Among several action items addressed by the Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commission during the board’s June 24 regular meeting, was a decision to set aside a proposed ordinance (No. 714). This measure would have allowed the city “opt-in” to a state program permitting municipal elections to be scheduled to coincide with regular elections and managed by Sierra County authorities. While not reversing their expressed desire to “opt-in” commissioners were alerted to a new option, which would require commissioners to shorten their current terms by three months, instead of increasing their respective terms by one year and nine months, as stipulated in Ordinance 714. Commissioners agreed that shortening their terms would have less of an impact on voters and board positions, and in this regard, moved on to approve the publication of Ordinance No. 715, which would seek to “opt-in” and reduce board terms by three months. This measure will be duly published before returning to the board for final consideration next month.

•Commissioners received a full report on the past weekend’s brush fire surrounding Mims Pond. After expressing his personal appreciation for assistance provided by a wealth of neighboring volunteer fire departments, agencies and community members, T-or-C Fire Chief Paul Tooley detailed the fire’s progression from its ignition on Wednesday, June 17, through mop up operations on Saturday, June 20. While the blaze was ultimately brought under control, Tooley said a failure to properly manage the growth of brush around Mims Pond was a primary factor in the major conflagration. He encouraged commissioners to better address such growth throughout the city and in this light, mayor pro-tem Brendan Tolley said he would like to more closely examine related codes and discuss potential solutions in the near future.

•Commissioners approved the appointment of Sierra County manager Bruce Swingle and former commissioner Rolf Hechler as city representatives to the Sierra Vista Hospital governing board. Board members also endorsed the reappointment of Jeff Dornbusch and Ron Pacourek to the city’s Public Utility Advisory Board.

•Agreeing to pause for the acquisition of additional information, commissioners postponed consideration of a contract extension proposal for a communications tower located along North Kopra Street. 

•In other action, commission members approved renewed defense attorney contracts for the municipal court, and endorsed agreements with the state’s Children, Youth and Families Division and the T-or-C School District, to maintain operations of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council. Board members also approved two final quarter budget adjustments, and affirmed the appointment of mayor pro-tem Tolley as a voting member of the Sierra County Recreation and Tourism Advisory Board. 

•The morning’s session further included an update on the Ralph Edwards Park renovation project by parks and recreation department manager OJ Hechler. He outlined current efforts and plans to aggressively move forward with planned renovations over the coming weeks. During this period, Hechler said the facility would be secured with a perimeter fence for public safety. If all goes as currently planned, Hechler said he would expect this phase of the overall project to be completed and the park to be reopened at some point in September.

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