The Roswell City Council on March 9 approved the mayor’s appointment of Chad Cole as Roswell’s new city manager. The vote at the regular City Council meeting was 8-1 in favor of hiring the Roswell native as the next city manager.
Cole accepted the position in late February, pending council approval. Mayor Tim Jennings chose to recommend Cole for the city’s top day-to-day administrative position from among seven candidates who were interviewed in January by a committee made up of Jennings, city councilors Ed Heldenbrand, Jeanine Corn-Best, Juan Oropesa and Juliana Halvorson, Deputy City Manager Mike Mathews (who has been serving as interim city manager), City Attorney Hess Yntema, City Clerk Amalia Martinez and Finance Director Janie Davies.
Cole steps into his new city position after spending the last approximately six years as the Roswell Independent School District’s assistant superintendent for finance and operations, a position he also served in from 2009 to 2016. His two stints in the school district’s finance-and-operations role were split by a brief tenure in 2016-2017 as senior vice president/chief financial officer at Pioneer Bank. Cole’s earlier professional experience also includes time as a staff accountant at public accounting firm Gilmore, Gannaway, Andrews, Smith and Co., as well as working as an accounting assistant and production analyst for Leprino Foods.
Cole holds a master’s of business administration (finance and accounting) degree from Regis University’s College of Professional Studies in Denver.
“The City of Roswell has a rich history, talented people, unique assets, and in many respects, it serves as the central hub of Southeast New Mexico,” Cole said. “It’s where I come from, and I am absolutely thrilled by the potential opportunities that may lie ahead for us all to engage, support and celebrate the collaborative efforts and accomplishments of our city, its schools, our county and our businesses. This is how mountains are moved; each of us moving together, towards the same goal, and to the greater and long-lasting benefit of everyone.
“There’s nothing more exciting than the pursuit and accomplishment of meaningful goals that benefit those for whom we want the very best: our families, our neighbors and our friends. I believe in the vision and inspiration of our elected leaders, and I believe in Roswell.”
Roswell’s new city manager is expected to formally begin his work with the city in April after exiting his current job at the school district in 30 days. As city manager, Cole will be paid an annual salary of $160,607.
“Chad Cole is local to Roswell, he graduated from University High. There is no learning curve because he knows Roswell inside and out,” said Mayor Jennings. “Chad will be a benefit to ensure the city, schools, state and the university work together to maximize the tax dollars.”
The city manager position was advertised on the City of Roswell website, Indeed.com and through the New Mexico Municipal League.
Cole replaces Joe Neeb, who became Roswell’s city manager in April 2017. Neeb submitted his resignation Nov. 10, 2022, three weeks after the mayor had placed him on administrative leave. The resignation effective date was Feb. 21, 2023, but Neeb has not been on the job – using vacation and other benefit time – since submitting his resignation.
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