Michael Hawkes

The search for a new county manager is over.

Michael Hawkes of San Antonio will be taking over as Socorro County Manager beginning July 9. One of four finalists being considered by the Socorro County Board of Commissioners, Hawkes was hired after an executive session Tuesday morning.

With District 4 Commissioner Glen Duggins absent for the vote, Hawkes won the consensus of the four remaining commissioners. He said he is looking forward to this new challenge.

“There are a lot of things to do to get done. Some things are fairly daunting, especially with the fiscal aspects,” Hawkes said. “I’m committed to keeping this county a viable county. There’s a great deal to do.”

Having been executive director of Alamo Navajo School Board LLC for more than 11 years, the pressure is nothing new to him.

“I’ve dealt with these kinds of challenges before,” Hawkes said. “So, I know it’s going to entail a lot of work and dedication. But I’ll have a good county commission, and good support staff.”

Hawkes said he will be conferring with outgoing manager Delilah Walsh as much as needed to get up to speed.

“We’ve spoken and she said she will make herself available as much as she can,” Hawkes said. “I expect the transition to be smooth.”

Board chairwoman Martha Salas said she was happy and sad at the same time.

“I feel sad about Delilah leaving,” Griego said. “But also happy to work with someone who’s highly qualified for the job.”

Hawkes, a retired state police officer, has been working as a project manager at the New Mexico Tech’s First Responders Training Program at EMRTC. Besides being the executive director at Alamo for 11 years, he was Executive Director at El Ranchito de Los Ninos, an education and health services program for children.

He holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of New Mexico and a bachelor’s degree in general studies from New Mexico Tech.

“It’s a new beginning,” Hawkes said. “It’s sort of like walking into a dark room. Even though you’ve walked into that room several times, it’s still a dark room. You’ve just got to find the light switch again. I’m excited.”