Final YESCO Review Endorsed

City of Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commissioners rendered a 3-to-2 decision in support of a motion to finalize a contract with Year-Out Energy Services C o m p a n y (YESCO) during the board’s December 13 session. This proposed con-tract would ensure the replacement of municipal water and electric meters with state-of-the-art digital equipment. Mayor Steve Green entered the motion directing administrative staff to obtain information requested during the morning’s session, assure completion of the contract, and to secure a legal review of the measure. The motion also emphasized that board approval would in no way obligate the city to any future decision.

Pestak Tapped To Fill Probate Post

Responding to the sudden resignation of Probate Judge Pam Smith amid a flurry of legal accusations, Sierra County Commissioners convened for a special meeting Wednesday morning, October 18. After considering a list of six proposed candidates, commissioners approved a motion to name former Sierra County Magistrate Court Judge Tom Pestak to fulfill Smith’s current term.
With chairman Ken Lyon attending by telephone, board members addressed the issue at hand. Vice-chair Frances Luna presided over the session and introduced a list of individuals who had come forward, expressing interest in serving as probate judge. Included among the candidates were former probate Judge William Robinson, Truth or Consequences Mayor Pro-Tem Sandra Whitehead, attorney Tara Edgemond, area residents Bonnie Riley and Denise Addie-Villagomez, as well as Pestak, who also served a term as probate judge from 1994 to 1998.

Mental Health Program Funded By County Coffers

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Sierra County commissioners followed through on their promise to join with Sierra Vista Hospital (SVH) in the development of a community-wide mental health program during the board’s October 10 regular meeting. With a unanimous vote, commissioners approved the establishment of a Professional Services Agreement (PSA) with SVH.
Procurement Officer Jocelyn Holguin introduced the measure and noted designated support revenue ($70,000 annually) would be derived from the county’s established indigent fund.
County manager Bruce Swingle pointed out that the PSA establishes specific goals, including in-school and community prevention/educational programs, out-patient mental health services and the implementation of mental health assessments when needed. He also said the agreement would require quarterly reports, which would provide the board with regular updates concerning participation numbers and patient success rates.
After assuring the PSA further included provisions for county authorities to limit or withdraw funding should the program fail to meet expectations, commissioner Sherry Fletcher entered a motion to accept the agreement. With a second from chairman Ken Lyon the board rendered 2-to-0 vote, assuring initial support for the mental health initiative. (Vice Chair Frances Luna was absent from the morning’s session).

City Settles With HSLD

City of Truth or Consequences

Following a closed-door executive session, which was called amid the Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commission’s September 27 regular meeting, board members issued a brief statement outlining a settlement agreement with Hot Spring Land Development (HSLD).
This measure would appear to close out years of litigation between HSLD and the city.
Commissioner Kathy Clark read a prepared statement, which first acknowledged that the city com-mission had approved a settlement with HSLD to de-annex property acquired in 2008.
Clark further stated the commission also approved a declaration to vacate an April 2017 court order for deannexation that included property the city annexed in 2003. Clark emphasized the 2003 property annexation was initiated to connect the city to the municipal airport and stressed that at that time, HSLD was not part of the process.
Commissioners offered no further comments regarding the settlement.

Law Complex Funding Approved

City of Truth or Consequences

After reviewing details surrounding the proposed issuance of municipal revenue bonds to construct a new law enforcement complex September 13, Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) city commissioners joined in unanimous support of a motion to approve the measure (Ordinance No. 686). This action will now allow the sale of $2,188,146 in municipal gross receipt tax revenue bonds and effectively green lights the T-or-C Police Department’s plan to renovate the former National Guard Armory building for a new department headquarters and regional law enforcement offices.
Prior to the action, commissioners conducted a public hearing to accept final citizen comments.
During their introduction of the measure acting bond council Linda Melendres and George K. Baum associate Raheel Hirji affirmed the bonds being issued would mature in 2042 and would include a 1.91-percent interest rate throughout the loan term. Hirji further noted the proposal included a 10-year call in 2027

Womens Recovery Shelter Permit Ok’d

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Following up on an item postponed during the board’s July 26 session, Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) city commissioners once again addressed a special permit request August 9. Local resident Phyllis Mecca is seeking to establish a women’s recovery program and shelter at the former Oasis Motel, 819 Date Street.
During the July 26 session, commissioners listened to concerns from neighboring residents, business owners and T-or-C Police Chief Lee Alirez, which highlighted issues surrounding a previous effort to establish a different form of recovery program at that same location.
Concerns about Mecca’s proposal were primarily focused on whether, or not, the shelter would pose an increased risk of crime for the surrounding community.

County Approves Retiree Health Care

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With a unanimous vote May 17, Sierra County Commissioners approved Ordinance #17-011 establishing a Retiree Health Care Act. With this action, the commission assured county employees, retirees, spouses and their dependants would begin receiving the added benefits and security July 1.
Prior to the morning’s regular session, commissioners convened a public hearing to obtain comments about the proposed ordinance. While no citizens came forward during the session, statements from administrative staff and comments of support from Sheriff Glenn Hamilton reassured the board a majority of employees would welcome the addition.

City Looks At Marketing

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Faced with cutbacks in state tourism department funding, Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) city commissioners approved a proposed job description for an in-house Marketing/Tourism Coordinator during their April 11 regular meeting.
In discussion prior to the vote, commissioner Kathy Clark noted that revenue for the proposed position would be derived from the city’s recently established convention tax. After asserting this was an appropriate use of the convention tax, Clark requested a modification for the job description to include responsibility for overseeing convention center operations, thus affirming a direct connection and the commission’s intent for the new position.