John Waters, a native New Mexican born in Silver City, NM, comes from a mining family. His father, Jim,
moved the family to Carlsbad in 1975 and worked at the old PCA, mining potash. John attended public
school locally and graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1987. After graduation, John attended New
Mexico State University in Carlsbad and Las Cruces. He received two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s
degree from NMSU in Las Cruces. His M.S. was in Environmental Biology with a Minor in Environmental
Management, which prepared him for employment in the environmental management field.
Following a six-year stint as a park ranger with Carlsbad Caverns National Park, John was hired by the
City of Carlsbad in 1994 as the City’s Environmental Officer. There, he was promoted to Environmental
Manager, then to Wastewater Plant Superintendent, and finally to the Deputy Director of Public Works,
overseeing the Utilities Division (Water, Wastewater, Solid Waste, and Environmental Services Departments).
In 2001, John took the plunge and became the City Manager for the City of Ruidoso Downs in Lincoln
County. As the manager for a small, fast growing city (third fastest in the state after the 2000 census), he
had the opportunity to develop and implement many new and progressive programs. One of the most
rewarding creations during his tenure there was the Ruidoso Downs Economic Development program.
Fortunate to have a brand new four lane highway, heavy tourism, and lots of undeveloped property along
the new highway, he helped bring in three developments and a shopping center, which are all under
construction now, and several new businesses including the Hampton Inn and Suites, La Quinta Inn, Sears,
and Compass Bank.
The largest business development, Avalon Falls, is a shopping center being constructed across from the
Wal-Mart Superstore by a large developer out of Granbury Texas. After weeks of negotiation, this developer
was convinced to further build a large residential project consisting of 200 town homes in Ruidoso
John helped the City of Ruidoso Downs receive the Certified Communities Initiative from the NM Economic
Development Department and its member status as New Mexico’s newest Keep America Beautiful
Community. During his stay in Ruidoso Downs, John also applied for and acquired over $8.2 million in
grant monies for water, wastewater, street, drainage, park and museum improvements.
John holds the Credentialed Manager designation from the International City/County Manager’s Association,
a Registered Environmental Manager certification with the NREP, a level four Wastewater Facility
Operators Certification and level two Water Operators Facility Certification from the state of New Mexico,
and is a 2000 graduate of Leadership Carlsbad.
In April of 2008, John accepted the position of Executive Director for the Carlsbad Department of Development
(CDOD). He began his tenure with the CDOD without any staff. His main priorities with the
CDOD were to fill all of the available positions, establish new cohesive goals and objectives for the future
of Economic Development in Eddy County and Carlsbad, build a new and real presence in cyberspace for
Carlsbad and to be an active part of ushering in a new era of economic growth and prosperity for the
citizens and businesses in southern Eddy County and Carlsbad.