Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Citizen wants referrendum on strip club

Staff writer

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The Curry County Commission was asked by a resident why a referendum has not been called in regards to the possible and much-disputed gentlemen’s club.

Also, the commission approved pay raises Friday for elected county officials and county employees.

“This so-called gentlemen’s club bothers me,” said resident Bill Thompson to the commission. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m a gentleman. I care about women. I wouldn’t be found in a place like that.”

Thompson, who said he’s lived in Clovis for more than 30 years, said the county commission has the authority to order a referendum of the people to see whether they want the gentlemen’s club or not.

Commissioners Wendell Bostwick and Robert Sandoval said they were willing to start the process of an ordinance, though neither specified what the ordinance would be. They said they were willing to place the ordinance as a discussion item under future agenda items.

However, Sandoval and Bostwick cautioned the county may face litigation should something not be done correctly.

“We need to find out exactly what we can do without having somebody sue the county for $5 million dollars just because we didn’t do our homework,” Sandoval said.

“There are hoops that we have to jump through to do it,” Sandoval continued. “And, if we don’t do it right, we end up losing, and losing a lot of money besides in a lawsuit.”

“Are you telling me that you’d be sued if you do the will of the people?” Thompson asked, this time demanding a “direct answer” as to why the county commission won’t consider calling for a vote of the people.

Thompson said the commission does not care about the will of the people.

“This is what’s under test here,” he said. “This is what’s under fire.”

Sandoval said his primary job is to take care of the county’s tax funds.

“That’s what I was elected to do,” Sandoval said.

Resident Carolyn Spence said an ordinance issued by citizen request is possible.

“We need an ordinance ... regarding adult entertainment centers,” Spence said, “You just are going to have to do it.

“We have a county commission,” she said. “As our government, you are the ones that have the authority to protect the people in our county.”

Sandoval said he agreed with Spence, stating that he “will do anything in my power to see that we can get something done.”

The commission — which was missing members Ben McDaniel and Tim Ashley — unanimously approved pay raises for county elected officials and county employees.

County Manager Lance Pyle suggested a 5 percent increase in pay for elected officials. Commission Chairman Frank Blackburn moved to approve a 10 percent increase.

The pay raise takes effect Jan. 1, 2015 for the elected positions of sheriff, assessor, probate judge and Commission District 1 and 3 positions.

The raise will go into effect Jan. 1, 2017, for the elected positions of clerk, treasurer and Commission Districts 2, 4 and 5.

County employees will receive a 4 percent increase in their pay effective Aug. 31.

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