Mayor Gregg Hull announced today that he has appointed Matthew Geisel to serve as Rio Rancho’s next city manager.

Matt Geisel

 Geisel is Rio Rancho’s acting Development Services Department director and economic development and business relations manager. His résumé is available by clicking here.

Pursuant to the city charter, the mayor’s appointment must be confirmed via resolution by the governing body, including the appointee’s employment contract. The governing body will consider Geisel’s appointment at their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, April 22.

“Geisel is a long-time Rio Rancho resident and city employee that possesses high-level administrative and management experience and expertise in economic development, which is a top priority for the governing body,” Hull said. “Having worked daily with Geisel for years, I have seen his unique knowledge of both the private and government sectors on display, which has resulted in significant job creation for the community via projects such as Safelifte and NTx Bio. Geisel has been part of the administrative management team that has helped guide the city through the pandemic, and at the same time has overseen the Development Services Department during a time of record growth and demands. Since announcing Geisel’s name as a finalist for the position, the outpouring of support for his appointment and confirmation by citizens, community stakeholders, state officials, city staff and those looking to invest in Rio Rancho has been overwhelming, and further confirms why he is the best and right choice for the job.”

The City Charter requires the governing body to screen and rank candidates for the city manager position, and provide three to five names to the mayor to appoint from.  Geisel was one of four finalists forwarded to Hull for consideration, out of 33 applications reviewed and interviews with six candidates.

Once the ranked list is provided, the mayor has 10 days to make an appointment, notify the governing body of his decision and come to terms on an employment contract with his appointee.  The employment agreement for Geisel will be included with the April 22 meeting agenda, which will be available online via the city’s website beginning on Thursday.

As outlined in the city charter, if the governing body does not confirm the mayor’s first choice at their April 22 meeting, Hull has up to 45 days to appoint someone else from the finalist list provided to him, and then seek governing body confirmation via resolution. This process, with up to 45 days between required appointments, would continue until one of the names on the finalist list is confirmed via resolution by the governing body or until all four names on the finalist list have been rejected by the governing body.

Only after all the names on the finalist list have been rejected can a new search take place.

The city manager position became vacant in March 2020 when David Campbell submitted his resignation.

Deputy City Manager Peter Wells was appointed that month by the governing body as acting city manager and continues to serve in that capacity. At the time of his appointment, Wells said he would not apply for the city manager position.

Wells will return to his deputy city manager position after the completion of the current city manager search process or on May 17, whichever occurs first. Per the city charter, the mayor can appoint an acting city manager for no more than 30 days.

Any appointment beyond 30 days requires governing body approval.