$2.6 million mistake causes budget tensions to rise

Donald Day

SUNNYSIDE — City Manager Don Day is planning to retire July 1.

The announcement was made to City Council on Friday, June 1.

Monday, June 11, the council will discuss steps to recruit and select a new city manager, Mayor Julia Hart said.

The discussion takes place at the regular council meeting at the Law and Justice Center.

Day has served the city since August 2013 after a spate of city managers, including Bob Stockwell, Dave Fonfara, Eric Swansen, and interim managers former Public Works Director Jim Bridges and former City Attorney Mark Kunkler.

A retired New Mexico State Police officer and currently county manager for Colfax County, New Mexico, Day took the reigns after the city hired John Darrington to

fill the role on an interim basis. Darrington worked for Colin Baenziger and Associates, a company that assists governmental agencies in the recruitment and placement of key personnel, including city managers.

Day said he and his wife Brenda Day have enjoyed living in Sunnyside.

“We really love it,” he said.

The city has become home to the couple, who have made friends with several people in the community.

“My heart is heavy, but my wife and I came to the decision: It’s time,” Day said.

The decision to retire is personal, and the Days will return to New Mexico “… to take care of some things.”

There have been many accomplishments made by Day in his tenure. “Although I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted,” he said.

He is grateful for the support from the council, businesses, city staff and community.

“We just know the time is right,” Day said.

He hopes to help the council in the recruiting process, “… if that’s the wish of the council.”

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