City Rules of Procedure ‘Likely Unconstitutional’

By Kathleen Sloan

HERALD Reporter

The City of Truth or Consequences, at their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 27, revised their “City Rules of Procedure,” and passed the new policy by resolution.

The major changes include adding a “public comment” section, so there are two – one at the beginning and one at the end of the meeting.

The first public comment is limited to items on the agenda that week. The second is limited only to city business in general. Public comment is further limited by “Rule 17.”

Herein is the rub.

Part iii says, “All comments made must be constructive and must be regarding business of the city.”

American Civil Liberties Union Managing Attorney Laura Schauer Ives contacted City Attorney Jay Rubin “the day before and the day of the meeting,” according to ACLU news media contact Micah McCoy, who spoke with The Herald on Thursday, April 5.

McCoy said Ives told Rubin that “the requirement that comment be constructive was likely unconstitutional,” because it prohibits free speech and the constituents’ right to petition elected officials, which may include negative comment.

Rubin did not tell the commissioners at the public meeting of the ACLU’s position. City commissioners passed the resolution unanimously.


One thought on “City Rules of Procedure ‘Likely Unconstitutional’

  1. Whenever the issues of possible illegality contained within provisions of proposed legislation are not discussed by the city’s legal representative prior to adoption, it then raises questions regarding the effectiveness of counsel. When these types oversights consistently lead to costly legal cases, even more questions should be raised.

    Proven blunders over the past two years, have produced a well-documented pattern of behavior indicating either incompetence, or some underlying ulterior motive that hinders the best possible legal representation of the interests of the City. Thus, it now becomes clear that competent counsel should be sought elsewhere.

    Any elected official with the ability to remedy this situation bears a sworn duty to the taxpayers, residents, and citizens of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, to protect them from the costs of incompetent legal counsel: Period.

    Therefore, any refusal on the part of the Truth or Consequences City Commission to immediately locate new legal representation, would appear to indicate a manner of complicity bordering upon incompetence itself.

    Posted by Durable Brad | April 13, 2012, 7:40 pm


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