There is so much I could say…. Steve disappointed me on so many levels that it just baffles the mind. I hope you land on your feet Steve….never mind the folks you conned into following you. After Steve left, he was known to cast dispersions on Keller as “people complaining but living in Disneyland”. Yeah, how’d moving to the armpit of the world work out for you Steve?
I’m sure he will land on his feet, in some upper middle class suburb somewhere in DFW. But to those googling his name and coming to this website, you might ask Steve about his Disney comments, and also ask him why it is whenever the shit hits the fan, he hits the road.
And as far as I know, none of Steve’s relatives live here, they are all out of state. So transparent what the real reason is that it isn’t funny.
Roswell City Manager Steve Polasek announced Monday he will resign in August as the city’s chief administrator to be closer to his family in Texas.
Polasek, whose city administration recently decommissioned the Cahoon Park Pool, said while the pool closure was contentious, local violent crime and the state’s economy were his top concerns as the day-to-day operational leader of the city’s 600-position workforce.
“As a city manager, you have to focus on the areas of most importance,” Polasek told the Daily Record Monday. “While the pool may be contentious for some, I get that, for me, it’s never been. I don’t get angry about people or upset about this or that. They’re entitled to their opinion. I think it’s great. What bothers me, what keeps me up at night, quite honestly, are two things: people killing each other and hurting each other and disrespecting each other and our economy in the state of New Mexico, not just Roswell.
“And how’s this state going to survive? Those are the two things that keep me up at night because I want to help people and do things to make this a better place. If we really want to get down and dirty about what’s really important, what’s really important is our crime and our economy. Those are huge issues.”
Mayor Dennis Kintigh said he will recommend an interim city manager at Thursday’s City Council meeting.
“We’re having those discussions right now,” the mayor said Monday. “We’re going to be discussing this on Thursday night. We’re going to lay out a plan. I’m working on a plan on how we’re going to recruit our next permanent city manager. So we’re working on finalizing all that.”
Polasek’s successor is expected to be discussed in executive session at Thursday’s City Council meeting, with the possibility of a public appointment afterwards.
Kintigh declined on Monday to disclose his likely recommendation, but the mayor said he will recommend a current city employee for the sake of continuity.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to all the councilors yet, so I’d like to hold off on that,” he said. “Yes, it’s got to be a current city [auth] employee, otherwise you’d have too much turmoil.”
Kintigh also said he would recommend a fiscal hawk.
“That’s the temperament of this community,” the mayor said. “That’s the temperament of this council. We are a fiscally conservative community. We’re going to have differences on what that truly means in some ways, but, yes, we will deal seriously with budget issues. We’re not a tax-and-spend group. We’re not one of those progressive-type outfits.”
Kintigh said Polasek’s expertise in municipal government would be missed.
“I learned from Steve Polasek how incredibly complex city management is and how critical it is to have someone with a very serious background in that area, by that I mean an understanding of the complexities of cities, everything from wastewater to airports to zoos to public safety,” the mayor said. “There’s much that goes on, and understanding that dynamic, understanding budgeting, understanding public employment law, because public employees are treated differently from private employees. Whether you like that or not, it’s a fact, so understanding those aspects, there’s a lot to it. This is 550-some employees, $80 million to $100 million budget. This is the big leagues.”
Kintigh predicted hiring a new, permanent city manager would take up to six months. Polasek will remain in his post until Aug. 1.
Polasek began his tenure as Roswell city manager on Nov. 12, 2014, replacing former City Manager Larry Fry, who served for about three and a half years before resigning in May 2014. Fry is now the city manager in Clovis.
The previous city manager, John Capps, had managed the city for about 15 years, Kintigh said.
Polasek said his decision to leave his Roswell job was based on a desire to be nearer to family members in Texas.
“My decision is based primarily on family and a strong desire to be closer to them,” Polasek said in a statement Monday. “Situations have changed making it increasingly difficult to visit with, support and provide care for certain family members.”
Polasek, 47, came to Roswell from Keller, Texas, where he was city manager. He said he worked for three other cities, Hurst, Southlake and Keller, all of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, before coming to Roswell.
“It may very well be my final,” Polasek said. “I don’t know yet. My plan was to kind of make this my final city, so we’ll see. I’m still relatively young. Who knows?”
Polasek said the 10-member City Council is the largest city council for which he worked.
“It was certainly an interesting dynamic, but it’s been a really good group,” he said. “Overall, they’ve been really, really fantastic to work with.”
Kintigh said he was disappointed with Polasek’s resignation, submitted last week, but the mayor said he understands prioritizing one’s family over career. Polasek’s starting annual was $158,000. His current salary is $163,580.
“I would have liked to have had him here for three to five years,” Kintigh said. “There’s family demands that just take priority, and I get that. Steve and I talked about this. We talked and I understand why he needs to go. I wish it wasn’t the case. But he and his family need to take care of another family member.”
Kintigh noted Polasek and his wife, Maria, and son, Ethan, had planted roots in Roswell and had bought a home.
“He bought the house, obviously with the intention of staying here,” Kintigh said. “So this change in situation, it’s serious, but it’s private. It’s obvious that this was not what his original intention was.”
“It certainly wasn’t something we had planned. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have come here to begin with, to be quite honest with you,” Polasek said. “I think we got a lot done in a very short period of time, but there’s still a lot more to go.”
Polasek said his time in Roswell has been fruitful.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s been a pleasure. We’ve pushed the envelope on a lot of stuff. We’re doing a lot of neat things and I think the groundwork has been laid here in Roswell to hopefully keep the momentum going. It is change. Hopefully, again, our goal is change for the better. It’s really been enjoyable and we’ve had a great time in this community and obviously we wish Roswell all the best.”
Asked about possibly being known as the city manager that decommissioned the Cahoon Park Pool, Polasek said the label wouldn’t bother him.
“No, not at all,” he said. “From my perspective, I think it comes with the territory. There are different issues and items that are certainly going to be in the minds of some individuals, areas for contention.”
Kintigh said the pool debate “doesn’t even show up on the radar scope” regarding Polasek’s resignation.
“The huge challenge from a city management perspective is the budget,” the mayor said. “The cratering in our revenues and the way he handled that in a professional manner, I’m telling you, I’m so glad we had him here through that dark time when we’re adjusting for a significant downturn in revenues. He did a great job. This is a significant downturn.”
Polasek said New Mexico’s economy lacks sufficient diversification.
“It’s not just the local, it’s the state economy, because the state plays such a big role in our economy as well because they’re in city business quite a bit, obviously,” he said. “But the economy of New Mexico is right now in a very poor state of affairs.”
Polasek said the state’s economy is too linked with oil booms and busts.
“It hurts people, it hurts families, and I guarantee it drives up crime when people don’t have jobs,” he said. “It’s not a good thing. And we have nothing in this state other than oil and gas, which is about 36 percent of our economy. The No. 2 employer in this state is government. No. 3 is probably tourism and other. The last big economic impact in this state was Intel 25 years ago, and I guarantee you within two years, Intel won’t even be here.
“The economy in the U.S. is not in the toilet. The economy of New Mexico is in the toilet. Lots of places are doing fine. Why are we not looking at what other people are doing in other states? That’s the big question that nobody seems to want to answer.”