QCS Managing Editor
The Tucumcari City Commission on Thursday named Rick Haymaker to the first district commissioner position vacated March 24 by Dora Salinas-McTigue’s resignation.
Haymaker, a business owner, musician and pastor, was one of three candidates interviewed in a work session before Thursday’s city commission. The other candidates were Jerry Lopez and Gary Southern.
Mayor Robert Lumpkin, who is assisting his daughter in New York City, was able to preside over the workshop and the following meeting by video technology that allowed him to see and be seen and heard for the meeting.
After the commission meeting, Haymaker said he was honored to be chosen and that the competition from Lopez and Southern was “formidable.”
He said the future of Tucumcari is bright and he wants help the city move “onward and upward.”
He said the harmony on the current commission will help the city’s prospects as industries look for communities in which to locate.
At the workshop, all three candidates were asked why they sought the position and what their qualifications were.
Haymaker responded that he had served in the Navy for six years, then with the U.S. Postal Service until 2004. He has served as the chaplain for the American Legion Riders, a motorcycle-oriented American Legion group, and is currently pastor the Agape West Christian Church in Tucumcari and a vice-president of the Arts and Cultural Center in Tucumcari.
Southern cited his college credits in business and sociology areas and talked about difficulties with the abandoned Shell Truck Stop east of the city and the abandoned ethanol plant.
He also said that a resident told him that it would be hard to staff a business that required 100 jobs, “because it would be hard to find that many who could pass a drug test,” and said this should be a commission priority and proposed that a Boy Scouts of America organization be re-established in town.
Lopez cited his volunteer activity, including his coaching of youth athletic teams and said he has spent all his life — 31 years — in the city.