City Meeting Tonight: Roundup of Agenda Items

By Kathleen Sloan

HERALD Reporter

The Truth or Consequences City Commission will hold their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 8, at 6 p.m.


•The owners of the Buckhorn Saloon, at 307 Main Street, have appealed the city commission’s decision to tear down the building. A public hearing is required in cases of condemnation appeal.

The Battershell method will be used to conduct the hearing. Only ‘parties’ may cross-examine.

There are five parties: 1.city commissioners, 2.city staff, 3.proponents “who have a direct financial interest in the proposal or their representatives/attorneys; 4. opponents who have property within the legally required notice area; 5.opponents who have a direct financial interest in the proposal or are directly affected by the proposal or their representatives/attorneys. The mayor or city commission as a body will determine who of the opponents are to be classified as a party to the action after a brief questioning of the person,” states the city’s version of the Battershell procedure.

City Community Director Bill Slettom, on Monday, May 7, said no notifications were sent to adjacent property owners. Therefore mayor or city commission questioning will determine party standing, said Slettom.

The public will be able to speak last. The parties may cross-examine public speakers.


The appeal of the Buckhorn Saloon hearing will be decided via resolution.

•A resolution amending the city commission rules of procedure is to be acted upon. The amendment would remove Rule 17, which states all public comment must pertain to city business and be “constructive.” The American Civil Liberties Union contacted City Attorney Jay Rubin before the resolution was passed about a month ago, stating the rule is likely unconstitutional.

Rule 9 may be amended to add that persons wishing to be on the agenda must submit written documentation to “a member of the city commission or city manager, who shall make the determination whether to forward it to the city clerk to be placed on the agenda.”

Rule 18 may add, “A City Commission member who ‘abstains’ will be recorded as neither an ‘aye’ or ‘nay’ vote.”

•A resolution allowing the city to invest money in the New MexiGROW Local Government Investment Pool will be considered. The LGIP funds earn about the same rate as a CD, but have no time constraint requirement, such as a minimum deposit time of six months, in order to earn interest.


•The reappointment of Warren Cross to the Sierra Vista Hospital Governing Board as the city’s representative will be considered. His term expires June 30.

The city commission holds interviews to fill two board positions – the hospital Governing Board and the Planning & Zoning Commission. Whether the city commission will exercise this interview process or reappoint Cross is at issue.

•Truth or Consequences Housing Authority Executive Director Elizabeth Gutierrez will give a presentation.

•Merry Jo Fahl and Sherry Fletcher will give a presentation on the Healing Water Trails Project.

•A change-order for the three-million-gallon water tank repair will be considered. The steel floor is so corroded it must be replaced.

There is about $418,000 left in the $1.5 million loan/grant the city got through the New Mexico Finance Authority. The steel floor will cost about $337,000.

•The city’s police department taking over the contract for tech support for the Mobile Data Terminals used in police cars will be discussed.

The Sierra County Regional Dispatch Authority had been the “host agency” for the contract, but has lost qualified personnel.

If the city takes over the host role, it will cost $162 until the end of the year and almost $2,000 for fiscal year 2012-‘13.

•What properties the city will propose in answer to the New Mexico Spaceport Authority’s request for proposals for land sites for the spaceport welcome center will be discussed.

Commissioner Steve Green is spearheading this agenda item discussion.

The RFP has not been published yet, but is likely to be advertised mid-May.

•Executive or closed session has one agenda item. Under the Open Meetings Act exception for “Purchase, Acquisition or Disposal of Real Property 10-15-1H(8), Riverbend Hot Springs Property Proposal” is listed for discussion.


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