Former resident named manager of SWTMG

A former Big Country resident is making huge strides at his Big Bend occupation.Randy Guzman, the son of Jose and Gloria Guzman of Roscoe, was recently named as the interim general manager of Southwest Texas Municipal Gas (SWTMG) Corporation by the company's board of directors.The vote took place on Monday evening, Jan. 24, during a meeting in the company's offices in Marfa. Four of the five present board members unanimously voted and approved Guzman's appointment to the position. Only in the instance of a tie would chairman Jerry Johnson, who was also present at the meeting, had to have placed a vote.The board members present were Johnson and Diana Asgeirsson of Alpine, along with Rudy Dominguez, Dan Dunlap and Jane Wiemers of Marfa. Three members were missing from the meeting: Avinash Rangra and Leo Dominguez of Alpine and Corinna Brijalba of Marfa.Guzman certainly has the credentials and experience to fill the position. He is classified as a Level III field man, in which he is certified to train others as well as handling all gas-related tasks. The vote from the board members echoes the confidence they have in Guzman's ability to run the company and voiced relief that employees will now only have to report to Guzman. For four months, SWTMG was operating under an executive committee made up of four board members, due in part to the termination of General Manager Melvin Davis, Jr. in September. A search committee had not come up with a permanent replacement at the time; however, the executive committee will still remain to serve as an advisory committee.In this new position, Guzman will be responsible for overseeing all operations of the natural gas company and managing its personnel. His first immediate big task to fulfill was to meet with personnel from Badeco, a company that does road boring for utilities. SWTMG contracted with Badeco several months ago to perform the boring to coincide with the downtown Alpine highway project led by the Texas Department of Transportation. However, Badeco has only completed half of the work, even though the company has already been paid around half of its $180,000 contract. In efforts to track down Badeco members, none of the board members have been able to do so.The hiring of Guzman to the general manager position by the board was a vital step in bringing the utility back on the right track after months of uncertainty. The possibility of a pay raise for Guzman was postponed for action and will hopefully be addressed at the next meeting.