District 1 Councilor resigns
By Roger Lanse
District 1 Councilor Cynthia Bettison announced her resignation, effective immediately, at the end of the Silver City Town Council's Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, meeting. Bettison stated her reason for resigning was because of health issues.
Simon Ortiz and Eric Vreeland spoke to council about a chaotic meeting held the evening before regarding an upcoming golf tournament. They urged council to take an active part in retaining the present general manager, Jeff Sanchez, who has built a strong relationship with Silver City golfers. It seems the management at the golf course wants to replace him with someone with better credentials at a higher salary, according to Ortiz.
Town Manager Alex Brown said the town will be taking the golf course back come Sept. 30. The reason the town is taking it back, Brown said, is because under the present management group, OB Sports, the golf course was in the worst shape it had been in for the 20 years Brown has been town manager. "We're taking it over," Brown said, "because the course was in terrible shape, and, so, on the 30th we hope to continue the process we started in the spring with OB Sports and get that golf course in shape and make it a long-term success."
Dave Baker, owner of Bikeworks, asked council to revisit their approval last meeting of Ordinance 1305 which was concerned with shipping containers in historic districts and, which, Baker said, impacts his property. Brown stated he will get together with town staff and review the ordinance and visit with those who are impacted. The ordinance will not be enforced until it has been re-examined and people who are affected have a chance to comment, Brown said.
District 4 Councilor Cano stated, "I was pretty annoyed when, yet again, we have someone else come to work on this new Rec Center and still, still nothing, still not knowing anything about it. I think it's great that they came to work on it. I know they talked to people. I don't know who those people were. As the elected representative for District 4 you'd think maybe I'd get a phone call every now and then since the Rec Center is probably going to be in District 4? But, that hasn't happened. Again, the disabled members of this community – completely forgotten. So, I'm just going to keep beating that dead horse until somebody finally listens to me because that is an important part of the community and the people of District 4 need to be heard."
Brown told the Beat that in association with Western New Mexico University's School of Architecture some design work had been done on the new Rec Center.
Cano then urged the council to have work sessions prior to the council meetings so the public has a better opportunity to engage in the decisions, not just feel like council makes all the decisions without significant input from them.
Council approved an ordinance authorizing the issuance of gross receipts tax bonds in the amount of $8,500,000, about $4 million being earmarked for the new Rec Center, about $3.4 million to refinance, pay and discharge Series 2011 bonds and the rest for certain other costs associated with the issuance of these bonds.
Council approved postponing voting on amending the town's municipal code relative to "Cannabis Establishments."
Council approved Brown's 2023-2027 Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP). Brown listed the first seven as (1) Gough Park/City Hall/Rec Center for which $4,475,000 has been funded with $8 million remaining for 2023, (2) Ridge Road Street and Drainage Phase III for which $2,500,000 has been funded with $800,000 remaining for 2023, (3) Little Walnut improvements for which $1,275,000 has been funded with $6,725,000 remaining for 2023, (4) Vista de Plata drainage improvements with $1 million to be funded in 2023, (5) golf course irrigation with $450,000 to be funded in 2023, (6) historic waterworks rehabilitation phase 1 for which $294,390 has been funded with $720,000 remaining for 2023, and, (7) 32nd Street sidewalk and ADA improvements for which $147,000 has been funded with $503,000 remaining for 2023.
Marianne Bray and Lucy Whitmarsh, of Daughters of the American Revolution, came before council to receive a proclamation by Mayor Ken Ladner proclaiming Sept. 17-23, 2021, as Constitution Week.
Mayor Ken Ladner re-appointed Twana Sparks to the Cemetery Board.