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.

School Board Votes Against Cummins Extension


Some executive sessions are more controversial than others. When the school board emerged from behind closed doors to resume the public meeting, Thursday, September 14 they took one action that has reverberated across the community. After calling the meeting back order the board voted 3-2, against extending for one year, the contract of school’s superintendent, Dr. Craig Cummins.
On the meeting agenda there were two items to be discussed in the executive session. One, discussion of pending or threatened litigation was removed when the agenda was approved, leaving discussion of the Superintendent’s evaluation and contract as the only executive session item.
The board returned from the private session and a motion was put forth to extend Dr. Cummins contract for one year. The vote was taken. There were two votes in favor of the extension, Jeanne Feazell, and board president, Jay Johnson and three voting against it, board vice president, Brett Smith, board secretary Crystal Runyan Diamond and Doug Whitehead. Within hours the community was buzzing. Board members were contacted to comment on their vote, for this article. Those comments are included below.

Changes Made In SVH Leadership


During closed-door executive session discussions Wednesday, September 6, Sierra Vista Hospital’s (SVH) interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Donna Muder, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Steve Stewart and Executive Secretary Kathy Elverum all tendered their resignations, effective immediately.
This action prompted a direct response from the governing board once members resumed the afternoon’s regular public session.
Upon reconvening the regular meeting, board members first affirmed that only items on the agenda were discussed during the executive session and that no decisions were made.
Following this statement, governing board members approved a motion to postpone consideration of items remaining on the regular meeting agenda until September 13 except for Item 26-4, which pertained to hospital leadership management.

Collective Bargaining Agreement Passes


After an epic two and a half hour executive session the school board came back in and took their seats. Calling the regular session back to order a motion was put forward, seconded and voted on, unanimously passing. “We have a contract,” said board president Jay Johnson. With those words, the room broke into applause. The school 2017-18 collective bargaining agreement had passed, days before school was scheduled to start.
The board met Thursday, August 10 in regular session, with two items slated for the executive session, going into chambers to discuss the superintendent’s annual evaluation and the collective bargaining agreement. With only three action items on the agenda, the regular session went quickly enough.
Before taking action the board heard reports from departments, schools and the T-or-C membership of the National Education Association (NEA), the teachers’ and staff’s collective bargaining unit. The NEA co-president Gordon Mishler reported that their membership had voted on the proposed collective bargaining agreement covering the 2017-18 school year.