Duncan Named Bloomfield City Manager, Sharpe Withdraws

...the Council and Mayor have asked George Duncan to serve as the permanent City Manager of Bloomfield.  George has served the City of Bloomfield for over 40 years as fireman, fire chief, department leader and interim city manager.  He understands the operations and politics of the City.  In addition, he has been actively involved during this time in serving his community in numerous community organizations including the Chamber of Commerce.  He has written many grants to benefit the community including the Riverwalk Grant.  He has been a San Juan County leader in helping to establish many gov

From the City of Bloomfield:

Statement by Bloomfield Mayor Cynthia Atencio:

As you are aware, Donica Sharpe has decided not to accept the appointment of City Manager due to complications resulting from her PERA retirement restrictions.  We are very disappointed the very rigid return to work policies of PERA would not allow the City to maximize the skills of Donica.

Consequently, the Mayor and Council began an immediate search for Donica’s replacement as City Manager.  It was imperative we find someone local.  We wanted someone who had lived in the City for a long time; someone who had been actively engaged in the community; someone well respected in the community; someone who knew the community, its people and its history.  Ideally this person would have an extensive history of the City’s infrastructure, budget and financial issues, grant writing expertise, be well known and respected among San Juan County leaders, and have a strong familiarity with municipal requirements in New Mexico. It was essential the person had demonstrated leadership performance and skills.

Accordingly, I am pleased to announce the Council and Mayor have asked George Duncan to serve as the permanent City Manager of Bloomfield.  George has served the City of Bloomfield for over 40 years as fireman, fire chief, department leader and interim city manager.  He understands the operations and politics of the City.  In addition, he has been actively involved during this time in serving his community in numerous community organizations including the Chamber of Commerce.  He has written many grants to benefit the community including the Riverwalk Grant.  He has been a San Juan County leader in helping to establish many governmental entities and strategic partnerships in the areas of fire safety, Emergency Medical Services and the 911 protocols.  George currently serves as Chairman of the San Juan County Communications Center.  Over the years, George has been a leader in many NM, regional and national fire fighting, EMS, 911 and communication initiatives and organizations.  Raised in Bloomfield, George has a strong family legacy involvement in Bloomfield.  His father, Johnny, was a long-time business man and Mayor of Bloomfield.  His mother, Minnie, was a long-time teacher in Bloomfield, touching the lives of hundreds of students over the years.  As a strong advocate in developing the Bloomfield Fire Department into one of the leading rural fire departments in the region and state, George has touched the lives of hundreds of firefighting volunteers who have devoted their time and energy into making Bloomfield a safer, stronger community.  Over the last four decades, George has arguably devoted more time to serving the community of Bloomfield than any other resident of Bloomfield.

George will be the permanent City Manager of Bloomfield and will serve in this capacity approximately half time.  George will work closely with the Mayor and Council as an equal colleague to establish an inclusive executive management team as it moves forward to meet the many challenges and opportunities facing Bloomfield.  George will receive an hourly salary rate approximating that of previous city managers.  A contract will be finalized in the next few days.  George was not under the PERA retirement system and therefore will not be subject to the PERA return to work rules.

 

Earlier statement by City of Bloomfield:

Donica Sharpe has decided not to accept the position of City Manager of Bloomfield after the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) stated Ms. Sharpe would have to suspend her current PERA retirement benefits.

Ms. Sharpe retired from the city of Bloomfield in 2016. Initial inquiries with PERA indicated Ms. Sharpe could work for the city as a contract consultant and still receive her PERA benefits. Contract negotiations were being finalized last week with Ms. Sharpe. Legal counsel with PERA subsequently stated that Ms. Sharpe could not receive her current PERA retirement benefits and serve as a contract city manager. Ms. Sharpe decided she could not afford to abide by the very rigid PERA retirement return- to -work rules. Therefore, Ms. Sharpe has withdrawn her consideration of the appointment of City Manager by the Bloomfield City Council.

While waiting for approval from PERA and for negotiations with the City to be finalized, Ms. Sharpe  volunteered to donate her time and leadership to the city. Under PERA guidelines, Ms. Sharpe will continue to serve as an integral part-time consultant to the City of Bloomfield’s leadership team. Her special skills will be utilized contributing to mission critical projects, especially planning and zoning.

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