By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
Bobbye Rose has been San Jon’s city manager, clerk and treasurer since 1983.
Before working for the city of San Jon, Rose worked with her husband on their ranch, then she worked at the First National Bank of Tucumcari (now Wells Fargo) from 1972-1976.
“The job was open and I thought I could do it and I applied for it,” said Rose. “Once I began my work with the city, I wanted to do all I could to help San Jon grow.”
Q: What are some of the challenges of working as the city manager?
A: With a small community one of the challenges is doing what is needed on limited funds.
Q: What kind of assistance are you looking to receive from the legislative packet?
A: We applied for $665,000 for the wastewater improvement project. We have to stay in the guidelines set by the state. If we don’t have the adequate facilities, then we cannot go ahead with the economic development of San Jon.
Q: What are you doing to help bring business to San Jon?
A: We are working on a list of properties for sale around San Jon for the people looking to buy homes or land in our area. We are working with our current businesses to expand and are always looking for new businesses to come here. We are really looking to bring in a motel and restaurant. We are ready for the growth.
Q: Does being located on I-40 help or hurt San Jon?
A: It can be a huge advantage to us if we can get the right attractions to get the people off the interstate.
Q: What type of attractions are you trying to get?
A: We are still talking about the Caprock Amphitheater. We have made no decision on it yet, but if we were to acquire it we would use it for an area for play, weddings, events, and even a nature trail. We also have one of the first post drops in the country located in San Jon and are working on making that a larger attraction. And there is the natural attraction of our wildlife and scenery that we are trying to better develop.
Q: How do you feel about the new truck stops scheduled for opening along I-40?
A: I was frightened about the truck stops opening and taking business from our local stops. But one of our truck stops, the Drivers Travel Mart, has changed hands and has new owners who are eager to expand and improve their facilities and they feel that competition is a good thing. It’s all about keeping up with it.
Q: How many people live in San Jon and what type of education is available for the children.?
A: We have 308 people living around San Jon. We have a fine school with one of the top facilities in the state, I feel. We encourage people to move to San Jon and enroll their students in our school.
Q: Describe San Jon’s demographics.
A: We have a population of low income families, elderly and working class people. There is not a large population of farmers and ranchers – most work at the businesses in town or at one of the good state jobs that are available at San Jon with the Port of Entry, New Mexico Highway Department, school and the city.
Q: How do you feel about the wind farm on the caprock?
A: At first I was upset. It completely altered the look of the caprock, which I thought was so beautiful. But after a while … the jobs that were generated employed local workers and the revenues they generated are going towards the school. (That) helped me to view it as a good thing.
Q: Besides bringing new business and attractions, what are you all doing to promote tourism in San Jon?
A: We are trying to plan and schedule more events in the community. We held a Christmas crafts fair that went really well and are looking to promote and advertise more events to bring people to San Jon.