise a variety of crops, including alfalfa, chile, corn, cotton, lettuce, melons, onions, pecans and wheat.

EBID operates under New Mexico statutes for irrigation districts cooperating with the United States under reclamation laws and other statutes that apply to local government entities. The district repaid its debt to the federal Bureau of Reclamation and now owns and operates the New Mexico portion of the Rio Grande Project.

The treasurer-manager is responsible for continuing to lead efforts to develop a solid foundation for current and future operation of the district. By implementing the policies of the board, the manager will accomplish district goals and objectives and represent EBID to not only its members and employees, but to governmental entities and the public.

The district is searching for a manager who will continue to address the concerns and issues of a diverse group of stakeholders in fulfilling EBID’s mission. Beyond the oversight of personnel, budgets, water rights and infrastructure, this position also requires a forward-thinking approach to develop, evaluate and implement actions and procedures that will abide by state and federal law and best practices for operating an irrigation district while serving district members well into the future.

Esslinger’s long history of tactful, proactive leadership has set a precedent of exceptional communication, which will continue to be a requirement for any individual seeking to fill this position. Individuals with a strong fiscal background, including planning, budgeting and strategic investments, with a direct working knowledge of local governmental organizations are encouraged to apply. A general understanding of water rights and the complexities of managing a water delivery system will be sought after skills for the new treasurer-manager.

Those interested in demonstrating their ability to lead, manage and complete long-term complex projects that will enhance the district’s overall operations are encouraged to apply by the closing deadline of 5 p.m. Feb. 25.

A complete job description and application is at www.governmentjobs.com/careers/ebidnm.

For questions, contact EBID general counsel Samantha R. Barncastle at samantha@h2o-legal.com.

Visit www.ebid-nm.org.