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City electric director to retire after five years of service

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Matzke receives commendation by council

Richard Matzke, electric director for the City of Gallup, will retire next month and was given a commendation at the city council meeting July 10.

Matzke has served as the director for the past five years. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1972 and began a career in electrical distribution that led him to Gallup.

He was at the front and center in efforts to get the solar farm project launched earlier this year. The panels can be seen from Interstate 40, west of Munoz overpass. The site is expected to generate about 10 percent of Gallup’s power.

A couple of years back, Matzke served as the interim director of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and solid waste operations, until the arrival of Dennis Romero.

Matzke was given a plaque by Mayor Jackie McKinney, who thanked him for the years of service and what he has given to the city and the community.

Near the end of the meeting, Matzke’s wife, Helen Matzke, thanked the coworkers and friends they had gotten to know.

“We had never lived in New Mexico, never owned a house with a flat roof,” Helen Matzke said. “Gallup has been a great place for Richard.”

Matzke went onto say that she and her husband learned much about the Navajo culture, and enjoyed the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, the artwork, and the culture. She also thanked the Gallup community for welcoming her with open arms.

“I enjoyed going to work and doing my job,” said Matzke, fighting back emotion. “We will miss you all.”

By Cody Begaye
Sun Correspondent