By Marty Mayfield
Raton City Commissioners dealt with a myriad of topics Tuesday evening October 25 at their regular meeting including hearing from Roy Fernandez the UMWA union representative, who represent three of the city unions, about the proposed changes to the personnel policies and collective bargaining ordinance.
The city introduced changes to the city ordinance that governs the personal policy and collective bargaining. The change will establish a Labor Management Relations Board to handle negotiations with a union should negotiations hit a stale mate. According to Fernandez this constitutes a significant change to the city ordinance that would negate its grandfathered status and require it to be subject to the Public Employee Bargaining Act or PEBA. (Link to section-33.28 of Personal Ordinance)
According to City Manager Scott Berry the city attorney has worded the changes to make sure it isn’t considered a significant change, and therefore doesn’t fall under PEBA. Fernandez was at odds with the way the board would be established and that appears to have come from a misunderstanding in communicating the changes in the ordinance. Since this is just an introduction there will be another public hearing on the matter before commissioners give their final approval to the changes later in November.
In other business, Commissioners approved Raton MainStreet’s Safe Trick or Treat event and the third annual Festival of Lights event. They also approved the Raton Chamber Halloween trick or treat event that will be held at Roundhouse Park on October 30th.
Land owners on the Old Pass represented by Steve Hayden, requested that the city limit access to the area because of vandalism, trash dumping and illegal shooting. Commissioner Ron Chavez noted that there had been one residence shot up multiple times and that roofing material and furniture had been dumped along the road. The city will look into a locked gate and even possibly deeding the road to a home owner’s association that will be responsible for their own road maintenance. Berry noted that the road is very low on the maintenance list for the city.
Commissioners also will setup a committee to review the animal ordinance submitted a few months ago by the Raton Humane Society.
The City is still needing volunteers for city boards. Neal Crowley applied for the lodger’s tax board, but the statute states the opening needs someone in the tourism sector to fill that position. The Commission appointed Stephanie Calabro to the ETZ zoning board.
Commissioners approved the Lodger’s Tax board recommendation to give Raton MainStreet $3000 for advertising of the upcoming holiday events.
Commissioners heard from City Treasurer Michael Ann Antonucci about the capitol assets inventory. She noted that it is finally complete and that all categories balance out. Commissioners certified the asset inventory for 2016.
Commissioners then approved the Financial Report noting that the GRT showed an increase of 10.1204% or $93.833.49 increase over what they budgeted. They also approved budget adjustment #3 for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2017. (Link to financial-report) (Link to budget-adjustment-3)
Commissioners then approved the new bid for the parking lot at the new Troy Street fire station after the original bid which included landscaping and other items was bid at well over the budgeted amount. Chief Jim Matthews noted that much of the other items could wait till next year to be taken care of. The bid for the paving project came it a $149,933, and was awarded to WM Serazio and Company. The fire department only had $150,000 available for the project.
Danielle Esparza gave a short report on the Juvenile Justice Grant application noting this one was much easier to create than it had been in past. The city is the fiscal agent for the grant and receives over $5000 to administer the grant for the Colfax County Juvenile Justice Continuum. The organization serves schools in both Colfax and Union counties.
City Manager Berry noted that city crews had spent time reworking buckled sidewalks and patching potholes this last week. He and Jason Phillips gave a presentation on the Great Blocks plan to the NM State MainStreet in Las Vegas last week.
3rd and 5th graders toured the recycle center and the flag poles at the Raton Veterans park across the street from Legion Park had been replaced. Lead abatement is continuing this week at the armory near the Crews Field Airport and should be completed soon. Once completed the city will get the deed for the property when the armory board meets in December.
Commissioners will meet again on November 8, 2016 at 6:00 pm in the commission chambers.