Las Cruces – The Las Cruces City Council has made it official. At a special meeting Monday, the council unanimously approved the naming of Robert Garza as Las Cruces' new city manager. Contractually, Garza will serve an initial three-year term that will run through December 31, 2013. Garza will receive a base annual salary of $149,500 plus a $6,000 annual vehicle allowance.
Garza, who has served as assistant city manager since March 2006, will take over as the municipality's chief executive on January 1, 2011. He will replace Terrence Moore, who recently accepted a similar position in Morgantown, WV. "Robert is absolutely the best choice to serve in this very challenging and demanding position," said Mayor Ken Miyagishima. "He has earned through years of devoted service to Las Cruces, the respect and admiration of the city council, department directors, city staff and the community. He's smart, personable, diplomatic, and takes a hands-on approach without micromanaging. He's a perfect fit," Miyagishima said.
A 25-year veteran of Las Cruces city government, Garza has extensive background and experience in nearly every aspect of city operations and policy making. In addition to assistant city manager, Garza's previous experience includes:
Director of Public Works; department head, Engineering (Chief engineer); acting director of the Development Services Division and City Street Department, and design and construction engineer.
"I wish to thank the mayor and city council for their confidence in me," Garza said. "Unlike many communities throughout the United States, Las Cruces is doing well in these tough economic times. And we at the City of Las Cruces will continue to work hard to provide the best services possible to residents with available and even dwindling resources. On the forefront is working with our federal and state legislative delegations to obtain as much assistance possible," Garza said.
Garza holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and is a Licensed Professional Engineer. He also received management and leadership training from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
As city manager, Garza will oversee 12-departments with a combined workforce of approximately 1,400 employees, and a total funds annual budget of approximately $318 million.