By Lynn Janes

The Silver City Town Council held a regular meeting February 27, 2024. Attendance to the meeting included Mayor Ken Ladner, council members included Guadalupe Cano, Rudy Bencomo, Nicholas Prince, and Stan Snider.

Council comments

Snider said he attended the event for “Fight like a Girl”, and it had been a good event and said he would be glad to see them have an office at the new recreation center.

Prince said it had been a busy month but asked people to reach out. He invited people to attend the meet-and-greet that PFLAG will be holding at the Unitarian Universal Fellowship church on April 12 for the new wellness room teacher that will be working in the school district. “Behavioral health care has been a conversation in the community for a long time.”

Bencomo wanted to recognize Cano for her interaction on Facebook concerning the lack of a new swimming pool at the recreation center that will be built. He invited everyone to attend the Easter event at the Fine Arts Auditorium.

Cano thanked code enforcement for everything they do. She had worked with them and saw what they do and the process. She hoped to see something on CATS that will explain all they do.

Cano has received several calls from people complaining about specific employees or departments. The council does not get involved in day-to-day activity. “When someone brings these kinds of things to me, I just hand it over to the town manager.” She said if people have a problem, they should call the town manager or assistant town manager. The council can’t get involved.

Ladner thanked the town employees for all they do. Recently he had read about a few officers that had lost their life in the line of duty. When the firefighters or police officers leave home sometimes, they don’t return. “It is a dangerous job, and we owe them thanks.”

Public input

Linda Rakestraw said she represents her neighbors and lives on Chihuahua Hill. She wanted to spread the awareness of the climate emergency and need for people to be walking downtown to stop the oil and gas emissions. “The homeless is a big problem here and across the country. It is bigger here than it ever has been.” She went on to say they must be out in the elements and with global heating going through the roof this summer it will be a problem. “They have nowhere to go, elderly have nowhere to go. If we have a power outage and the swamp coolers go, we will have a problem.” She asked about all the empty buildings and why couldn’t they be used for the homeless. “They would have somewhere to go to be treated decently instead of being arrested for doing something they can’t help.” She hoped for another meeting concerning the homeless. She said two had died in the Big Ditch. “It is not Christian; they are like you and me.”


Senator Siah Correa-Hemphill attended the meeting to give the council an update on the past legislative session in Santa Fe. She thanked them for attending Grant County Days and Cano for her involvement with the Disability Awareness Day. It helped make the Roundhouse more accessible for everyone.

It had been a busy session with the largest number of legislative pieces introduced. They had 777 pieces of legislation consisting of bills, resolutions, and memorials. They had 111 governor and executive messages issued and 30 days to pass the budget. They had limited time to hear and pass bills but 107 had made it through.

They had set a lot of money aside for the homeless. “It was a challenge to get the resources needed here.” They had been able to lower the tax rate for many New Mexicans and has given a 3 percent raise to state employees. They had increased the legacy fund that has been set aside for land and water conservation. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) funds for the elderly and disabled had been increased.

As a senator she has funding of $800,000 that they refer to as grow money. It will be going to Southwest Council of Governments for senior food security, arts and cultural events and Tour of the Gila. They had been able to secure $70 million for the highway 180 improvements. This part of the funding will start at the railroad tracks in Hurley and end at the county line around the turn off to City of Rocks.

They had secured $83 million total for Grant County. Most of the funding would go to Silver City. She named a few of the projects funded, $500,000 Annex renovations, $100,000 Silva Creek Trail, and $175,000 Silco Theater.

She worked with Senator Padilla to secure $30 million for the workforce and apprenticeship trust fund. This will be helpful to Grant County. They also secured over $1 billion for health care initiatives in the state. CYFD has had a lot of problems and they secured $1.5 million for that department.

Ladner, Cano, and Prince thanked her for her hard work.

Managers Report

Alex Brown, town manager, turned the report over the Fire Chief Milo Lambert. The ISO (Insurance Services Office) collects and evaluates the fire capabilities of each department and issue sa PPC (public protection classification) to be a predictor in fire mitigation. Insurance companies use the PPC to generate premiums in a community. A good PPC classification can significantly help lower premiums. The state also uses this information to distribute funding to the fire departments based on that classification. This pays for equipment and training.

Every year ISO publishes all the departments that have obtained a class 3 PPC and in 2023, nationwide 3,826 had the class 3 PPC. In November of 2023, Silver City had their inspection and have gone from a class 4 to a class 3 effective July 1, 2024. Lambert said this happened because of a lot of work for years and many had been involved in helping to obtain that classification. They look at every aspect of the fire department.

Bencomo asked him specifically what they use to evaluate them. Lambert said they spent about six months preparing for the evaluation. They review hydrants, water supply, testing records, training, personnel, equipment, vehicles, and every aspect of the fire department. They review financial information and utilities. Another part they review are all the telecommunications that includes number of dispatchers, speed of response to calls, number of communication lines, and other criteria. The department turned over five 3-inch binders with seven years of information. Bencomo told him how proud he was they had achieved that status.

New business

The council postponed the approval of resolution 2024-07 for fiscal year audit 2023. Mike Stone, Stone McGee, and Company had not been able to attend. Brown said he could say the audit had no findings and an excellent audit. He thanked the finance staff.

The council approved three private celebration permits. One will be for Tour of the Gila VIP beer garden liquor license holder Little Toad Creek, and it will be held at 601 N Bullard Street 1:00pm to 6:30pm. The next one will be for the Continental Divide Trial Days and Earth Day liquor license holder Open Space Brewery and will be held at Gough Park noon to 3:00pm. The last one will be a block party liquor license holder Q’s Southern Bistro held at 101 E College noon to 10:30pm.

Ordinance 1328 notice of intent did not pass. This ordinance had been brought forward by Prince.

Cano had concerns on how it had been written. It says dogs annoying humans, how do they quantify annoying. Emitting noxious odors, that can lead in a lot. Most concerning if you have a dog you have to have a fence. “If someone is poor, they can’t have a pet and that is not fair. “ Fences can be very expensive. The other part was that people can’t put up a fence when the line of sight obstructs traffic. That would mean anyone on a corner could not have a pet. “This will cause more problems for code enforcement and a lot of angry constituents, and I am opposed.”

Bencomo pointed out that he has a dog, and they can be in the backyard and if someone comes to the front door his dog knows and barks. A fence would not help.

Prince addressed their concerns and agreed with some things but said many of the things have been on the ordinance and he just clarified it.

Cano had concerns about some of the statements he had made, and Prince clarified them.

Code Officer Vicki Toney addressed the council with her concerns. One of the parts of the ordinance says reasonable privacy and she said that would be very vague and harass and annoy would be the same. They need more defined definitions.

Thomas Hernandez, code enforcement, “The way this is written I could be cited daily.” He said he had a dog in a fence, and it will bark at the mailman but then settles down and could not do anything to change that. Having to put up a fence just because someone reports being annoyed just walking by does not make sense. Even with a wall they will bark so then you would have to put in a soundproof wall. Currently the code has a parameter of being able to cite someone if the dog barks for 10 minutes straight or 30 minutes intermittently and has not been provoked.

Prince asked to table the ordinance since he has heard the feedback from animal control and would like to review and reintroduce at another time. Some confusion took place. Cano made a motion to approved because you cannot make a motion to not approve. She made it clear she would not approve. For the vote three voted no and Prince abstained. The ordinance failed.

Town attorney Jim Reynolds explained notice of intent to adopt ordinance 1327. The mayor had asked him to meet with animal control and go over the nuisance part of the ordinance and they had met. Toney said that a particular part of the ordinance they never use due to it being vague and confusing and duplicates other parts of the ordinance. Some of the wording has not been used traditionally with animal control ordinances but used in criminal ordinances. This would delete that section that duplicates and uses confusing and vague terminology. The council approved and Prince abstained. Ladner said he felt it to be important that neighbors learn to work together to solve problems.

The council approved the mayor’s appointment of Susan Mittelstadt to the planning and zoning commission.

Meeting adjourned.

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option above this to the right, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a simpler option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

It has come to this editor's attention that people are sending information to the Grant County Beat Facebook page. Please be aware that the editor does not regularly monitor the page. If you have items you want to send to the editor, please send them to Thanks!

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.