T-or-C Citizens Air Views

City Forum

Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) city commissioners and administrative staff welcomed community members for a special town hall forum, Monday, February 27. The two-hour gathering attracted a small but attentive group of locals, who were all offered an opportunity to share concerns or suggestions about the city’s current operations and/or future goals. Commission members convened the evening session in order to include community perceptions and recommendations in 2017/2018 budget decisions, which board members will be addressing in the coming weeks.

Vets’ Home Mgmt To Change Hands

NMSVH

The New Mexico Departments of Health (DOH) and Veterans Services (DVS) announced this week the proposed transfer of management from DOH to DVS to continue improving services to New Mexico’s veterans and their families.
The transfer will help build on the progress the two agencies have made in serving New Mexico’s veterans by ensuring the state agency charged with serving those who’ve served our state and country in the U.S. Armed Forces oversees the home’s oper- ations. The change is planned for an effective date of July 1, 2017.

City Advances Special Tax District

City of Truth or Consequences

Mayor Steve Green sought board members’ support for a proposed effort to temper tax increases downtown business district property owners might realize as a direct result of property improvements

Talk Of Arena Upgrades

sierra-county-commissioner-frances-luna

At the conclusion of a December 13 joint workshop, members of the Sierra County Commission and Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commission agreed to consider a combined effort to fund the initiation of improvements for the city’s Punk Greer Memorial Rodeo Arena.

EB Council Bids Manager Farewell

andrew-finzen

EB Manager Resigns

andrew-finzen

Earlier this week, Elephant Butte City Manager Andrew Finzen announced his decision to accept a new post as the city manager for Goodland, Kansas. This move will allow Finzen to advance some of his personal career goals and will also bring him quite a bit closer to family and friends he left back…

Brewery Development

beer mug

beer mug

Solution Sought For Intersection

school-bus

With a unanimous vote August 9, Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commissioners approved a resolution (No. O5 16/17) urging the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) to install a traffic light at the corner of New School Road and Date Street.
Introduced by commissioner Rolf Hechler, the measure responds to numerous complaints, which emphasize how the intersection serves a high volume of traffic and is the primary entry and egress point for students at nearby Hot Springs High School and T-or-C Middle School.

City Stretching Budget After State Cut

City of Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commissioners unanimously approved the 2016/2017 preliminary municipal budget during the board’s May 24 regular meeting. In a review of the fiscal forecast, Finance Director Lori Montgomery reported that an unexpected reduction in the city’s annual Small Cities Assistance Fund (SCAF) allotment

New City Clerk On Board

City of Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) city manager Juan Fuentes announced the hiring of Renee Cantin to fill the vacant city clerk post, during the city commission’s October 27 regular meeting.

In a brief introduction to the board, Cantin outlined her previous experience as a deputy clerk for the city of Columbus and most recently as city clerk for the city of Alamogordo…

Commission Discusses Muni Course Needs

City of Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) city commissioners devoted a significant portion of their October 13 meeting to a review of the municipal golf course’s current conditions and ongoing needs.
Interim course manager Terry Taylor attended the evening’s session, and in a report to the board outlined course operation as well as efforts he has taken to address a recent loss of grass on the facility’s greens and fairways…

The Hazards Of Reading Meters

sierra county

In consecutive presentations for the Truth or Consequences’ (T-or-C) City Commission September 8, representatives of the city’s water and electric divisions outlined a wide variety of hazards and problems associated with regular meter reading duties.

Commissioners were shown a series of photographs detailing meters that are difficult to access due to heavy overgrowth, accumulated junk and materials, as well as building additions and privacy fencing. Photos also highlighted the presence of rattlesnakes, bees, thorny cactus, dogs, jagged glass-topped walls and other hazards regularly encountered by city staff members.

Water division superintendent Jesus Salayandia and electric division superintendent Bo Easley each emphasized how such problems inhibit staff members’ efforts to obtain timely and accurate readings of customer meters.

Easley presented a group of what appeared to be hundreds of keys, provided to the electric division by customers in order to allow staff access to properties.

Early Vote Count

Your Vote Counts

The City of Truth or Consequences’ (T-or-C) special election concerning proposed Ordinance #665 is less than two weeks away. As most area residents are aware, the special election will determine whether city facilities at 301 Foch Street will continue to be utilized as a temporary visitors center for Spaceport America and local information hub, or returned to its previous use as a senior recreation center.

While many area voters are no doubt waiting to cast their ballots on Tuesday, September 22, a significant number have already taken advantage of ongoing early and absentee voting.

As of Thursday morning, September 10, officials with the T-or-C City Clerk’s office reported that a total of 183 registered voters had cast an early ballot at city hall. City authorities also reported that they have thus far received approximately 63 absentee ballots.

The Battle Over Lee Belle Johnson Center

sierra county

Truth or Consequences citizens will decide the fate of the Lee Belle Johnson Center in coming weeks – and that decision could have far reaching implications for the community and economy here.
The city commission recently leased a portion of the building for use as an interim Spaceport America (SA) Visitor Center for a one-year renewable period, or until a permanent facility is constructed. SA has plans to build a permanent facility in the city when funds become available…

EB Adopts ‘Red Lot’ Revisions

n their continuing effort to revise the city’s codes and regulations, members of the Elephant Butte City Council adopted revisions pertaining to so-called “red lots” during their regular meeting August 5.
As councilors addressed the proposed ordinance (#157), city planner Bradford Dyjak explained how lots within the city that have been identified to contain significant drainage and/or erosion issues have been designated as the aforementioned red lots.
Dyjak noted such properties are not situated within an established flood plain, but nonetheless contain areas that have historically been subject to significant drainage or erosion problems during periods of heavy rain. He also emphasized how the red lot designation focused on areas that were determined to pose a potential risk to neighboring and/or downstream properties,

Ad Hoc Members File Complaints Against Local Publisher, Clerk

sierra county

Members of a group opposed to the lease of the Lee Belle Johnson Center (LBJ) have recently filed complaints with the Secretary of State (SOS), claiming violations of the Government Conduct Act (GCA) by the Sentinel publisher and the Truth or Consequences City Clerk.
Ron Fenn and Ariel Doughtery, in an apparent attempt to stifle reporting of the issue, and to have an upcoming election on the matter declared void, filed their complaints with the SOS office…

Visitors Center Issues Reviewed

In a straightforward presentation during the June 9 meeting of the Truth or Consequen-ces City Commission, members of a loosely defined ad hoc citizen’s committee outlined their reasoning behind a petition, which seeks the commission’s reversal of a previous decision to utilize the Lee Belle Johnson Senior Recreation Center as an interim spaceport and community visitor center…

Elephant Butte Welcomes New Manager

After Elephant Butte Municipal Court Judge Terry Dalrymple presided over his recitation of the oath of office, Andrew Finzen officially began his term as city manager for the city of Elephant Butte Wednes-day afternoon, May 20.
Prior to the ceremony, May-or Eunice Kent welcomed Fin-zen to the community and briefly reviewed some of the qualifications he brings to his role with the city

Group Seeks To Prevent Lease Of Lee Belle Johnson Center

Your Vote Counts

It once served as the town’s police station, and also housed the municipal court for a time.
The Lee Belle Johnson Senior Center (LBJC), a Work Projects Administration (WPA) Depression-era building built in 1935, originally served as the city hall and library for the town of Truth or Consequences…

New Elephant Butte Manager Named

After considering resumes from a host of hopeful applicants, Elephant Butte City Councilors approved a recommendation from appointed search committee members and named Andrew Finzen to fill the vacant city manager’s position during their May 6meeting.
Councilors did not discuss Finzen’s experience or qualifications, nor was he in attendance at Wednesday’s session. However, Mayor Eunice Kent confirmed that the new city manager would be attending the board’s next regular meeting on May 20 and will officially join the city’s staff following a formal swearing-in ceremony.

EB Moving Past Briley’s Resignation

Officials with the city of Elephant Butte acknowledged earlier this week the March 18 resignation of city manager Alan Briley, who had served the community in that capacity since November 2007.
In a short statement Thursday morning, March 26, Briley confirmed reports saying, “It was my choice to say it was time to go.” Briley stressed that he was very proud of the accomplishments made by the city’s administration and the community during his tenure.

EB Approves Code Changes

After conducting a formal public hearing, which included no comments from community members, the Elephant Butte City Council unanimously approved a series of revisions to the city’s code enforcement regulations on Wednesday, March 18…

City Welcomes Peterson, Meets New Chief

Police beat

Truth or Consequences City Commissioners successfully addressed a pressing concern as they filled their Position Three board vacancy at a special meeting Tuesday, March 10.
After postponing applicant interviews March 2, commissioners convened for a special session Tuesday afternoon. They conducted personal interviews with four of the potential candidates and then announced their selection of Russell Peterson to fill the seat. The position had been vacated by the recent resignation of Commissioner Ruben Olivas…

Miss Fiesta Contest A Go

Fiesta 2014 Queen

Truth or Consequences City Commission-ers and community members in attendance at the board’s March 10 meeting were delivered a bombshell during the evening’s public comment session. Representatives of the Hot Springs Woman’s Club (HSWC) announced they would be canceling this year’s Miss Fiesta contest due to complications with scheduling use of Ralph Edwards Auditorium.
Fortunately, subsequent discussions clarified issues regarding the auditorium’s use, and according to Mayor Sandra Whitehead, as of Thursday morning, March 12, HSWC members had agreed to renew their efforts and move forward with staging the annual contest…

EB Still Searching For A Name

A BOARD DECISION – During the City Council’s March 4 workshop, Elephant Butte Mayor Pro-Tem Kim Skinner affirmed that councilors would be making the final decision regarding a proposed name change for Highway 195. Skinner suggested a community vote could render an unfavorable decision and agreed with fellow councilors that they would make a selection from the top three suggestions during the board’s April 1 regular meeting. Citizens interested in offering comments or additional suggestions may do so until the end of March…

195: What Will We Call It?

NEW IDEAS – Community resident Dallas Lipscomb shared a sample street sign featuring his suggestion for the new name of Elephant Butte’s adopted portion of Highway 195, during the City Council’s February 18 workshop. Lipscomb urged members to consider a name to enhance the community goal of becoming the State’s most patriotic city and said the sample sign primarily demonstrated that the average street sign included ample space for a longer name…

City Orders Golf Course Pump Be Fixed

City of Truth or Consequences

As part of their February 10 regular meeting agenda, Truth or Consequences City Commissioners returned to issues surrounding the municipal golf course’s irrigation system. After considering the available options, they unanimously approved a motion to initiate a work-around solution proposed by public utility board member Jeff Dornbusch.
In a previous report, it was noted that the city’s original plan was to utilize effluent wastewater for irrigation of the municipal golf course, Vista Memory Garden Cemetery and Hot Springs High School facilities…

Deserving Praise

During a special ceremony February 10, T-or-C Mayor Sandra Whitehead presented T-or-C Volunteer Fire Department Chief Paul Tooley and department volunteers with a plaque denoting the community’s appreciation for their recent acquisition of a Class-Two ISO rating. Following the presentation, commissioners joined with community members…

City Moves Toward Contract With FST

City of Truth or Consequences

After receiving a number of public comments during a special meeting Tuesday evening, February 3, Truth or Consequences City Commissioners unanimously approved a motion directing administrative staff to finalize a proposed contract between the city and Albuquerque-based Follow the Sun Tours.
With this action, commissioners showed their intent to review and potentially approve the proposed agreement during their upcoming February 10 meeting. If endorsed, the contract will allow Follow the Sun Tours to temporarily base future tours of Spaceport America in downtown T-or-C, at the Lee Belle Johnson Senior Recreation Center building.
The proposed move affirms the city commission’s desire to create an interim spaceport visitors center at the Lee Belle Johnson site, which will also serve as a hub for chamber of commerce information and a variety of other tourism-based programs.
Prior to their decision, commissioners took comments from a number of citizens who attended the special session…

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…

EB Councilor Stagner Resigns

During reports at the outset of the Elephant Butte City Council January 7 meeting, second term councilor Sarah Stagner formally announced her intention to resign from the board following the January 21 session.
In a prepared statement, Stagner explained that for personal reasons she would soon be moving away from the community and would be unable to continue fulfilling her duties.
She emphasized the pleasure she realized in serving the citizens of Elephant Butte as a member of the council for the past five years. She also expressed a sincere appreciation for the learning opportunity her position provided, as well as for the support and friendship extended by her fellow council members…

Affordable Solar Begins Tracking Installation

City of Truth or Consequences

The city of Truth or Consequences has begun installation of its 1.8 MW solar tracking installation, after months of zoning, permitting, financing and vetting by local developer and engineering, procurement and construction company Affordable Solar. Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI), headquartered in Albuquerque, has begun shipping DuraTrack HZ solar tracker materials to the T-or-C Solar Plant, according to a news release from ATI…

City Ok’s Solar Assignment

City of Truth or Consequences

Postponing a decision during their December 9 meeting, Truth or Consequences City Commissioners convened for a special session Monday morning, December 15 to address the proposed assignment of future operation and maintenance of the city’s new solar energy farm from Albuquer-que’s Affordable Solar to Florida-based Kenyon Energy.
During the December 9 session, Commissioner Kathy Clark raised concerns about a lack of sufficient time for board members to review related contracts and materials, as well as to conduct a proper…

Council Moves Elephant Days

With only one more regular session set to take place before the 2015 calendar year begins, Elephant Butte City Councilors took time to review and address the city’s holiday celebrations and ever-growing event schedule during their workshop and regular meeting Wednesday afternoon, December 3.
After reviewing past events and future options during their workshop, councilors addressed the afternoon’s regular meeting, and among other decisions unanimously agreed to hold the 2015 Elephant Days City Celebration over the weekend of August 21-23.
Discussing the action, board members agreed with Councilor Gerald LaFont’s comments, which recognized how the event’s customary occurrence over the second weekend of September conflicts with the New Mexico State Fair and likely limits the number of out-of-town visitors the city might expect to attract.
Councilors noted that moving the event later into the year would bring similar conflicts with other regional and community events. They also recognized that shifting the celebration to August would reduce such conflicts and could provide the city with wider vendor and entertainment options.
In addition to approving the coming year’s events calendar, councilors also endorsed a revised schedule for the city’s recently introduced patriotic flag display.
During the afternoon’s workshop, councilors agreed with Mayor Eunice Kent’s concerns about the efforts required of volunteers and staff. They also realized that displaying the city’s full array of flags for the Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays posed a number of safety concerns in relation to the large number of out-of-town visitors that regularly flock to the community for associated celebrations…

Doorway Opened For Downtown Development

City of Truth or Consequences

In separate actions at their October 14 session, Truth or Consequences City Commissioners endorsed two resolutions adopting the 2014 Metropolitan Redevelopment Area (MRA) Plan (#09 14/15) and approving the long discussed Downtown Master Plan (#08 14/15).
Prior to addressing the action items, commissioners conducted a formal public hearing for the MRA proposal. Assistant City Manager Bill Slettom outlined how, if approved, the MRA plan would open doors to a variety of funding options for major infrastructure upgrades and development projects.
Slettom said the MRA process required the city to designate a specific area, which contained properties and issues meeting established criteria for blighted conditions…

EB To Rename SR 195

In a unanimous vote, Elephant Butte City Councilors supported Mayor Eunice Kent’s nomination of former councilor and long time public official Patsy Barnett to serve as a city representative on the Sierra Joint Office on Aging’s (SJOA) board of directors. Barnett will replace SJOA board representative Monte Nelson, who has been serving as board treasurer, and recently submitted her resignation effective October 14. After expressing the council’s appreciation for Nelson’s efforts, Mayor Kent stressed her confidence in Barnett’s ability to aid the SJOA, pointing to her extensive experience with board procedures, Open Meetings Act regulations, non-profit organizations and the administration of public funds.
•Following the appointment of Barnett, Kent acknowledged…

T-or-C Endorses Software Upgrades

With a four to one majority vote, Truth or Consequences City Commissioners approved the acquisition of a new financial software system during a special board meeting Friday evening, September 26.
Outlining the proposed software from Tyler Technologies, T-or-C City Manager Juan Fuentes suggested that while the new system would be somewhat costly, it would greatly improve the city’s overall accounting practices, utility office operations and effectively aid in compliance with recently revised State Department of Finance (DFA) requirements regarding annual reports and data submission.
Fuentes explained how the city’s present software system came online in 2001 and how its capabilities and compatibility with state software systems has steadily diminished due to the continued development of related technology over the past decade.
The city manager told commissioners that the system upgrade would allow the administration to efficiently manage in-house fiscal responsibilities while also simplifying staff’s efforts to comply with DFA mandates regarding report submission in an effective and timely manner.
Fuentes told commissioners that the Tyler Technologies software system would cost the city approximately $350,000, then outlined two options that would move the final figure slightly above, or below this estimated mark…

PUAB To Examine Solar Plans

City of Truth or Consequences

Reemphasizing a previous request during T-or-C’s Public Utility Advisory Board’s (PUAB) September 15 meeting, community resident Ron Pacourek urged members to move forward with development of an ordinance that would detail how the city would handle future generation credits from residential solar and other alternative energy systems. In response to Pacourek’s comment, board Chairman Al Siffring said that PUAB members had agreed to convene a workshop during the August meeting, but no session had yet been scheduled…

MRA To Bolster T-or-C Renovations

City of Truth or Consequences

While the Truth or Consequences City Commission’s September 9 regular session centered on a number of measures pertaining to development of the planned solar farm (see related story in this issue), board members also addressed a proposed Metropolitan Redevelopment Area (MRA) designation, which they were told could significantly improve funding options for renovation of the downtown’s historic business district.
At the outset of the session, commissioners convened a formal public hearing to obtain community input regarding the proposed MRA. After opening the hearing, T-or-C Assistant City Manager Bill Slettom provided commissioners with an overview of the MRA, first emphasizing this was a required component of the Downtown Master Plan currently under development and noting the measure was a long-standing approach for municipalities engaging in urban renewal…

Welcomed Boost

Surrounded by a host of City officials and Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) staff members, T-or-C Mayor Sandra Whitehead happily accepted $4.4 million certificate of obligation from US Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s (USDARD) State Director Terry Brunner (to her right) during a special ceremony at the WWTP Thursday morning August 21.  The federal funds have been targeted to assist with first-phase renovations of the WWTP. City Manger Juan Fuentes said the USDARD obligation would now allow the City to proceed toward acquisition of a development loan for the project, which will in turn permit final design work to begin and allow the project to move toward a construction start up by mid-2015. In addition to this helpful boost, the USDARD State Director also delivered a $93,000 certificate to the City, to be used for the purchase of a new street sweeper…

Access, Correct And Progress, SJOA Director Steers Forward

City of Truth or Consequences

After officially taking over the reins as Executive Director for the Sierra Joint Office on Aging (SJOA) on August 1, Tony MacRoberts has been focused on meeting local leaders and area seniors, establishing official inter-agency contacts, and overall obtaining a broader understanding of current issues and future challenges facing the organization. Still in the early stages of ascending a steep learning curve, MacRoberts says a number of important tasks are already quite apparent, and that his primary efforts will be aimed toward addressing the more immediate concerns. During a brief interview Wednesday, August 13, the SJOA’a new executive director laid out some of his initial perceptions and goals for the organization. Aside from fiscal issues, which he said at this point were significant and clouded by a past documentation and recordkeeping discrepancies, MacRoberts said his immediate attention would be targeted at clarifying responsibilities of the SJOA’s board of directors and its senior advisory council. MacRoberts said he would schedule meetings with the board and advisory council members to begin a re-working of the SJOA bylaws. Through this effort, he is looking to establish well-defined responsibilities…

Budget, Boards Top City Meeting

City of Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences City Commissioners addressed final budget issues and several advisory board appointments during their regular meeting July 22. The evening’s session also included endorsement of a resolution to allow planning of improvements for the municipal airport, support for a continuation of the T-or-C Police Department’s School Resource Officer program, as well as a number of public comments concerning ongoing issues with the Sierra Joint Office on Aging. BUDGET ISSUES FINALIZED. Commissioners were presented with two formal resolutions pertaining to the annual municipal budget. The first measure focused on fourth quarter revenue and expenditure adjustments for the fiscal year ending July 30, and the second measure formalized the municipal budget for the present 2014/2015 fiscal cycle…

City Hears From Upset Seniors

City of Truth or Consequences

One of the primary action items on the Truth or Consequences City Commis-sion’s July 8 regular meeting agenda was the review and ultimate approval of revised contracts for annual sub-recipient appropriations.In addition to assuring the selected organizations were delivering needed services for the community, City Attorney Jay Rubin said the contracts were updated to include more stringent provisions regarding the submission of quarterly reports. Commissioner Jeff Richter noted the need of setting a similar quarterly due date for the timely submission of actual invoices. He also recommended that a proposed 20-percent funding reduction for failure to meet the deadlines should be increased to 100-percent…

 

City Sets Future Course

City of Truth or Consequences

In addressing a series of action items during their June 24 regular meeting, T-or-C City Commissioners ensured development of a long-anticipated solar project, endorsed planned upgrades for the municipal airport, and forwarded a comprehensive study of the city’s electrical distribution system. Additional board action established a special task force to investigate potential ways to improve operations of the municipal swimming pool, defined sub-recipient allocations for the upcoming fiscal year and set the stage for formal consideration of wastewater service rate increases. SOLAR FARM PPA Although a final agreement with officials from Sierra Electric Cooperative (SEC) has yet to be completed, commissioners approved the establishment of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Albuquerque-based Affordable Solar 4-to-1, with Commissioner Jeff Richter casting the sole dissenting vote. Once formal negotiations for a final energy services agreement with SEC are completed, and…

T-or-C Commits To Fee Hike For WWTP Grant

City of Truth or Consequences

By unanimous approval at the conclusion of a June 18 special meeting, T-or-C City Commissioners directed City Manager Juan Fuentes to begin taking administrative actions to fulfill mandates attached to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant for proposed Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) renovations. The afternoon’s session included members of the Public Utility Advisory Board (PUAB), as well as a number of concerned citizens, and focused on a USDA rate analysis of the WWTP, presented by Rural Development Specialist Olga Morales, who works with the Rural Community Assistance Corporation. (www.rcac.org)…

Mammoth Fossil Found At EB Lake

Paleontologists with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science are excavating the area around what appears to be a Stegomastodon fossil found by campers at Elephant Butte Lake last week. Stegomastodons were the last surviving member of a lineage of primitive tuskers called gomphotheres, which first entered North America 15 million years ago. They were about 12 feet long and weighed between two- to three tons. A group of friends camping on the lake found the prehistoric elephant skull and intact tusks and notified officials with the Elephant Butte State Park. At press time park officials said the area is cordoned off and being monitored closely by state park law enforcement officials while paleontologists…

Your Car Is Waiting…

Courtesy Car

By Hans Townsend The municipal airport finally got the courtesy car that, as Bobby Middleton, chairman of the Airport Advisory Board quipped, “we have been waiting for for 20 years!” The Chamber of Commerce of Truth or Consequences and Sierra County, along with Gary Whitehead presented the car last Thursday at the chamber offices. It will be at the airport for the complementary use of pilots and crew landing there so that they can explore a little. A flat screen TV from the chamber is already installed at the airport to show videos of the area, which may inspire more visits from these travellers. The chamber has been working on this since January, and in this joint venture, Whitehead Chevrolet donated the car, and the chamber is covering the administration details along with the cost of insuring and maintaining the vehicle. Staff at the airport generously volunteered to keep the vehicle ready for visitors, and take care of the paperwork whenever it was loaned out. Amazing what working together can do…

Recreation Board Looks To Next Project

Although details concerning the operation of T-or-C’s Municipal Swimming Pool are still being worked out, the facility’s Feb. 21 opening marked the completion of a series of projects initiated by the City’s Recreation Advisory Board. Aside from the long awaited covering of the swimming pool, this list of projects included installation of a new lighting system at the Louis Armijo Sports Complex (LASC) and a full renovation of the municipal tennis courts. With the pool cover in place, Recreation Board Members have refocused recent efforts on renewing the city’s master plan for future park and recreation development. A previously devised master plan is in place, but primarily centers on past ideas for use of the LASC property and potential development coordinating with the adjacent Sierra County Fairgrounds. Monday evening, April 7, the board welcomed a handful of community residents to a special workshop, convened solely to garner input about how the city should proceed in development of future recreational facilities and programs. In reviewing T-or-C’s recreational infrastructure, members noted the city presently provides a combination of approximately 25 parks and facilities for community use. It was also noted that currently, a team of three Recreation Department staff members has the primary responsibility of maintaining these facilities. Among park facilities on this small team’s work list are regular upkeep of Ralph Edwards Park, LASC, Rotary Park, Healing Waters Trail and many other designated areas of green space throughout the city including both the Vista Memorial Garden and Hot Springs Cemeteries. During the evening’s session, representatives of the recently organized Friends of Ralph Edwards Park provided board members with a list of ideas and maintenance concerns relating to this facility. Board members indicated they welcomed the thoughts about how the park might be ….

SJOA Concerns Voiced To City Commission

City of Truth or Consequences

T-or-C Commissioners addressed a short list of action items during their February 25 regular session. Included among the evening’s decisions was approval of a renewed funding application for wastewater treatment plant upgrades, endorsement of a professional service agreement with the South Central Council of Governments and board approval of a plat revision and easement termination for a downtown property owner.

SJOA FACING MORE CUTBACKS

Aside from the aforementioned measures, the evening’s session was highlighted by a report from Sierra Joint Office on Aging (SJOA) Board President Majie Powey, who explained how a lack of sufficient funding has already resulted in program cutbacks and is forcing the organization to consider additional and service reductions in the coming months. After outlining how SJOA receives its annual funding through combination of federal, state and local sources, Powey detailed a number of important services SJOA regularly provides Sierra County’s senior population. Among these services are daily meal programs, homemaker services, caregiver support and transportation. In regards to the latter of these, Powey…

Pool Opening Eyed As Project Finally Finished

During the T-or-C Recreation Advisory Board’s regular meeting February 3, City Manager Juan Fuentes reported that the last details of the swimming pool enclosure project have been addressed and said following a necessary inspection process, the facility would be ready to begin operations. Fuentes noted the latest delays have been related to the required installation of additional emergency lighting and an audible alarm system for the facility’s emergency gate. Both of these systems are now in place. The City manager reported the State Fire Marshal has already approved the emergency lighting and said a final walkthrough of the facility with project contractors, architects and city authorities was set to take place Tuesday morning, February 4. Once this has been completed, Fuentes said a final inspection by officials with the State’s Construction and Industries Division (CID) would have to be scheduled, before the City would be issued the necessary permits to begin operations. Fuentes told Recreation board members if all went well during the February 4 walkthrough, he anticipated CID inspectors could be on-site within the next week. Allowing additional time for last minute clean up and staff preparations, the City Manager said he would hope to see the facility open for public use……

Proposed Site Of Public Service Complex

With legislative funding requests for construction of a community animal shelter now pending in Santa Fe, T-or-C City Manager Juan Fuentes introduced a plan to City Commissioners January 28, which would expand the project to include development of a “one-stop” Public Safety Complex.
In presenting the plan, Fuentes said the City’s efforts to assume ownership of the former National Guard Armory and adjacent property, the site selected as most suitable for the future animal shelter, was tentatively approved by National Guard Armory authorities.
He also told commissioners necessary steps to effect the property transfer to the City were progressing and while unable to deliver a timeline, said he was hoping the measure would be addressed by National Guard Armory Board (NGAB) members at their next quarterly meeting.
Fuentes reminded commission members of a 2012 action, in which the City entered five-year agreement providing for continued animal services from the Sierra Animal Shelter’s Dr. Danielle Dawkins, while the community proceeds with construction of a new animal shelter. He acknowledged there was still more than two years remaining in this agreement and while suggesting there would be sufficient time to complete the project, indicated the initiative must begin to move forward in the near future.
The City manager noted T-or-C received a $100,000 Senate Appropriation grant for the animal shelter project in 2013 and was requesting $750,000 from this year’s legislative appropriations.
While awaiting news of the armory property’s transfer and potential funding, Fuentes suggested commissioners consider the possibility of expanding the project to include development of a public safety complex.
Sharing details of the armory and adjacent property, the City manager said the existing maintenance building was being considered as a likely location for the future animal shelter, leaving the armory building available for other uses.
Noting the City’s animal control services function as a division of the T-or-C Police Department (TCPD) and acknowledging a desire to bring all of the department’s services under one roof, Fuentes said he felt the armory would provide functional space and a unique opportunity to accomplish this goal.
TCPD Chief Priscilla Mullins was on hand for the evening’s session and told commissioners she would be in full support of such a project, noting the armory would provide an adequate amount of space for TCPD operations. Chief Mullins also suggested the site’s centralized location could not only serve as an ideal hub for police services, but could further become a useful staging point for joint law enforcement exercises and as an emergency command post, when required.
City manager Fuentes emphasized the adjacent property would be more than adequate for future expansion and suggested the complex could provide additional space for other area law enforcement agencies.
While the City manager was not requesting any immediate action from the board, members indicated they would be likely to support the initiative. Commissioner Steve Green said he felt the development of a public safety complex at the armory site would be a good use of public funds.
In the meantime, Fuentes said City officials would be waiting to see what amount of funding might be directed to the project from the current legislative session, while also looking for the NGAB to move forward on the requested property …..

Hot Springs Drilling Moratorium Continues

City of Truth or Consequences

With Mayor John Mulcahy absent from what would have been his final session as a member of the Truth or Consequences City Commission, Mayor Pro-tem Sandra Whitehead presided over the board’s November 21 session.
Among the evening’s primary issues, was the proposed extension of a residential drilling moratorium encompassing the thermal spring’s district. After conducting a formal public hearing, which rendered no comments either for or against the proposed ordinance (#650), commissioners addressed the measure as their first order of old business.
With city manager Juan Fuentes’ assurance that the new February 28, 2014 deadline would allow sufficient time to schedule public workshop discussions and to prepare a comprehensive ordinance regarding future drilling, board members unanimously supported Commissioner Steve Green’s motion to approve the extension.
Commissioners originally initiated the moratorium in 2012 in response to concerns about the then unknown status of the related aquifer and the commission’s expressed desire to both preserve and maintain…

City Extends Halt On Drilling In HS District

City of Truth or Consequences

In a special meeting Monday evening, November 4, Truth or Consequences City Commissioners unanimously approved a motion in support of an ordinance revision to extend the moratorium prohibiting the drilling of domestic wells within the city’s hot springs district. A previous board decision extended the moratorium until November 30, in order to allow for completion of a contracted study of the thermal aquifer, the organization of public meetings to review the findings and the drafting of an ordinance to govern future drilling in the restricted area. During the November 4 meeting, commissioners recognized that their hopes of accomplishing these goals before month’s end would not be possible. City attorney Jay Rubin suggested members consider extending the moratorium by 90 days, which he said, would set a new deadline of February 28, 2014. City manager Juan Fuentes agreed with Rubin’s suggestion and said a proposed ordinance was being addressed …..

City Extends Drilling Moratorium

City of Truth or Consequences

In a unanimous decision, T-or-C City Commissioners endorsed a motion to extend the current drilling moratorium within the downtown’s thermal spring district until November 30 of this year. Commissioners are awaiting the delivery of a detailed study of the related aquifer, which contracted officials with New Mexico Tech anticipate presenting to city leaders on or about October 1. Commissioners agreed that the proposed extension would allow sufficient time to fully review the study’s results and to coordinate public meetings to share the findings with the community before determining how best to manage the city’s premier asset. Mayor John Mulcahy said the moratorium has prevented the initiation of any new drilling permits for over a year and that it was not the true intent of the commission’s original action. The board’s primary intent, he said, was to temporarily freeze demand while an appropriate….

Early Water Study Results Optimistic

Prior to their regular session Tuesday, January 23, T-or-C City Commissioners assembled at Ralph Edwards Auditorium for a special workshop to receive preliminary findings from an ongoing study of the city’s geothermal aquifer.
Last year, in response to concerns about increased drilling in the hot springs district, Mayor John Mulcahy successfully urged commissioners to approve a temporary moratorium on the drilling of new wells and to contract officials with New Mexico Tech to conduct an in-depth investigation of the geothermal water system.
At the outset of Tuesday’s workshop, Mayor Mulcahy addressed a number of questions he has encountered since the drilling moratorium was imposed. He first stated that the commission’s primary intent was to safeguard the aquifer and to ensure it was not being endangered by drilling or other development that has occurred since the last study was conducted in the 1940s.
Mulcahy added that the commission and city authorities have no intention of seeking the closure or removal of any permitted wells, even if they were to fail during the present moratorium. He said there would be no efforts on the part of the city to acquire existing water rights and that the moratorium would not necessarily translate into a ban on future drilling in the city’s thermal springs district.
The mayor also acknowledged how the present moratorium has prompted individuals from outside the community to question if the aquifer is failing and to ask him if the community is running out of water. Agreeing that a more proactive approach with the media might help to mitigate such rumors, Mulcahy reiterated that the commission’s intent was solely to obtain updated and accurate information and to ensure proper stewardship of the city’s foremost asset.
Following his statements, Mulcahy introduced New Mexico Tech Hydrology Professor Mark Person, who is serving as lead investigator for the team contracted to conduct a detailed study of the aquifer.
After introducing some of the individuals participating in the study, Person said the…..

City Defies Counsel’s Rejection Of NMSA Bid

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

NMSA officials selected the property through a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process and recently designated the South Broadway site as the future home of a Spaceport America Welcome Center.

In his statement, General Counsel Jackson outlined a number of issues cited in a protest of the NMSA’s decision, submitted by local attorney Mark A. Filosa, who represents Sierra County residents Stephen Janos, Raymond Ruffini and Terry Taylor in this regard.

While many concerning points were included in the formal protest, it essentially claims that in its bid responding to the NMSA’s RFP, the City of T-or-C did not include a required parcel deed or title policy as proof of property ownership. Protestors and General Counsel Jackson view this failure in the bid process to be improper at best and nonetheless a violation requiring the bid to be dismissed.

The issue of ownership begins with the protest’s assertion that a 1959 patent to the City of T-or-C for the property in question is still valid and would not permit the city to sell the land to the NMSA. In the 1959 patent the property was described as 108.09 acres, which includes land now occupied by the Sierra County Fairgrounds and areas westward along South Broadway towards I-25.

On Thursday, August 23, T-or-C City Manager Juan Fuentes issued a statement, which holds that a 1984 letter on record from Bureau of Land Management (BLM),…

SVH GRT Approved

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

Sierra County Commis-sioners convened a public hearing for an ordinance seeking to extend Gross Receipt Tax (GRT) funding for Sierra Vista Hospital (SVH) prior to addressing a full agenda of items during their regular session Tuesday morning, August 21.

Speaking in favor of the ordinance, SVH Chief Executive Officer (CEO) D. Rush briefly explained how the original GRT allotment was an emergency effort to bolster the hospital’s inability to fully recoup costs associated with services provided to the community. She also said the GRT revenues were important in assuring the facility remained operational through past financial difficulties.

Rush then talked about the hospital’s recent financial recovery, which she said was sufficient enough to pay off the facility’s long-standing mortgage earlier this year.

Mrs. Rush then urged commissioners to extend the GRT funding and said that if the ordinance were approved she would request that associated revenues be directed toward the construction of a “Central Plant.” She went on to explain how the hospital’s current utility plant would be insufficient to service the facility, as well as the new emergency room complex and other planned improvements. She said construction of a new central plant would ensure that the hospital’s present complex and future additions would be able to maintain full services, through planned construction in the years ahead.

There were no statements offered in opposition to the proposed ordinance.

Once into their regular session, and as they moved to consider the proposed ordinance, commissioners expressed support for the continued renovation and construction of new facilities at SVH. Chairman Walter Armijo then accepted a motion to approve the GRT extension and target funding toward development of the hospital’s new central plant. The motion was duly seconded and endorsed by a unanimous vote….

Vacancy Keeps City Deadlocked

City of Truth or Consequences

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

The T-or-C Commission’s efforts to fill a board vacancy created by the recent passing of commissioner Freddie Torres stalled once again during their regular meeting Tuesday evening August 14.

After a July 24 split vote had the board firmly divided over the nominations of former commission candidates Mike Kertesz and Lisa Burris, members were unable to settle on any other potential replacement that might achieve a majority of the commission’s support.

Recognizing the apparent impasse during the July regular meeting, commissioners set the issue aside with an expressed hope of securing a mutually acceptable candidate, or somehow resolving their differences before the August 14 session.

As previously noted, the goal was not achieved.

When commissioners formally addressed the issue Tuesday evening, Mayor Mulcahy stressed state law did not establish that results from a previous election should be utilized when seeking a board vacancy. He also said he was compelled to vote for the candidate he felt was best and did not want to submit to pressure urging him to change his opinion….

Welcome Center Site Selected

By David Wilson

New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced Wednesday, August 1 that a site for the Sierra County Spaceport Welcome Center in Truth or Consequences, NM (T-or-C) has been chosen by the NMSA Welcome Center Site Source Selection Committee and approved by the NMSA Board.

Meanwhile, the committee opted against selecting the only proposed location for the Welcome Center in Hatch, NM for not adequately meeting the criteria of the Welcome Center Site Selection Request for Proposals (RFP).

The NMSA Welcome Center Source Selection Committee recommended that the NMSA Board select a 6.254-acre parcel about half a mile off Interstate 25 Exit 75, offered by …….

City Accepts Solid Waste Funding

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

During a special meeting Monday, July 30, members of the T-or-C City Commission unanimously accepted an agreement with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), which will deliver a grant of approximately $400,000 to equip and construct a solid waste collection center.

In discussing the grant prior to the board’s vote, Commissioner Steve Green stated that one-percent of the award was to be set aside and designated for “public art.” He suggested city officials should take a proactive step and begin efforts to secure the approximately $4,000 this would entail to incorporate a mural, landscaping, or some other form of qualifying artwork to enhance the future facility.

City manager Juan Fuentes said state authorities already have an established procedure in place. He explained that the one-percent of funding set aside from this and other capital projects throughout New Mexico are directed to the State Arts Division, which in turn distributes the available funds to aid in community projects.

Decisions about when and where these monies would be applied, said Fuentes, primarily rested at the state level.

With the point clarified, Green made a motion to accept the grant, which was quickly seconded and approved by the board…..

Landfill Closure Delayed/Ordinance Published

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

With a strong contingent of community residents again on hand to voice their concerns, Sierra County Commissioners approved a motion to proceed with publication of a proposed solid waste ordinance during their Tuesday, July 24 session.

Commissioners listened to a number of public comments prior to formally addressing the solid waste ordinance, which primarily expressed a continued opposition to various aspects of the county’s proposal. While some community residents acknowledged that an obviously unpopular decision on the matter would be necessary, commissioners were urged to strongly consider citizens’ statements and concerns before final action is taken.

After attending to a few items on the morning’s agenda, the board moved to address publication of the controversial measure, which would formally set the clock ticking toward a decision about whether or not to implement the proposed ordinance.

Commission members welcomed the New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) Solid Waste Bureau Chief Auralie Ashley-Marx to the morning’s session and invited her to outline the NMED’s position regarding the county’s solid waste management concerns.

Ashley-Marx first noted she has been working closely with officials from Sierra County and the City of T-or-C in this regard for the past three years and emphasized that the proposed ordinance should not be considered a result of “fly by night” decisions.

She then explained…….

Commission Divided Over Vacant Seat

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

While the T-or-C Commission’s July 24 regular meeting agenda included a number of action items, a disagreement over potential replacements for the late Commissioner Freddie Torres provided an emotionally charged highlight to the evening’s session.

After confirming that the board had a choice between appointing someone to fill the vacant seat or holding a special election, they agreed that costs associated with the latter option made an appointment the reasonable course to follow.

Commissioner Steve Green suggested the most logical approach would be to select a replacement from the field of candidates that vied for available commission posts in the formal elections held earlier this year. He said these individuals had already received support from the community and recommended commissioners consider the candidate who had received the most supporting votes……

Buckhorn Demolished

By Frances Luna | SENTINEL

If the City of Truth or Consequences had a skyline comprised of its downtown buildings, it has forever been changed. The once hopping Buckhorn Bar on Main Street was demolished into a pile of rubble, hauled off, and now sits as two vacant lots.

Once the thriving downtown pub for locals, miners, ranchers and visitors alike, the Buckhorn Bar had set motionless for nearly 30 years, being used only by vagrants, graffiti artists and the owners as a storage.

Earlier this year the City of Truth or Consequences pushed on with the condemnation proceedings, after notices had been sent to either bring the building into a safe condition or have it demolished, failed. Once on the historical register, the Buckhorn’s owners, Jim and Bettie

Brannon fought the city’s demolition movement to no avail. The Brannon’s cited attempting to get grants to return the building to a useable state. However, it appeared as though the years of abandonment had ruined the historical bar beyond a saving grace.

The destruction order was given for the week of July 2. But the traditional trait of the owners carried on, and at the eleventh hour the Brannon’s asked the city to give them one more week in order that they could retrieve the contents from the building, including the bar, which were said to be sold. Their request was granted.

Then, on the afternoon of Monday, July 9, as Brannon and a handful of men worked at unloading old metal refrigerators, ……

City Commission Agrees To Land Swap

City of Truth or Consequences

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

At the outset of their regular meeting Tuesday, July 10, T-or-C City Commissioners agreed to move consideration of a proposed land exchange between the city and Heartland Mesas Partners (HMP to the evening’s closed-door session.

The proposal pertains to a 0.027-acre parcel of land owned by HMP, which was found to extend into the conjunction of Austin Street and Riverside Drive. In order to resolve the situation, HMP officials offered to accept the exchange of an equal size portion of city-owned land, situated adjacent to a nearby, yet separate parcel of HMP property.

After emerging from their closed-door discussions, commissioners reconvened and voted to proceed with the exchange, subject to completion of a formal survey, legal description and title search.

Additionally during the re-convened session, commissioners approved a motion authorizing a refund of $28,000 plus interest to officials with the Hot Springs Land Development (HSLD) organization. The issue was included on the evening’s agenda for the board’s executive session and the board’s decision came with a requirement for HSLD authorities to release related escrow obligations……

City Commissioner Torres Passes

Former T-or-C mayor and member of the current city commission, Freddie Torres passed away July 2, while undergoing medical care at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces, he was 73 years of age.

A lifetime resident of Sierra County, Torres was born in Cuchillo, New Mexico on April 18, 1939, to Ruben and Ida (Gallegos) Torres. In addition to his aforementioned term as mayor and as a city commission member, Torres was a founder of the Veterans’ Memorial Park and Museum and is accredited with more than 20-years of public service for the local community.

Torres operated successful businesses in Sierra County for more than 50 years and at the time of his passing was proprietor of the well-established Pine Knot Saloon. He was also a lifetime member of the Sierra County Sheriff’s Posse.

A prayer vigil for Freddie Torres will be held Sunday evening, July 8 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 515 N. Date Street, beginning at 6 p.m.  Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, July 9, followed by Rite of Committal ceremonies at the Hot Springs Cemetery.

Donations in memory of Freddie Torres may be forwarded to the Friends of the Library Children’s Fund, 325 Library Lane, T-or-C, New Mexico 87901.

City Moves For Drilling Moratorium

City of Truth or Consequences

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

Saying the action was aimed at preserving the city’s historical thermal springs and to support future economic development, Mulcahy added that a lack of detailed information concerning the aquifer, paired with its vital importance to the community, made the approval of the ordinance a necessity.

The mayor stated that current regulations do not allow officials with the Office of the State Engineer (OSE) to differentiate between a domestic well tapped for potable water and those tapped to solely utilize the thermal water resource. In discussion with OSE officials, Mulcahy explained he was told that by approving an ordinance calling for a halt in the drilling of domestic wells, state authorities would be able to place a hold on applicable permit requests and shift the final decision on such matters to city authorities.

Mulcahy also said that the importance of obtaining accurate scientific information concerning the thermal aquifer in order to properly assess the impact of both present use and potential development.

Commissioner Steve Green said that he applauded the mayor’s effort and indicated he was in full support of the moratorium, but suggested the ordinance should be accompanied with specific measure….

New Aid For Veterans

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

Colonel Joe Long, Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center, outlined a new program for members of the T-or-C City Commission Tuesday evening,June 12. Colonel Long explained how the federally funded program aims to provide valuable assistance and advice for veterans interested in starting up a new business. Further details about the program will be offered during a free breakfast…

Commission Denies Appeal

Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

Despite emotional pleas from property owners and a handful of local residents, members of the T-or-C City Commission remained committed to the resolution they approved March 27 and unanimously agreed to proceed with demolition of the former Buckhorn Saloon during their meeting Tuesday evening, May 8.

The decision was preceded by a lengthy public hearing for a formal appeal of the resolution, initiated by property owners Jim and Bettie Brannon. In his opening statement, city manager Juan Fuentes presented a timeline that followed the city’s efforts to address growing public safety and health concerns related to the Buckhorn Saloon’s (307 Main Street) well-recognized state of deterioration. Beginning with the city building inspector’s notification of code violations to property owners on May 6, 2010, Fuentes outlined a series of municipal actions taken to address the building’s condition through the aforementioned March 27, 2012 resolution and subsequent April 17, 2012 appeal…..

Buckhorn Status Causing Concern

The Buckhorn Bar, Main Street, Truth or Consequences NM

By Chuck Wentworth
SENTINEL

During their regular meeting Tuesday evening, April 24, T-or-C Commission members learned that legal action aimed at securing the demolition of the old Buckhorn Bar, 307 Main Street, would not be completed before next week’s Fiesta parade and celebrations.

As board members addressed the scheduling of a public hearing to finalize the city’s actions, Commissioner Freddy Torres opened discussion by expressing concerns about the safety of citizens that regularly crowd this downtown area to view the Fiesta parade. He noted that a potential for collapse of the building’s façade existed and suggested that the loud noise and vibrations from a passing parade could precipitate ……..

City Moves Forward To Demolish Buckhorn Bar

By Chuck Wentworth SENTINEL | By unanimous vote during their March 27 regular session, members of the T-or-C Commission approved a motion to move forward with condemnation proceedings for the old Buckhorn Saloon, located at 307 Main Street.

City manager Juan Fuentes explained current property owners Jim and Bettie Brannon had been officially notified that the building’s condition constituted a public health hazard and were aware city authorities would be initiating steps to effect the building’s removal.

As of the evening’s session, Fuentes said the property owners have not formally responded or submitted a requested mitigation plan to the city.

This, paired with confirmation from T-or-C Fire Chief Paul Tooley and T-or-C Risk Management Officer Ed Williams that the building’s dilapidated structure posed…

New Mayor for T or C

By Chuck Wentworth for the SENTINEL

In what was no doubt a surprising move to many local residents, newly elected members of the T-or-C commission held firm to their campaigns for change and used a now realized majority vote to select John Mulcahy as the new Mayor of City of T-or-C Tuesday evening, March 13.

Prior to formally convening the evening’s session, Sierra County Magistrate Judge Tom Pestak congratulated all of the candidates that participated in the March 6 municipal elections and then proceeded to deliver the oath of office to the five individuals who emerged victorious in this year’s elective process.

Joining to recite the pledge and accept their respective roles as community leaders were Position-I Commissioner Sandra Whitehead, Position-II Commissioner Jeff Richter, Position-IV Commissioner John Mulcahy, returning Position-V Commissioner Steve Green and returning Municipal Judge Beatrice (Bobbie) Sanders.

Following the official ceremonies, Commissioner Freddie Torres presided over the initiation of the regular session and after preliminary actions, focused the…

Renfro Calls It A Day

T-or-C Mayor Pro-Tem Evelyn Renfro presided over her final session as a member of the city commission Tuesday evening. Renfro has chosen not to seek re-election, and at the adjournment of Tuesday’s meeting, closed the book on a long and dedicated career of municipal service, both as a city employee and commission member. During her report, Renfro expressed her appreciation for the opportunity local voters gave her to serve the community. Despite acknowledged disagreements with some local citizens, Renfro emphasized her belief that the current commission has worked for the betterment of the community and made significant strides in this regard.

The departing mayor pro-tem further shared a personal appreciation for the cooperation and assistance members of the community, city staffers and her fellow commissioners provided during her terms on the board. In closing, Renfro also acknowledged the soon-to-be elected members of the commission and expressed…