Montoya at the helm

With last week’s sudden departure of Bryan Dangerfield, the Director of Athletics and Leisure Services for the City of Mesquite, Assistant Director Nick Montoya has been placed into his role as ‘Interim’ Director, although City Manager Andy Barton mentioned to the Mesquite Local News last week that Montoya would probably take over permanently.

Montoya isn’t new to the game. Working for the City in the Parks and Recreation and the Athletics and Leisure Services departments for nearly the past 20 years has given him a stable history to keep the amenities and programs going forward as well as creating unlimited possibilities in the future.

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Montoya gets a jump start on the week’s tasks in his office Monday morning. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

“I’m excited! I have some things I want to get out there and get more things done in the community and keep them here in town, but that’s going to take a lot of work,” he said. “We (the staff) need to finish what’s on the table right now, and then we can work on growing.”

With the Recreation Center and its programs being open 16 hours a day during the week, and all of the events each weekend that use the City’s fields and facilities, Montoya has his plate quite full.

“We’ve been blessed to have a great staff and quite a few volunteers that really make everything work well and successful,” he added. “Things are just getting bigger and we need to stay on the proactive side of things, making sure that we are ready for these events and do the events that we need to do.”

With the constant increase in events more and more people have noticed that there aren’t quite enough hotel rooms to keep all of the participants and their families here during their events. This isn’t new news to Montoya, and he acknowledged that it would be nice if the Mesquite Star was back open (as a hotel) and that there were more fields to accommodate the sports events that come to town. “I think we can bring the teams, the kids, the adults, if we had some more amenities. It’s all about the budget. There are some things we can work on, and we are. There’s going to be some bumps in the road, we just need to make the transition as smooth as possible… we need to be ahead of the curve.”

Montoya has taken the reigns this past week, indicating that things are still operational and running as planned, including the Long Drive and World ParaLong Drive events.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he stated. “The City has come a long ways in really a short time… and things are coming back.”

Montoya will have his work cut out for him as he moves forward. As Mesquite’s popularity continues to grow, so will the events, and the constant demands on the Athletics and Leisure Services Department and their facilities. All coupled with the ever-growing problems with budget cuts. However, he’s confident that with the current enthusiasm and efforts by the City Council, Mayor and their staff, things will work out for the best of the City.

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