April 4, 2014
David Eichholtz, of David Richard Gallery, selected as one of 40 volunteers from the community to serve on Mayor Javier Gonzales' transition team

Santa Fe New Mexican
April 4, 2014
Almost a month after being sworn in as Santa Fe’s mayor, Javier Gonzales announced Thursday he has tapped about 40 volunteers from the community to serve on his transition team.

The group will be tasked with helping Gonzales find ways to make the city government work more efficiently, by examining each city department and helping to determine if the people with the right skill sets are in the right place, the mayor said in his announcement.

The transition team “is not an attempt to reorganize city government,” said Earl Potter, an attorney and local businessman who will head the group. “And it’s not an attempt to make detailed personnel recommendations. It’s meant basically to have expert eyes that will enable the mayor and the council to make better decisions.”

Potter, like Gonzales, is a former state Democratic Party chairman, and he is a co-owner of the Five & Dime General Store on the Plaza.

The mayor, who took his oath of office March 10, initially said his transition team would be announced within 10 days. But since then, city spokeswoman Jodi McGinnis Porter said, Gonzales has busy chairing two late-night City Council meetings, speaking with city staff members and community people, and visiting schools.

Other activities also delayed his transition team appointments, Porter said in an email, explaining that Gonzales “was the keynote speaker welcoming the Vietnam Veterans’ The Wall That Heals. He donned a hard hat and a golden shovel to celebrate opening a major infrastructure project, and he celebrated the ‘Game of Thrones’ premiere in Santa Fe.”

Gonzales’ announcement said his transition team is tasked with helping him achieve three main goals: Diversifying the economy and producing more jobs with upward career mobility; making the community a global leader in green energy; and providing pathways for educational achievement for young people.

The transition team includes nine subteams that will examine each city agency — from the City Attorney’s Office to the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau — and make recommendations within 45 days to the mayor pro tem, City Councilor Peter Ives, and to Councilor Ron Trujillo, who chairs the city Public Works Committee.

Nancy Long, a land development lawyer, will chair the City Attorney’s Office team, along with former city attorneys Frank Katz and Kyle Harwood.

Peter Brill, president of Sarcon Construction, the company hired by the city to convert empty space in a Santa Fe Railyard building into office space, will lead a Public Works team that includes five other members: Aaron Borrego, Daniel Werwath, Albert LaFebre, Linda Milbourn and Todd Kurth.

Monica Montoya, a land-use consultant, is chairwoman of the Planning and Land Use team, which includes four other members: Charlie Gonzales, Oralynn Guerrerortiz, Ernie Romero and John Wolf.

Domingo Sanchez, a former Santa Fe County manager, and David Wolf will be examining the Finance Department.

Harwood will lead the Public Utilities team, along with former city and county utilities director Pego Guerrerortiz, Jennifer Jenkins and Ken Hughes.

Cyndi Conn, executive director of Creative Santa Fe, a nonprofit that promotes the art community’s economy, will lead the Community Development group, which will include Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Simon Brackley, Kris Axtel, Glen Schiffbauer and Lynette Montoya.

Charlotte Roybal, a Democratic Party activist and health issues advocate, is chairwoman of the Community Services team, and will work along with Fred Sandoval and Pablo Sedillo, who was an aide to former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman and serves on the Santa Fe Community College board. He also is a consultant to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.

The chairman of the Information Technology team is Rick Carlisle, who has served as the city’s technology director. He will work with John Bacon and Connie Mackie.

The chairman of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau team is Paul Margetson, manger of Hotel Santa Fe, who will work with eight other members, including John Torres Nez, who recently stepped down as chief operating officer of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, the nonprofit that organizes the Santa Fe Indian Market. Other members include retired restaurateur Al Lucero, Brackley, Dominic Silva, Ben Tutt, Ed Pulsifer, Elizabeth Pettus and David Eichholtz.

“One of the things I love most about Santa Fe is the extraordinary number of people willing to give their time and talent to improve this community,” Gonzales said in a news release. “The brain power and real-world experience that we’ve assembled on these teams is phenomenal. I know we will get robust recommendations for making improvements and taking advantage of key opportunities.”

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