By Lynn Janes
The town of Bayard held a regular town meeting May 9, 2022. The meeting started with Mayor Pro tem Raul Villanueva calling the meeting to order and leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Attendance at the meeting included Mayor Pro tem Raul Villanueva and councilors, Jose Diaz and Frances Gonzales. Mayor Chon Fierro and councilor Eloy Medina did not attend.
Before the meeting started a brief work session took place to address several points in the regular meeting.
The council approved the agenda for the meeting
Ralf Jimenez with the Copper Little League wanted to let the council know they had a camera system installed and will get them access to the system. He thanked the maintenance department for the field being so well taken care of. He informed them that there would not be any all-star tournaments and the season would be over by June 4, 2022. He pointed out that the system had only cost them around $400 but probably would not be the high definition they needed for the city properties.
Mr. Ortiz, a resident, asked the council if they could use the little league field for some games this coming weekend between Bayard, Silver City, and Cliff. Jimenez said he was not opposed to them using it. Ortiz said the event is not a sanctioned little league tournament, the games are just for fun.
Diaz thanked him for coming but pointed out in the past he had been turned down because of no insurance. Jimenez said he had a way around that, parents can sign a waiver. Diaz asked who would pay for maintenance to go clean up and pick up trash. Diaz said the council doesn't have a problem with them using it but why should Bayard have to clean up. Ortiz said they had cleaned up before and Diaz said they had not. Diaz also pointed out that he had waited until the last minute to ask. Diaz asked chief Carrillo if he would be able to be there and Carrillo said yes. Jimenez said they could use the little league's insurance.
Diaz pointed out the decision wasn't an action item on the agenda but if they can assure the council by Friday that they have insurance they can approve the use. Diaz asked Ortiz to please in the future plan ahead. Villanueva suggested that all the teams help clean up afterward.
Steve Gabaree, a resident, addressed the board concerning the junk yard near him, M and M Garage. He said the problem never gets solved and the problems keep getting worse. Villanueva asked if code enforcement had been by. Chief Carrillo said he had not received any calls from code enforcement. He said he had some ideas on how to solve the problem that he would get with Clerk Kristina Ortiz later. Gabaree said Mayor Fierro said he would have code enforcement there every day and cited every day. Diaz said he had been made aware that code enforcement had gotten some bad information from the municipal court. Villanueva suggested that Gabaree and chief Carrillo get together and if the city needs to sue him than that must happen.
Gonzales said she had some ideas on how to rectify the problem and would get with Chief Carrillo later.
Gonzales announced that May 10, 2022, starts early voting. She encouraged everyone to vote. Early voting is held at Silver City clerk's office Monday through Friday 8 am to 5pm. Also, early voting can be done at the Bayard community center Tuesday through Saturday 9am-6pm, beginning May 21, 2022. Early voting ends June 4, 2022.
The council approved the consent agenda which included the accounts payable report, minutes from the regular meeting April 25, 2022, and April 2022 fire report. Also included in the approval was Judge Sandoval's attendance to municipal judges conference and Mike Paez's attendance to NMRWA (New Mexico Rural Water Association) annual conference to finish his certification.
In the work session they had some discussion about the consent agenda and chief Carrillo had an announcement. Carrillo said he had gone to a police chief meeting the previous Friday and had some information to pass on to the council. At the meeting they received information about a YouTube first amendment group targeting towns and trying to cause problems to get arrested and then they sue the town. Apparently, it happened in Deming eight months ago. The advice given was to ignore them and not fall into arguing with them. Carrillo said he would set up trainings with employees concerning the possible problem.
Carrillo said WNMU attended the meeting and offered a 30 percent discount for first responders. Risk management attended and had good information for them.
Diaz asked the fire chief if Hurley compensated them when Bayard responded for them, and the answer was no. He said Bayard needs to see about changing that. Ortiz said they must pay a medical director $2,000 a year and Hurley pays part of that. Santa Clara does not pay any part.
Gonzales asked if the city paid for the judge to go to the conference and Ortiz said yes.
They discussed why Paez would be going to the conference and it was confirmed that by his attending, it will finish his certification that he needs for the job.
Larry Ojinaga had sent the council some concerns to be addressed. Villanueva went through them and let everyone know where the issues stood.
The highway 356 project has gotten the preliminary design complete. They had been having problems with variances concerning non-ADA compliance but should be done by the end of the year.
On the issue of a burned house, a letter sent to the owners give them six months to fix the problem. There has been contact with them and the letter had been sent April 18, 2022. Carrillo said the code enforcement officer had reached out to him for guidance because of concern for the second house owned by the same people. Carrillo said they need to fix the first house and then start on the second since the people seem to be cooperating. He said, since he is now aware of the situation, he will keep an eye on it.
Mr. Ojinaga's last item of concern had to do with the railroad repairs. Ortiz said the repairs would be headed up by the state and as of this past Friday they were working on getting estimates. The gates and lights will be removed. When the railroad is used, they will be responsible to have flaggers. It will all be reconstructed.
Villanueva said he would continue to follow up.
Rudy Martinez attended to get an update on the wastewater project. Ortiz said the bidding ends May 10, 2022, and next meeting she will have some information. They only have two contractors submitting bids. Martinez said he had some ideas and will share the information with Ortiz later. There are some rural development grant programs to look into.
The council approved $40,382 for repairs on the lift station. Ortiz said this amount is tentative and they are looking for more quotes, but this will get it working for at least a few years.
Ordinances and resolutions
The council approved the new fire proclamation. The proclamation takes effect immediately and comes with a $300 fine for nonadherence. Campfires, open grills, and weed burning are prohibited in the town limits. Ortiz said it will not address fireworks but can be done separately. The council asked that fireworks be put on the next agenda. Gonzales said the governor wrote a very detailed report encouraging municipalities to adopt restrictions.
The council went in to closed session to discuss limited personnel matters, items related to threatened or pending litigations and real property.
The council came back to open session and since no action needed to be taken, they didn't report on the closed session.
Mayor and councilors reports
Diaz said he met with Anthony Aveles, maintenance to get information on the Dayhill project and he said it would be done at the end of June if all the equipment needed is received. Diaz told Jason Jaeger he knew $40,000 was not much, but they know the problem and know the importance of it. He assured him the city will be working hard at finding funding. He thanked the fire department, Bayard beautification committee, and added they have a bingo coming up Sunday, at the Bayard community center at 5pm. He wished the new police chief luck and thanked all the people for coming.
Gonzales announced the housing committee meeting on May 18, 2022, 4pm – 5-pm and the budget meeting the same day at 5pm and invited everyone. She said the state legislature has several committees for funding and will get on one of them. "I need to take a tour of the wastewater plant and learn more about it so I can explain the importance of us getting funding." She added that the council is looking at more money for the employees. She thanked everyone for coming and keeping them accountable. She thanked Ortiz and the office for all their hard work. She reminded everyone to vote and get to know the candidates. The voting times and places are on the bulletin board in city hall.
Diaz remined everyone about the election. He cautioned the city employees that they had to be neutral. No signs on city property, it's illegal. Ortiz said in the future maintenance needs to just go get them and take them down.
Jaeger remined the board that the $40,000 is just a Band-aid®.
Police chief Carrillo didn't have any comments but earlier in the work session he had told the council he had five uncertified candidates to interview and wanted to know if he could proceed. The council told him to proceed. He offered to have any of the councilors on the interview committee. Gonzales said she wanted to be on that committee. Diaz said the council needs to leave the department heads alone and let them do their jobs. "We should not be on any hiring panels; we are here to approve or disapprove." Villanueva told him to get with Ortiz and start advertising.
Diaz said the public wants to see more officers. He said the city is budgeted for any training needed.
Ortiz asked the council if they had any questions for her. Previously in the work session she had given them an update on security cameras and alarm systems she had been asked to look into. Vivit quoted her $6,000 for equipment and a monthly fee of $85. This includes nine indoor units and seven outdoor. She said she called Xfinity and they are no longer taking customers.
Villanueva thanked all the staff for their hard work. He said it has been a trying time, but the city has moved forward. He commented on getting more people with the new meeting time. He said: "We are here to make things better." He said they know the town has issues but must abide by rules and law. Coming up will be a lot of activity, especially with graduation. He asked Ortiz to make a proclamation for next meeting to recognize the accomplishments of the graduates.
Upcoming budget work session will be May 12, 2022, at 5:30 pm
Next regular meeting will be May 23, 2022, at 5:30 pm