Quay County Commissioners have offered the soon to be vacant position of Quay County Manager to a former resident of Tucumcari and he said he is “seriously” considering it.
Chosen from approximately 23 individuals, who applied for the job, to serve as the administrative head of Quay County and replace current county manager Paula Chacon is Terry Turner who is currently living in Albuquerque.
“I think we made an excellent choice here,” said Quay County Commissioner Jeff Lewalling. “He meets all the qualifications and he grew up here, so he knows the community.”
Turner was born and raised in Tucumcari.
“I went from grade one through 12 in Tucumcari, so you could say, I’m familiar with the town,” said Turner.
Turner is currently employed by Ethicon Inc., a subdivision of Johnson and Johnson, the medical conglomerate, where he is a manufacturing supervisor in the finishing department.
In that capacity, he is responsible for 70 production employees and 25 set-up technicians and in charge of the implementation of product and equipment process and validation. He is also responsible for productivity and financial requirements for the department.
Prior to working for Ethicon, Turner was a terminal manager at Plateau in Bloomfield, worked for Halliburton Services in Cortez, Colo. and for the Jicarilla Apache Indian Tribe on the Jicarilla Apache reservation.
Turner received his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in Park Administration.The former Tucumcari resident said he might not have considered applying for the county manager position, except that the employees at Ethicon have been offered the option of taking early retirement so he thought he might “test the waters” and see what was available. He said he noticed an advertisement for the position in the Quay County Sun to which he subscribes and decided to send in his resume.
“I still have so many ties to Tucumcari and Quay County,” said Turner. It just made sense to do it.”
Turner said there is something special about the Quay County area that seemed to draw him back.
“I’m not sure what it is,” said Turner whose father worked on the Railroad in Quay County and served a number of terms on the City Commission, “but the people in Tucumcari and the surrounding area seem more like family than acquaintances.”
According to Quay County Commissioner Franklin McCasland those feelings of hometown are part of the reason that the Commissioners chose Turner as the county manager.
“His qualifications are solid,” said McCasland, “and he knows and appreciates the area too. I think we’ve chosen well here.”
Lewalling said while the job has been offered there are still a number of specifics that still need to be “ironed out” before Turner would be able to become a part of the county government.
He also pointed out that probably the earliest he would be able to step into the position was March 1. Turner said a new development might even push that starting date further back. He said a member of his wife’s family immediate family had been recently diagnosed with life-threatening cancer which might preclude him coming to Quay County as soon as he had originally anticipated.
Chacon, who expressed her desire to step down from the county manager position in November and has been involved with the selection process, said she would stay until Turner “or whoever is chosen” is in place and familiar with the position.