8 Questions for Bill Lee: McKinley County Manager
By Fowler Roberts
Q. Bill, what got you interested in applying for the County Manager position?
A. This seemed like the opportunity I was looking for. It’s a chance for me to get involved, not only in Gallup, but the entire McKinley County area, and I hope to make a positive impact. This is my love, this is home and it really intrigues me to have the position open up and have the opportunity here.
Q. You are now one week into the job, what do you enjoy most about it so far?
A. I have to say that the best part of the job so far is the team of people I am working with. There are dynamic, talented individuals at every level in the county and it’s a joy to get to know them and to have the opportunity to work with them.
Q. What do you anticipate the biggest challenge of the job will be?
A. Getting my hands and my head around all that is government and all of the policies and procedures that must be followed when dealing with the public’s trust and their money. I think that is critical. I think it’s important to know the rules. They’re there for a reason.
Q. What is your number one priority at this point?
A. Right now, I am focusing on meeting with each of the commissioners and learning what their priorities in each of their districts are, because they are the representatives of their constituents. My first priority is to learn from the commissioners what they are hearing back from the constituents to see what we can do to make good things happen.
Q. Ultimately, what do you see as being the highest and best potential of our extended community?
A. Over the last year, we’ve all been anticipating an explosion of economic growth and prosperity in McKinley County. And I think it truly is coming and I think that’s one of the most exciting and rewarding opportunities that’s out there for us. We just have to make sure we are ready for it. Of course, the county and city governments will play a big role in that and so will the private sector. The economic opportunities that are headed our way are really, really exciting.
Q. What do you enjoy doing in your off time?
A. I love flying hot air balloons (laughs) and there’s no better place to fly than here in Gallup, whether that’s over town or out in the scenic red rocks. This is the best place in the world to fly. Every opportunity I get, I love to fly those red rocks.
Q. What is your favorite music?
A. I love country music, but my favorite artist is Frank Sinatra. (laughs) There’s pretty diverse spread in there. One of my favorite songs is a country song that’s called, “That’s the Only Way I Know.” It kind of defines my life, so it’s a neat song.
Q. If you could trade places with one other person, either living or dead, who would it be and why?
A. I’d say my dad, James Hobbs. He recently passed away and he left an indelible mark in my life. I hope to live with his kind of values, character and morals. He exemplified all that was good in a man.