JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
GRANITE SHOALS — The Granite Shoals City Council unanimously approved hiring attorney and former mayor Frank Reilly as the new municipal court judge during its regular meeting June 23.
“I love this community,” Reilly said. “Having spent most of my childhood here, it’s something I want to do to continue to help the city.”
Council members interviewed Reilly, attorney Dick Owens and Judge Don Adams the previous week during a special meeting.
“All the candidates were qualified,” City Manager Ken Nickel said. “But it came down to knowledge of the city and also his being from the city. All those played a big factor. The council was very supportive.”
“You never take anything for granted,” Reilly said. “I’m very pleased with the appointment.”
The attorney said he has never been a municipal judge before but joked he has appeared in front of plenty of them. He added that he understands the process and how it all works, noting it’s equally important to know the law and how the city of Granite Shoals functions.
Because of his appointment, Reilly said he must resign his position with the Planning and Zoning Commission, noting the municipal judge must uphold city ordinances.
But being a municipal judge won’t prevent him from his other volunteer, civic and charitable endeavors “as long as there’s no direct conflict.”
He said he plans to continue to help with the Roddick Tennis Center as well as making sure Granite Shoals reaches other goals.
Nickel said some have asked why put Reilly through an interview process with other candidates, considering he has served the city in a variety of roles, including helping to raise money for the Roddick Tennis Center and Manzano Hike, Bike and Run Trail.
The city manager said advertising the position, selecting applicants to interview and going through the process ensures the city hires the best available candidate.
“And to be honest, we would have done that anyhow,” he said. “I think the council did a good job. There were at least five (applicants) who were attorneys. I like our process.”
Nickel said he, Mayor Carl Brugger and Reilly still must finalize compensation and a contract, though the city has a general contract it has used. They’d like to have a contract ready for the council to approve by the July 14 regular meeting.
Retired Municipal Judge Edward Cutchin was paid $1,333.33 per month for the part-time position.
“I do not see any issues coming up with these negotiations,” Nickel said. “(Reilly) really cares about Granite Shoals and the citizens. That came across very clearly.”