Ordinances, Golf Course Top City Meeting

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With only statements of support offered during separate and formal public hearings, Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commission members unanimously approved two proposed ordinance revisions during their February 14 regular meeting.
City attorney Jay Rubin introduced both ordinances, suggesting both were outdated and problematic. He went on to detail how language utilized in the present codes could impede enforcement efforts. Rubin further explained reasonings for the integration of current state statues to revise both sections of the code in question. Through the introduction of establish language, he told commissioners the city’s regulations would be substantially clarified and more readily enforced.
•Ordinance No. 691 proposed amendments to Section 8-33 of the city codes pertaining to criminal trespass.
During public comment, local resident Sharon Eastvold supported the revisions, but questioned if the consolidating move might inhibit a property owner’s ability to seek separate legal actions for both trespassing and related property damage.

Candidates Sign Up For March Muni Elections

Your Vote Counts

Tuesday, January 9 was filing day for candidates seeking a post in the March 6 municipal elections. The following individuals formally registered, were duly certified and will now be drawing for official ballot positions Thursday, January 11.
CITY OF TRUTH OR
CONSEQUENCES
POSITION-I COMMISSIONER (4-year)
•Destiny Dawn Mitchell
•Sophia Peron
•Sandra Whitehead
•Ron Fenn
POSITION-III
COMMISSIONER (4-year)
•Joshua Adam Frankel
•John Coveny
•Gary William Woodcock
•Paul A. Baca
CITY OF ELEPHANT BUTTE
TWO –
AT-LARGE COUNCIL POSTS
•Larry Newberry
•Travis Atwell
•Gerald LaFont
VILLAGE OF WILLIAMSBURG
MAYOR
•Deb Stubblefield
TRUSTEE (2-Year)
•Majorie E. Powey
•William N. Frazier II
TRUSTEE (4-Year)
•Guillermo Hernandez
•Mary H. Gagne
•Millyn Dolphin

Citizen Comments Overtake Meeting

City-Comm-Erica-Baker

The Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commission’s January 10 regular meeting was dominated by a string of public comments, which for the most part centered on a desire for continued infrastructure improvements and code enforcement efforts.
All told, 17 speakers addressed the board to express concerns. Aside from calls for the commission to place more emphasis on primary infrastructure, streets and aesthetic aspects of the community, a handful of residents directly expressed concerns and/or opposition to the proposed law enforcement complex. This issue, which will go before voters January 23, was later addressed in respective presentations offered by local resident Ron Fenn and city manager Juan Fuentes.
Public comments also included concerns about present operation of the municipal golf course, off-road vehicle use, as well as information about a private effort to establish a nature conservancy within the city.
Following citizen comments, city manager Juan Fuentes and mayor Steve Green responded to several questions and concerns raised during the session.

PUAB To Restress ECA Plan

City of Truth or Consequences

Following up a question from Public Utility Advisory Board (PUAB) Chairman George Szigeti regarding the implementation status of the approved Electric Cost Adjustment (ECA) December 18, city manager Juan Fuentes reminded members that city commissioners only approved a name change from the often maligned “Pass Through” charge appearing on monthly utility bills.
Fuentes said while commissioners supported the title revision, they did not endorse a proposed change in how the related charge is calculated.

City PUAB Votes Against YESCO

City of Truth or Consequences

With a 2-to-1 vote November 20, members of Truth or Consequences’ (T-or-C) Public Utility Advisory Board (PUAB) rendered a majority decision against a proposed water/electric meter replacement program being forwarded by officials with Yearout Energy Services Company (YESCO).
This decision will present city commissioners with a recommendation to forego further consideration of the meter replacement plan.
Prior to the vote, YESCO senior sales representative Scott Griffith and project manager Alex Montano reviewed the firm’s proposal and specifically outlined recent adjustments made in response to previous concerns expressed by city commissioners. This revised information included a price-per-meter estimate, as well as a reaffirmation that meter accuracy would be guaranteed throughout the proposed 20-year repayment plan.

Chief Alirez Retiring From TCPD

Police beat

As reported in last week’s edition, Truth or Consequences Police Department (TCPD) Chief Lee Alirez told members of the Williamsburg board of trustees that he would be stepping down from his post at the end of this month.
Alirez said Captain Mike Apodaca would be taking over the department’s helm as interim chief and took a moment to express his appreciation for the opportunity to serve the residents of T-or-C and Williamsburg. The chief also expressed a heartfelt thanks to the officers and staff of the TCPD, crediting their individual dedication and team approach for the many successful initiatives the department has realized over his near three-year term.
Introduced to the city commission during their March 2, 2015 regular session, Alirez began his association with the TCPD with a declared focus on empowering community-based policies, and working with residents to meet the city’s true needs.

A New Home For TCPD

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After reviewing several funding options August 9, Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commissioners agreed to pursue a New Mexico Finance Authority (NMFA) loan offer and proceed with development of a Law Enforcement Complex on municipal property formerly housing the National Guard Armory.
George K. Baum & Company representative Mark Valenzuela presented commissioners with three primary funding options, the NMFA proposal, a dual proposal from BBVA Compass bank and an option to sell development bonds on the public market.
In outlining the offers, Valenzuela said his firm was recommending the NMFA proposal, primarily due to the opportunity to secure an approximate 1.93-percent interest rate over a proposed 25-year plan.
While this option would require the city to maintain a reserve equivalent to a projected annual payment, Valenzuela said the total cost including interest and related service fees would tally to approximately $2.78 million. He pointed out that this represented only a modest increase over the construction estimate of $2.18 million for the 25-year agreement.

City Holds On Shelter SCRDA

City of Truth or Consequences

The Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commission received an audit report and approved the final 2017/2018 Fiscal Year (FY) budget during their July 26 regular meeting. While members did vote on several other action items, they opted to postpone consideration of a controversial women’s recovery program shelter and set aside any immediate action pertaining to the city’s participation with the Sierra County Regional Dispatch Authority.
SHELTER PROPOSAL STALLED
Commissioners conducted a formal public hearing into a proposal from T-or-C resident Phyllis Mecca, which seeks a special use permit to develop a woman’s recovery program shelter at 819 North Date Street, formerly the Oasis Motel.
Following “battershell procedures” which ostensibly ensures all concerned parties have an opportunity to speak and cross-examine all other participants, commissioners heard comments supporting Mecca’s proposal, as well as several objections, which primarily centered upon the selected location.

Park Priorities Discussed

City of Truth or Consequences

With no formal action items on their July 10 agenda, members of the Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) Parks and Recreation Advisory Board devoted the session to a brief review of facility needs and yet to be completed projects.
Board chairman Dr. Greg D’Amour noted the intent was to compile a list for the city commission to review, in hopes that the new budget will allow for many of these items and issues to be attended to in the coming months.
D’Amour began by pointing to a past request for the installation of a practice backboard at the municipal tennis courts. Board members have supported this community request for several years and the chairman suggested this addition would likely be the easiest for recreation department officials to address.
In addition to this proposed tennis court upgrade, board members agreed city leaders should look at the possible development of a “Pickle Ball” court on space adjacent to the tennis facility. D’Amour noted this request also came from community residents and said it appeared as though Pickle Ball was rising in popularity as a fun family-oriented activity.

Saturday: Free Clean Up Day County Wide

recycling

A spring cleanup day, sponsored by the city of Truth or Consequences, the city commission, and the recycling committee of the Bountiful Alliance will be offered to the public free of charge. The city is encouraging all residents to participate in the cleanup and is offering a “fee-free” day to take your residential waste to be disposed of.
•All customers will be responsible for unloading their materials
•Be aware and courteous of wait times, as they may take longer than expected
•Customers will only be allowed to take one load of refuse
All commercial waste deliveries will be at regular disposal rates that day. All residential waste items will be accepted during this time at no charge.
Get with your neighbors and clean up your city and take those unwanted items to the Transfer/Recycling Center at 601 Nadyne Court for disposal on April 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Out Of Line

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T-or-C resident Ron Fenn interrupted city commission proceedings March 28 at the conclusion of the morning’s public comments session. Fenn raised his voice to complain that a written statement he apparently submitted to city officials had not been read into the record. In response, mayor Steve Green called for an immediate recess, during which Police Chief Lee Alirez spoke with Fenn and urged him to abide by meeting protocols. On March 14 board members voted to bar Fenn from participating in public comment for two meetings.

City Takes Action To Ensure Good Behavior

City Forum

Apparently responding to a disruptive incident that occurred during the board’s February 28 session, members of the Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commission unanimously approved a measure March 14, which calls upon citizens to abide by established rules of conduct during regular business meetings.
The action also included an agreement to bar local resident Ron Fenn from participating in public comment for the next two regular commission meetings.
During the February 28 commission meeting, Fenn apparently reacted to commissioner Rolf Hechler’s motion to shift the
regular public comment period to a point later in that morning’s session. As Hechler was in the process of explaining his motion, Fenn rose and moved toward the exit of the commission’s chambers, all the while expressing comments in a loud and disruptive manner.

Public Forum Set For City Budget

Cash Money

As the city moves forward in planning its 2016-2017 budget, Truth or Consequences will be looking at some hard financial challenges and choices. Every community in the state will feel the problem; T-or-C is not alone.
That said, it is important that city leaders continue to listen and plan. Limited dollars must be spent wisely and well. It appears that for the next two years there won’t be much help from Santa Fe.

T-or-C Sets Table For Action

Truth or Consequences (T-or- C) City Commissioners addressed a lengthy agenda during their January 24 regular meeting. While finalizing several issues during the morning’s session, commissioners primarily set the table for a number of significant actions, which are now slated for board consideration in the coming weeks.
Included in the morning’s discussions and postponed for future action was a proposed resolution (No. 07 16/17) revising fee structures and policies relating to the use of municipal parks and facilities, as well as a measure seeking to formally name the city’s soon-to-be-developed dog park.

Dog Park At The Gate

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Last year, T-or-C city commissioners approved the use of this property as a primary site for a proposed community dog park. Earlier this week, commission members learned local citizens had successfully raised necessary funds and materials and were prepared to move forward with the park’s development. Currently referred to as “Firehouse Park,” this site formerly housed the city’s volunteer fire department. Dog park volunteers will be awaiting a final approval by commissioners later this month and hope to honor the site’s former use by naming the new facility the “Firehouse Dog Park.

Olivas Resigns From City Commission

Truth or Consequences Mayor Sandra Whitehead opened the city commission’s January 13 regular meeting by reading a letter from Commissioner Ruben Olivas, which she received by e-mail earlier that day.
In the communication, Commissioner Olivas acknowledged his recent absence from the community due to temporary employment in eastern New Mexico. He also said that he was recently offered an opportunity for full time employment in the same region, and how after consulting with his family, had decided to accept the position.
With this move, Olivas stated that he would no longer be able to fulfill his obligations as a member of the city commission and was therefore, “with deep sadness,” submitting his resignation.
Olivas thanked his fellow commissioners and community residents for their support during his time with the board…