By Kathleen Sloan
The following actions were taken at the Truth or Consequences City Commission meeting, held Tuesday, Aug. 28:
•Commissioners reappointed Millie McLeod and Carole Wheeler to the Recreation Advisory Board. They newly appointed Eduardo Alicea to the Public Arts Advisory Board, and reappointed Celeste Rich to the Lodgers Tax Advisory Board.
•Commissioners postponed the appointment of Planning & Zoning commissioners.
Mayor John Mulcahy asked why the P&Z had not recommended anyone for the two open seats. He was informed it is beyond the powers of the P&Z to make recommendations. That board’s members are supposed to be interviewed and appointed by the City Commission since it is a quasi-judicial board.
City commissioners also put off any decision on P&Z Chair Billy Howell, who wants to continue serving on the board and has done so for 26 years.
Evidently, Ron Fenn, who has applied for one of the vacant seats, sent in a complaint to the city last November, outlining the infractions of code Howell has committed and continues to do so, most notably the sign code, which the P&Z rules on.
That complaint, said City Commissioner Steve Green, was not delivered to him, confirmed by Mayor Pro-tem Sandra Whitehead.
Commissioners will review Fenn’s complaint before deciding on the P&Z open seats.
•Commissioners, with no discussion, approved a resolution for a budget adjustment. $14,000 was transferred into the General Fund, which came from a “JAF” grant to the courts, according to Finance Director Linda Lanham. A little more than $20,000 was transferred into “299—Other Fund,” which came from the state fire protection fund. $10,000 was added to the Lodgers Tax Fund expenditures for billboards. $225,467 was transferred from the Joint Utilities Fund into the “500 Enterprise Fund” to pay for the reserve amount and closing costs for refinancing three bond/loans with New Mexico Finance Authority. Another $50,000 will be spent from the Joint Utilities fund to pay for a wastewater facility engineering study.
•Commissioners approved a resolution that combines four policies required by the federal government before awarding a Community Development Block Grant. Those policies are Fair Housing Assessment, Citizen Participation Plan, Residential Anti-Displacement and giving jobs created by the grant to “lower income persons residing in the city,” if possible.
•City Commissioner Steve Green reported Solid Waste Department Head Leonard Carillo has opened up a market for electronics recycling. Green said Carillo drove a truckload to Belen to Wise Recycling, receiving $210 for the load.
Green did not say if this amount had subtracted Carillo’s salary time, gas, mileage, and wear and tear on the vehicle.
•City Manager Juan Fuentes said he responded to resident Gerald Trumbull’s request to inspect fire safety in his neighborhood. Fuentes admitted that Trumbull was within 500 feet of a fire hydrant, but that his neighbors higher up the hill were beyond 500 feet. Fuentes said the pipes should be six inches or more in circumference, but were not. He said the city will start identifying the areas that need increased fire coverage.