By Cassie McClure
Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 9/4/20.
“A gentleman and a scholar, that describes Dr. Jorge Garcia,” said City of Las Cruces (City) Mayor Ken Miyagishima of retired Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Director Dr. Jorge A. Garcia, P.E. Dr. Garcia retired on August 28, 2020, after nearly 31 years. He had been the director since 2001 after hiring on as a design engineer in 1989.
In masked and social distanced groups, people from throughout Utilities and the City came to visit with Dr. Garcia and express their sincere thanks for his dedication and support of many different programs. With each person, he still managed to snag a word or two of advice. “It’s the projects that are the most exciting,” he said. “The co-gens, the solar power...that’s really what I’ll miss.
Miyagishima continued, “The City has benefited from his expertise, from the expansion of our water systems, to protecting our water supply to building a state-of-the-art water testing laboratory and many more items in between.”
Many saw Dr. Garcia as a mentor who helped them grow. Alma Ruiz, LCU senior office manager, said “I’ve had the privilege to work with Dr. Garcia for almost 7 years. He mentored me by sharing his knowledge of the utilities and always supported my decisions as a manager, which reflects his skills not only as a great boss but also an amazing leader.”
City Fire Chief, Eric Enriquez, mentioned his time next to Dr. Garcia during City Council meetings were invaluable. “A true professional, so it’s not goodbye so much as it is good luck,” said Enriquez.
A surprise gift to continue Dr. Garcia’s legacy was planted in front of the Utilities Center, a bur oak that was dedicated in his honor along with a plaque.
“Dr. Garcia was supportive and a strong advocate of the Water Conservation Program, what better way to thank him for his legacy than to plant a tree that will grow for many years and be an asset to our environment and program,” said Rhonda K. Diaz, LCU water conservation program coordinator.
Miyagishima said, “We will miss him and wish him well in this next phase of his life.”
LCU can be reached at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.