City Commission Seat – Still Vacant & Still at an Impasse

By Kathleen Sloan

HERALD Reporter

Truth or Consequences City Commissioner Steve Green started the Tuesday, Aug. 14 meeting with an apology to Lisa Burris, in particular, and to all, in general, for “my excessive behavior.”

The agenda item – filling recently deceased City Commissioner Freddie Torres’ seat – made the meeting lively enough for resident Sophia Peron to describe it as “a humdinger.”

Green said he was “caught off-guard” and “sorry if I have offended anyone. It was not my intent.”

At that Tuesday, July 24 meeting, Lisa Burris had been nominated by Mayor John Mulcahy for the seat. That nomination resulted in a tie between Mulcahy and Commissioner Jeff Richter on the one hand voting yea, and Green and Mayor Pro-tem Sandra Whitehead on the other hand voting nay.

Green had nominated Mike Kertesz, which resulted in the same deadlock in reverse.

Although Green said his preference for Kertesz, and thus lack of support for Burris, was not personal, Burris did take it personally.

Burris, during public comment, said, “I was disappointed and somewhat dumbfounded when Commissioner Green chose to publicly humiliate me – in my opinion – to use me as a vehicle to retaliate against the mayor. In arguing for ‘the process,’ Commissioner Green alleged I was being nominated because I am a friend of one of the commissioners, and that I hold no qualifications for the position. For the record, prior to his public mugging of me, the only commissioner I had ever considered a friend was Commissioner Green.”

She said Green and Whitehead’s suggestion that she could leave before the 21-month term is up, because her husband just took a job in Roswell, was “nothing short of arrogant, shortsighted and self-serving… Had I been asked, Commissioners Green and Whitehead would have learned that, if appointed, I fully intended to serve out the entire term.”

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