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Santa Fe City Council approve John Blair as new City Manager

Gino Gutierrez

The Santa Fe City Council approved the appointment of John Blair to city manager Wednesday in a 8-1 vote.


The sole vote against came from Councilor Lee Garcia, of District 3. Garcia offered his support to Blair after his approval, but said he would've liked to have seen more “contrast between candidates”.

Blair comes into the role without having a contract in place, indicating to Mayor Alan Webber that he wanted to be an at-will employee.

“Mr. Blair has indicated that’s not something he’s interested in, so we will simply not need to discuss provisions of a contract, in as much as there isn’t a contract. 

Mayor Webber did however disclose the salary Blair will receive upon accepting the position, which is $172,500.

Prior to accepting the position of city manager, Blair served as deputy superintendent at the state Department of Regulation and Licensing up until November of last year. 

Coming into the role, Blair said he saw the position as being the chief administrative officer of the city.

“My responsibility, ultimately for me, is really to serve the people of Santa Fe, a significant part of that is serving the mayor and all of the city councilors in terms of their needs and their agendas, and how we can collectively work to move the city forward.”

According to his resume, Blair comes into the position after serving in numerous roles in government. 

Notable among them was his time as the director of the Intergovernmental affairs & External affairs for the U.S Department of the Interior, Communications director for U.S Senator Martin Heinrich, and Chief of Staff for U.S Representative Dan Kildee.

Born in Albuquerque, Blair grew up on the south side of Santa Fe, calling himself a “proud product of Santa Fe Public Schools”.

Blair went on to receive a degree in political science and communications from the University of Kansas, and a law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

Blair replaces outgoing City Manager Jarel LaPan Hill, who came into the position in January of 2020.