By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
Tucumcari City Manager Doug Powers’ contract, set to expire on April 23, was extended another 90 days Thursday on a 3-to-1 vote by City Commissioners.
After that, Powers said he is likely to retire.
Powers said the extension enables Powers to help smooth the transition for new commissioners who may take office after the municipal election Tuesday and to help usher in a new city manager, if he chooses to retire.
First District Commissioner Dora Salinas-McTigue cast the only vote against extending the contract. Salinas-McTigue and recalled Second District Commissioner Jimmy Sandoval voted to fire Powers in September and again two weeks later when Powers was reinstated.
Third District Commissioner Ernest Dominguez voted to fire Powers in September but switched his position to retain Powers in the later vote.
Mayor Amiel Curnutt, Fifth District commissioner and Robert Lumpkin, Fourth District commissioner voted to retain Powers in both votes.
Lumpkin said Thursday the contract extension would also help Powers plan for retirement “without missing his first retirement check.” Retirement paperwork, Lumpkin said, takes a lot of time.
Lumpkin said that over Powers’ two decades with the city, “he has brought in more than $60 million in grants over the years.”
In the past two years as city manager, Lumpkin said, Powers ushered through the $2.2 million New Mexico Water Trust grant that resulted in construction of a 400,000-gallon water tank and a planned water transmission line into the city from five miles west of town.
“I’d like to keep his skills around for another 90 days,” Lumpkin said.