City Council Chambers at Socorro City Hall

The Socorro City Council and mayor discussed revisions to the job description for the economic development director position at last week’s meeting.

Mayor Ravi Bhasker said this decision was not up to the council to make.

In the July 5 meeting, the council decided to revise the job description as some members said the tasks listed were asking too much. Bhasker did not attend this meeting, so the decision was made without him.

He said the city management should decide the tasks and workload for the position. He brought up the city regulations.

“I don’t see anywhere in that where the council decides the job description that the management has to implement to fulfill the councils’ desires and resolutions,” he said.

Bhasker also discussed the goals of economic development. He said bringing in new businesses would take away employees from the businesses already established in Socorro.

“You start to bring in this different type of business, and I am going to lose employees. I can hardly even get them right now. I think housing improvement should be discussed first, so people can come in and add to the employment pool,” Bhasker said, using his businesses as an example.

Councilor Deborah Dean said she felt that the job description was just too much.

“I thought it was overwhelming. We don’t want to put someone in a job that is overwhelming from the get-go,” she said.

Dean said every time a business closes, the city hears complaints from the community that they don’t have an economic development person or a chamber of commerce.

“It would be nice to have someone in a position to fill those gaps,” she said.

Bhasker responded that the directors he already has constantly have to wear different hats to get the job done.

Councilor Mary Ann Chavez-Lopez said it is also important not to overwhelm current city employees.

“We don’t want to give the people we already have more. We don’t want them to leave and go somewhere else,” Chavez-Lopez said.

At the end of the discussion, Councilor Michael Olguin suggested putting the decision on hold to further discuss the job description.

“Maybe it won’t be a full-time job or the pay won’t be as high as it could be, but at least we are getting a foot in the right direction,” Olguin said.

Bhasker said he was willing to do that, but he wanted to clarify what the council’s abilities are and what the management’s abilities are.

In other matters:

  • Councilor Gordy Hicks thanked the mayor for the new airport roof. “It really does look great, and I’ve been receiving a lot of compliments for it. Thank you very much,” Hicks said. The roof cost $11,643.
  • Bhasker brought up complaints from some city workers that they aren’t getting paid enough. He is trying to make the pay as equal as possible, to avoid losing the directors the city has. Councilor Damien Ocampo suggested using other communities to gather information since some of the jobs are not very comparable.
  • Library Director Chelsea Jones announced the results of the summer reading program. There were 145 participants, and they read 31,375 minutes.

The council met again Monday, Aug. 1, and the next regular meeting will be Monday, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m.