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During the Sierra County Commission’s May 19 regular meeting, board members confronted Sheriff Glenn Hamilton regarding the reported deputizing of volunteers from Truth or Consequence’s New Hope Revival Church. This incident was recorded and shared with many citizens through a YouTube video and later was reported by statewide media outlets. 

In response to recent allegations, Hamilton said the compilation of names and recognition of potential volunteers was an “absolutely symbolic initiative.” He went on to note the receipt of interest from many more potential volunteers and to explain how a formal vetting process could not be implemented until an actual need for volunteer deputies was recognized. 

While taking no formal action, following executive session discussion, commissioners directed county manager Bruce Swingle to secure an appointment with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to discuss both the sheriff’s conduct and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

•The commission’s May 19 session also included approval of an ordinance establishing a seasonal burn ban for unincorporated areas of Sierra County, as well as endorsement of the county’s 2020/2021 preliminary budget. 

•Board chairman James Paxon and the county manager further shared statements suggesting the state has achieved initial goals in curbing spread of the COVID-19 virus. Both said they felt the time had come to begin reducing restrictions.

•Commissioners further accepted an approximate $5,000 State Clean and Beautiful Grant, acknowledged the near completion of a contracted broadband study, and approved publication of an ordinance to establish direct deposit services for county employees. 

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