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New airport manager’s short-term contract with T or C includes pay of $3,500 a month and free hangar

by Kathleen Sloan | April 30, 2021
2 min read
Among the new airport manager's duties are preparing the annual budget, recruiting and training city employees to work at the airport, making planning recommendations and attracting business. Source: City of Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences Interim City Manager Traci Alvarez and Chad Rosacker signed an undated contract that retained Rosaker’s company, Tech 45 Services LLC, to manage the city airport for four months, from March 1 to June 30.

The Sun requested a copy of the contract after Tech 45’s engagement became public when Rosaker gave a report on the airport at the last T or C city commission meeting (see Related article below). The city clerk waited two weeks to fulfill the Sun’s Inspection of Public Records request before releasing the contract. It states that Tech 45 has been engaged as an independent contractor, confirming that Rosacker, who presented himself to the commissioners as the new airport manager, is not a city employee.  

Tech 45 is receiving $3,500 a month for its services. Rosacker and/or his employees are obligated to work 20 hours a week, as well as be on call from 4:30 p.m. to 3 a.m., Monday through Thursday. While stipulating that the work can be performed on site and remotely, the contract specifies that three weekends a month a Tech 45 employee will be present at the airport on “Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday.”

Rosacker, who remains employed as a ground chief for Virgin Galactic, is a pilot. The contract states that his company will have “sole use of the ‘Pippen’ hangar at no charge” for the four-month contract period. Thereafter, Tech 45 may rent the hangar for $2,000 a year, until January 2022, when the terms of that arrangement may be renegotiated. 

Tech 45 must provide insurance for its employees, in compliance with the New Mexico State Tort Claims Act, for the contract term, and must abide by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Tech 45 is also responsible for complying with the American Disabilities Act during the contract period. 

The list of duties specified in the contract is long and various. It includes drafting a yearly budget, recommending long-term plans to the city manager, helping to recruit, train and establish performance guidelines for city employees who work at the airport and supervising the “acquisition, planning, design, construction and maintenance of airport facilities.”

Marketing the airport and attracting business are also among Tech 45’s duties.

Kathleen Sloan is the Sun’s founder and chief reporter. She can be reached at kathleen.sloan@gmail.com or 575-297-4146.
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Third day on the job, Swingle brings transparency and reality to T or C’s budgeting process, Parts 1 and 2

In addition to contending with a $1.6 million deficit in the fiscal year 2021-2022 draft budget, new city manager Bruce Swingle informed the city commissioners that they must play a lead role in identifying departmental spending priorities and cuts and devising a plan within two years to end the practice of balancing the budget with transfers from utility fees.

Peter A. Lawton (T or C) commented on Part 1: It is nice to see there finally seems to be an adult in charge in our city. Great article!

Barb Dewell (T or C) commented on Part 2: I’m really surprised so much is going on in T or C that the commissioners don’t know anything about. It’s very disappointing. They don’t even appear to want to ask questions. It seems reports are made, Luna makes her comments, no one else has a question or comment, and the issue either goes the way Commissioner Luna wants or it’s tabled, I guess. This isn’t how our city should be run. Thank goodness for City Manager Swingle. I hope he is able to corral all this spending and these very loose approvals and get the city finances back on track. I know most residents are really worried about all this, as I’ve been, and we have high hopes for City Manager Swingle’s leadership.

Ronn Fenn (T or C) commented on Part 2: For a long time I’ve been questioning why this airport is a T or C-funded facility and not a county facility with its location about five miles from the recognized city proper and serving a largely non-resident user base. It and its annual transfer funds to support its operation needs to be investigated. This facility is not and probably never will be an income-producing asset. Its operating costs should be spread throughout the county and not borne solely by T or C’s residents. Pie in the Sky is not likely to land in T or C.

Lydia Dixon (T or C) commented on Part 2: This is great reporting. People would not know most of this if it were not published here. Thanks!



Welcome, Bruce!

Now that you’ve had a couple days to settle in as city manager, please consider implementing these 10 doable fixes that will make the governance of the City of Truth or Consequences more transparent, responsive and effective.

Reader Joey Perry (T or C) commented: Great suggestions. Here’s one more. Make the meeting agendas more informational. In addition to the ordinance number, include a sentence or two (in plain English) saying what the item is about and why it is on the agenda—e.g., what is the issue? This would help me decide if I want to attend a meeting, or write a letter to the manager or the commissioners, expressing my views ahead of the meeting.


New T or C airport manager has contract through June, search for private operator to begin soon
by Kathleen Sloan | April 16, 2021

The airport, which lost more than $225,000 in the last fiscal year, advertised for a manager without success last fall. Virgin Galactic crew chief Chad...

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