Joel Linares [Moab Sun News file photo]

The City of Moab is welcoming Joel Linares as the new city manager.

Linares has been working with the city as the assistant manager since 2018. Moab City Manager David Everitt told the Moab Sun News that he did not intend to renew his contract when it expires this year.

During its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 9, Moab City Mayor Emily Niehaus read the title of the agenda item authorizing the hiring of Linares to the position of city manager and authorizing the employment contract, but no council members immediately made a motion for the agenda item, prompting Moab City Attorney Chris McAnany to frown as the room became silent.

“There’s the crickets chirping,” he said.

“What?” said Niehaus.

“I thought it was trumpets,” Everitt said, which elicited laughter in the room.

“It’s sort of, ‘Do I have a motion?’ and then you hear the crickets chirping and Joel just sits there awkwardly,” McAnany said.

The council shared a laugh as Niehaus turned to Linares and said, “I’m grateful that you are at the table tonight. I’m grateful we are seeing, in both our police department and administratively, the success of the succession planning. … It was wonderful to welcome you here to Moab when you came with your family last fall, and I am looking forward to a smooth transition of power … if there is a motion to do so.”

City council member Rani Derasary made a motion to approve of the resolution to hire Linares. The motion was seconded by Karen Guzman-Newton and Kalen Jones, both members speaking at the same time. “Whoa, it’s a tie,” Niehaus said. Guzman-Newton and Jones briefly acted out a thumb-wrestling match to pretend to break the tie. Niehaus called for a vote and council passed the measure 4-0. Council member Mike Duncan was absent from the meeting.

Joel Linares to replace David Everitt as city manager