EBID to Hire New Manager as Esslinger Retires

Karen Ray

Elephant Butte Irrigation District’s Board of Directors met in an open session special meeting on March 31st to begin interviews for the position of Treasurer-Manager to replace Gary Esslinger as he prepares to retire from his longtime role. Following Open Session interviews of the candidates, which the public was invited to attend and which many did, the Board convened in closed session to discuss the candidates.

After a thorough review of each applicant’s application package, conducting interviews, and deliberations regarding the candidates, the Board has selected Dr. Patrick Sullivan for this vital position. Dr. Sullivan brings years of agriculture related knowledge and management experience to the role with a background in the private, government, and institutional sectors covering issues relating primarily to fiscal management and policy development. He will step into his new position on June 1 and begin the 2022 irrigation season. 

When presented with the offer from the Board of Directors, Dr. Sullivan gladly accepted and noted: “I’m excited about the opportunity to lead EBID and continue to build on its legacy of service to its members. I look forward to working with the EBID Board of Directors, staff, and other stakeholders to ensure the efficient operation of the district, with a special focus on delivery of water.” 

Board President Mike McNamee says, “This is an historic moment EBID is experiencing in transitioning to a new Manager after a long successful run with our outgoing Manager Gary Esslinger. We are also doing this at a time that is extremely difficult for farmers given the drought and economic issues we’re facing daily. We are hopeful that our choice will take us in the right direction and continue to help steer EBID in the most positive direction available at every turn.”

Reflecting on his years with the District, Esslinger said, “I want to thank the EBID Board of Directors, EBID Staff and all employees, past and present, for the honor of serving alongside you for the last 44 years. I want to express my deepest gratitude to the agriculture community, though I cannot adequately express in words how much it has meant for me to lead this organization with the willingness and commitment of the farmers within EBID to allow me to do so. I strongly believe that EBID will continue to hold tight to its commitment to serve the farmers and withstand the constant onslaught of enormous challenges we’re faced with every day. With the appointment of a new Treasurer-Manager, a fresh set of goals, and a vision for the future, I’m confident EBID will rise to any challenge it is faced with. My heart is truly with this District, and it always will be.”

The hoped-for late season precipitation has not developed in the Rio Grande’s watershed and the snowmelt has begun early as predicted by Dr. Phil King, EBID’s Hydrology and Engineering consultant. The spring runoff is expected to be very low due to the ongoing drought and the 2022 irrigation season outlook continues to remain poor. The new EBID Manager steps in at a challenging time the District has never seen to this degree before.

More information about EBID and updates regarding the irrigation season can be found here at www.ebid-nm.org and on the District’s FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/ElephantButteIrrigationDistrict.