Las Cruces Interim City Manager steps aside in hopes of gaining permanent position

Las Cruces News
Fmr. Interim City Manager William Studer, Jr.

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — The City of Las Cruces is now on its second Interim City Manager since last April, after William ‘Bill’ Studer, Jr. stepped down Monday in an effort to not give the appearance of having an unfair advantage in the permanent position’s hiring process.

The City announced Studer will be replaced by the City’s Public Works Director David Maestas. The changes in City administration are effective March 16, 2020. Studer was announced as Interim City Manager in April 2019, after previous City Manager, Ed Stuard abruptly resigned.

“When the City Council appointed Bill Studer as interim city manager, it was unknown to the council that he would apply for the full-time position of City Manager,” Mayor Miyagishima said. “Now that both he and Assistant City Manager David Dollahon are finalists for the top job, Bill has graciously decided to step down so as not to give the appearance of having an unfair advantage not only on David Dollahon but the other candidates as well.”

Assistant City Manager David Dollahon

“The council appreciates this and has decided to appoint Public Works Director and long-time city employee David Maestas as interim city manager,” said Miyagishima.

Miyagishima says the five finalists for the City Manager position will be interviewed on March 17 in Las Cruces. The announcement of the permanent City Manager could be anywhere between one month and three months from that date.

Last week, City Council named five finalists to the City Manager position. Studer and Dollahon were among the five finalists. The other three finalists include Gregory “Greg” Martin, Village Administrator in Los Lunas, New Mexico; Veronica Soto, Neighborhood and Housing Services Director for the City of San Antonio, Texas; and Kenneth Young, Assistant County Administrator, Loudoun County, Virginia.

Maestas’ interim appointment will remain in effect until a new City Manager is hired, which is expected to be within the next few months.

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