COMMISSION TAPS BRIAN HAINES AS COUNTY MANAGER

COMMISSION TAPS BRIAN HAINES AS COUNTY MANAGER

After interviewing four finalists for the position of county manager today, the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners unanimously chose Brian D. Haines to assume the helm of county government. Haines has been acting county manager since the resignation of David R. King in April.

Chairman Paul B. Curry publicly praised the seven-member, independent selection committee that processed 158 applications in an effort to identify front-runners. The committee eventually forwarded five names to the Commission: Haines; Grant County Manager Arthur H. ‘Harry’ Burgess III, of Silver City, N.M.; Kent County Administrator Robert McLeod, of Dover, Del.; Attorney Robert Dale Morrison, of Albuquerque, N.M.; and Assistant Doña Ana County Manager Malcolm ‘Mack’ Wilson, of El Paso, Texas. Burgess withdrew from consideration late last week.

The Commission scheduled interviews to begin at 11 a.m. today, immediately after the Commission’s regular meeting. Working through lunch, the Commission interviewed all four remaining candidates. At 3:50 p.m., Curry called the Commission back into open session and announced that a consensus had been reached to offer the job to Haines and to seek to retain Wilson as Assistant County Manager.

District 5 Commissioner Gilbert T. Apodaca made a motion for contract negotiations to begin and to name Haines to the manager’s post effective immediately. District 4 Commissioner D. Kent Evans seconded the motion, and the resulting vote was unanimous.

Haines, 47, has been an employee of Doña Ana County since May, 2001, when he was hired as a temporary employee assigned to audit analyses. Based on his performance and quick learning curve, he was brought on board as a full-time audit control analyst the following November. He was promoted to Financial Services Director in February of 2002. During his tenure as Finance Director, the county’s annual state audits have shown dramatic improvement each year, and the county cash reserves have grown steadily, allowing the Commission to set money aside for major projects including a new administrative complex.

Haines received his CPA certification in 1988. Prior to coming to work for the county, he had 15 years of public accounting experience specializing in government audits, including 10 years with the Las Cruces firm of Kriegel and Co., Ltd. During his tenure at Kriegel, Haines was the audit partner in charge of Doña Ana County’s annual audit.

In his statement after the vote, Curry said the combination of Haines and Wilson at the helm of county government promises “a bright and positive future for Doña Ana County.”

The independent selection committee that forwarded the names of the finalists to the Commission comprised: Rep. Joseph Cervantes, Dr. Lowell Catlett, Tom Halsell, Kari Mitchell, Nikki MacDonald, Sue Padilla and Rick Richardson.

For more information, call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 647-7229. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7229.