Mayor Ken Ladner presenting proclamation to Pro-Tem Mayor Cynthia Bettison. From left are Guadalupe Cano, Jose Ray Jr, Alex Brown, Robert Scavron, Raul Turrieta, Bettison, and Ladner.
Photo and article by Roger Lanse
At its Tuesday, Feb. 14 meeting, the Silver City Town Council approved a notice of intent ordinance by which Hidalgo Medical Services, under a five-year lease, would manage and provide services to the Silver City Senior Citizens Center. Town Manager Alex Brown said: “They (HMS) will operate the facility. The only obligations that the town has is that we will have to pay capital repairs over $5,000. HMS will take care of everything else, such as the utilities, insurances, minor repairs, all the things like that.”
During Public Input two residents spoke about concerns regarding parking problems in downtown and the need for an ordinance to control the dropping of debris from trees that overhang onto another property-owner’s lot.
District 4 Councilor Guadalupe Cano stated that she attended the Grant County Day event in Santa Fe with other members of town staff, and although she recommended it highly, she remarked that this was the second year in a row that the event was not handicapped accessible. Cano stated “because the town is sponsoring it, I am hoping we can work toward making it accessible, because I would hate for any resident to go up there and feel as awkward and unwanted as I have the last two years.”
Cano also gave thanks to Callie Kennington, Executive Director of the Arts and Cultural District, saying, at a recent meeting: “I expressed some frustration with the lack of diversity in the advertisements that were being done.” Cano stated that she was assured “that by the end of the summer there will be a portfolio of images that can be used that are a lot more diverse and a lot more inclusive of our local town residents, which is something I really appreciate.”
Cano asked Brown, “Who is doing our translation for pamphlets and things, for instance one we got from the Office of Sustainability?” Brown started to answer, “Well, there’s different . . .” Cano interjected, “Okay, well, there’s more than a handful of errors on these. So, I’m just concerned that we’re, you know, just like every person who speaks English doesn’t necessarily know proper grammar -- it’s the same thing in Spanish. So, if we could find somebody that could do that correctly it would be great.” Cano suggested the American Spanish professor at WNMU.
The Silver City Fire Department earned thanks from Cano for setting up a meeting so they could tell her what goes on at the fire department. “It’s not just as simple as going in and putting out a fire,” she said. They do a lot of other community events as well.
District 3 Councilor Jose Ray, Jr. stated concern about a private property owner on Boston Hill selling his property, and maybe blocking trails. Brown said they were aware of the problem and are going to route all the trails around that property.
Mayor Ken Ladner commented that Laurinda Wright of Silver City, USSSA Summer League President, Silver City Director, was recently inducted into the United States Specialty Sports Association Hall of Fame at the Las Cruces Convention Center for her work in T–Ball, baseball, fast-pitch, and slow-pitch, and also with youth, seniors and veterans.
Sgt. Ben Villegas of the Silver City Police Department spoke to the council about what happens after a citizen reports a burglary. Sometimes it takes a while to collect the evidence and currently there is an 8-month to 1-year wait for DNA samples to be run through the lab in Santa Fe, Villegas said.
In an answer to District 1 Councilor Cynthia Bettison, Villegas stated that evidence in the form of items recovered from a burglary might not be immediately returned to the owner as the district attorney may require its retention until the case is closed or rendered inactive.
Council approved a notice of intent ordinance regarding recycling pick up. Brown said that recycling containers would begin to be delivered to residents the second week of March. The containers will be green as opposed to the blue containers used for trash and will have pictures of recyclables on top to remind residents that only recycled material may be deposited in the green containers. There is no increase in rates planned, Brown said, except in certain situations where one dumpster is used by more than one business. There will be a break in rates for those 65 and older but they will receive only the smaller, 35-gallon container.
Another notice of intent ordinance was approved authorizing the issuance of bonds in the amount of $450,000 to replace utilities under Highway 15, according to Brown.
Raul Turrieta presented a proclamation from the New Mexico State Senate to Ladner declaring Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, as Silver City Territorial Charter Day, marking the 139th anniversary of the date the charter was signed into law by the legislature. Ladner then presented a proclamation to the council, which was accepted by Pro-Tem Mayor Bettison declaring Feb. 18, 2017 as Silver City Territorial Charter Day, saying the charter is a model for self-government.
Town Clerk Ann Mackie reportedthat early voting for the March 7, 2017 municipal election begins Feb. 15 and runs through March 3.
The only items on the ballot will be councilor positions for Districts 1 and 3, and only qualified electors from those districts are eligible to vote, Mackie told the Beat.
The single polling place will be at the Silver City Woman’s Club on Silver Heights Blvd, according to Mackie, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In final action, council re-appointed Steven Shelendich and Suzanne Gersherson to the Historic Design Review Committee, and approved changing the regular council meeting scheduled for
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 6 p.m. to Tuesday, March 21, 2017, at 6 p.m.