New Mexico

Sunland Park extends city manager's contract

Bob Gallagher says city has "new attitude"

Sunland Park extends city manager's...

SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico - Sunland Park City Council unanimously approved the extension of City Manager Bob Gallagher's contract Tuesday night.

Gallagher was hired on in February as the city's interim city manager. In June, council voted to drop the "interim" title and extended his contract another 6 months.

Gallagher signed a new, two-year contract, with a third year option. He will continue making $8,000 a month.

"I think what the city's looking for is continuity," Gallagher said. "When you change city managers every year or every other year I think you lose your ability to successfully move projects along."

Gallagher has worked on many projects since coming on board.

They including fixing 100 streetlights, street rehabilitation from 1st street to 5th street, renovating the kitchen at the city's senior citizen center, and re-roofing the city complex.

Gallagher says the biggest project is having developers come in to build town homes.

The city also just announced a project called "Shops by the River", where a developer will build 29,000 square feet of retail space within the city.

"I don't have any doubt that by March or April we'll probably be at the $25-30 million mark of commercial and residential development investment in Sunland Park," Gallagher said. "We have to have people comfortable to spend their money in Sunland Park."

To make that happen, Gallagher says they're offering developers incentives along with making sure development gets done in a timely manner.

The city that was once plagued by controversy, is now working to make a name for itself.  "We've got a new attitude," Gallagher said. "We want people to do business in Sunland Park."

While working for Sunland Park, Gallagher continues to hold his city manager position in Jal, New Mexico.

ABC-7 asked him if that could affect his job performance in Sunland Park.  "Its unconventional. It's kind of goofy if you will," Gallagher said. "But if you talk to the mayor and members of the city council in both city's, it's working for them. Someone can say I'd really like someone to be here 40 hours a week. But if that's how you're going to judge a city manager, I don't want to be around a city that does that."

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