CENTER— After months of searching, Center hired a new town manager last week to replace Joan Mobley, who left in July. Retired Marine Brian Lujan of Alamosa was introduced at the Tuesday town board meeting, after attending his first budget workshop with the town.
Lujan says he spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, 10 years of his time in upper management dealing with assets, finances, logistics, and project management. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as a combat engineer, constructing base camp facilities, security plants, bunkers and gun towers.
When he first enlisted in the Corps, he spent four years in Okinawa, Japan and then returned to Camp Pendleton in southern California. He later served two years in Pennsylvania as a recruiter and was a combat engineer instructor at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C. Lujan is married and is the father of two stepsons 11 and 22.
Part of his hiring process, Lujan confirmed, involved “a more thorough background check going all the way back to 1993.” Center Police Chief Jim Gowin conducted the background check. “I’m an upstanding individual,” Lujan affirmed. “I come from an organization where policy and procedure are a must and you follow rules and regulations. Right is right and wrong is wrong, morally and ethically.”
A large bulletin board in Lujan’s office displayed the infrastructure he will be dealing with in Center, and Lujan says he is studying what the town needs and prioritizing. He commended Clerk/Treasurer Mobley saying he feels she “had the town’s best interests at heart” and the direction of the board based on her leadership reflects that.
After attending the budget workshop, Lujan said he “has a lot of questions that need to be answered,” and the budget will be his first order of business. He noted that he wants to see where the money is going, where to cut back and how to cut back. He said he will be serving the board based on Mobley’s footprint and her budget numbers.
Bettering the town any way he can is his primary goal, whether it be the budget, revitalizing the downtown area or any number of other projects, he said. While he “really hasn’t ventured into the water yet,” after working for only a few days, he definitely has goals and says he intends to bring the town into the 21st Century.
The board introduced Lujan and welcomed him to the community before convening Tuesday. Lujan thanked the town for giving him the opportunity to serve and said he intends to “run with it.”