August, 2014

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Hobbs Listed in Top New Mexico Places to Live

By JJ Murphy of Wilkes Barre PA, City Manager of Hobbs NM

As your City Manager, I am proud to announce that Hobbs was listed among the top 10 places to live in New Mexico by online real estate website, Movoto. According to Movoto, Hobbs was ranked the 8th best place to live in the state, tying with Rio Rancho. The website ranked 26 New Mexico cities and Hobbs followed Lovington on the list. The no. 1 ranking for best N.M. city on Movoto’s list was Los Alamos.

“If you love the American Southwest, you’ll be simply mesmerized by these 10 places in the Land of Enchantment,” said Natalie Grigson, Movoto staff writer.

The study used a variety of factors to rank each city, including total amenities, quality of life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income, and student-to-teacher ratio), total crimes, tax rates (sales tax and income tax), unemployment, commute time, and weather (temperature and air quality).

Hobbs was listed as one of the best cities in New Mexico due to the amount of quality amenities, such as restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. The city’s 4% unemployment rate was also another contributing factor, as well as the low crime rate. Movoto listed Hobbs as the 11th safest city of the 26 on their list.

Hobbs is a safe and friendly place to raise a family, work, and we are improving our quality of life. This will increase the desire for more families to want to relocate and they will be well received by our residents. We can all be proud to call Hobbs home. We look forward to continuing to improve Hobbs in every way possible. As always, I am always available to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to contact me directly via email at

Hobbs Schools Continue to Show Academic Growth

By JJ Murphy of Wilkes Barre PA, City Manager of Hobbs NM

I am happy to share that the Hobbs Municipal School district has been recognized as one of the top three school districts in New Mexico that have shown significant academic growth. According to the New Mexico Public Education Department, over half the schools (17 out of 11) in the Hobbs school district received “B” as their school grade for the 2013-2014 school year, for the third year. This grade was released in the department’s statewide annual grading report. In the Hobbs school district, nine schools improved their letter grade while seven schools maintained their grade from last year, and one received one lower letter grade.

“We were recognized by the secretary as being one of the three top growing districts in the state,” said TJ Parks, Hobbs Superintendent. “Hobbs, Artesia and Gadsden ISD were named three of the most improving districts in New Mexico. I just think it’s a real tribute to the teachers and the administrators for the hard work they put in. It’s also a great pat on the back for the kids.”

“Two years ago when the first grades came out, we only had 25 percent of our schools that were a ‘C’ or better,” Parks continued. “In two years’ time, we completely inverted that where 75 percent of the schools are now a ‘C’ or better.”

It’s truly the mindset of our staff and I’d like to thank the hard work that our teachers have put in to improve our children’s academic performance. Last year, the city of Hobbs saw progress at the high school level due to improvement in reading and graduation rates. This year, elementary schools are showing improvement based on growth among struggling students. More information about the report can be viewed here:

Having four of my daughters in the Hobbs schools and my wife as a teacher, I am extremely proud of the Hobbs school system. I continue to see the progress in this community and our future will be extremely bright.

ICMA’s Life, Well Run Campaign: Encouraging Our Youth

By JJ Murphy, City Manager of Hobbs NM

As a credentialed Manager for ICMA, I am happy to share with you IMCA’s Life, Well Run Campaign. The goal behind ICMA’s campaign is to raise public awareness of the role professional local government managers play in building communities we’re proud to call home. As your City Manager, I endorse the campaign fully and I strive to advocate for youths that are involved and interested in government to one day consider a career as a city manager. To ensure there are qualified professionals to serve the residents of this country’s cities, towns, and counties, we must act now to safeguard the future of the profession, which is what Life, Well Run is all about.ICMA’S LIFE, WELL RUN CAMPAIGN: ENCOURAGING OUR YOUTH

Many are unaware that this career path might be the right one for them, or that the job even exists. Now that the baby boomer managers, inspired by John F. Kennedy to work in public service have begun to retire, it’s time to encourage the youth of our cities to step forward.

ICMA has launched Life, Well Run advertisements in 10 states. The ads are directed to elected officials, business and civic leaders, and students with the hopes of driving them to the Life, Well Run website where they may access resources and ICMA’s message promoting the value of professional local government management.

I encourage anyone who is interested in a future career in city management to visit the website here. As always, I am always available to answer any questions you might have and am happy to guide you in the right direction. Feel free to contact me directly via email at