Boulder City has officially hired a new city manager who was dealing with major budget problems and questions about his work ethic at his previous job in California.
Alfonso Noyola was the city manager of Arvin, a small farm town near Bakersfield. Over the past month, people who live in Boulder City have said they’re concerned Noyola would rather live in Summerlin than the city in which he manages.
Noyola was initially the subject of an investigation by KBFX, the FOX news affiliate in Bakersfield. Noyola found a loophole in his Arvin contract, which demanded that he permanently reside in Arvin. Instead, he said he only lived in Arvin four days a week before traveling to Las Vegas for three days a week.
Pursuant to the terms of his new contract, Noyola will be required to live in Boulder City but will not be required to sell his residence in Summerlin. Instead of putting strict language in his contract, the Boulder City City Council left it vague, ordering him to move to Boulder City "within a reasonable amount of time" after his start date. Council members refused to say what constitutes "reasonable."
Councilman Kiernan McManus was the only board member to take issue with Noyola's contract.
"Reasonable could be never," McManus argued. "I'm sorry, but I just couldn't support that."
McManus asked for Noyola to find a Boulder City residence within six months. Noyola said that may not be enough time.
“I don’t think we’re in a position that we’re going to hire detectives to determine where he’s sleeping every night,” Boulder City city council member Warren Harhay said.
Neal Siniakin, a concerned Boulder City resident, spoke publicly at Tuesday's meeting to try and prevent Noyola from being hired.
"Mr. Noyola made no effort to live in Arvin, and now you're weaseling around on whether he's going to live in Boulder City within a reasonable time?" Siniakin asked. "Mr. Noyola says they were just slips. In talking to the reporters (in California), they were way more than slips."
"I think it's important our city manager live in the town that he manages," another woman stated.
Arvin's budget crisis
Noyola also took years to realize Arvin was operating with a 1.8 million dollar deficit. He blamed close to a decade of “accounting errors,” but never told anyone about it in Boulder City.
Harhay said he had no idea about the budget issues until after promising Noyola the job.
“No,” Harhay said. “That was not discussed.”
Harhay said the last Boulder City city manager was asked to resign because of a “poor work ethic.” Still, he defended Noyola’s experience and loyalty to Arvin.
“Have you ever been in a terrible job? I’ve been in some terrible jobs, and I couldn’t wait to get out,” Harhay said. “Have you ever been to Arvin?
“My only concern is that there’s more due diligence before Mr. Noyola is hired. We have time, and the city manager is the most important job in the city,” Siniakin said. “Mr. Noyola should be given a chance to explain.”
Noyola has repeatedly declined to speak to FOX5, stating that it would be “inappropriate” to speak before being formally given the job. Previously, he did not decline interviews with the local newspaper in Boulder City, which did not report any details regarding his city’s massive budget deficit. He did not return phone calls or emails after his hiring was finalized.
Harhay said the details of Noyola’s past are not “deal breakers,” despite the fact that they were not brought up in the interview process.
“I think it’s a yellow flag, I don’t think it’s a red flag!” Harhay said. “It’s a bump along the road, certainly.”
Overall, Harhay said Boulder City interviewed 35 candidates.
Noyola was the highest paid employee in Arvin, with a base salary of 135,000 dollars per year. While working there, his car was still registered in Nevada and he was registered to vote in Clark County.
According to Noyola's new contract, he will make a base salary of 168,500 dollars per year in Boulder City.
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