Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Meetings watch: City Commission — Oct. 3

The Clovis city commission met Thursday at the North Annex of the Clovis-Carver Public Library.

All commissioners and Mayor David Lansford were present. All action items listed passed on unanimous votes.

• The commission accepted a letter from City Manager Joe Thomas detailing his retirement plans and outlining his strategy.

Thomas plans to retire Nov. 1, 2015. He will stay on as city manager until a successor is picked, and assume the role of interim assistant city manager to assist with state Legislature and transition issues. After that point, which Thomas assumes will be mid-April, he will use accrued sick and personal leave and be paid any remaining balance on Nov. 1.

He will remain at his current rate of pay with full benefits, and will not be subject to personnel decisions once he begins using his leave. The letter was amended by the commission to begin that condition as of April 13, 2015.

• The commission approved recommendations for fee changes and additions from the Revenue Review Committee, which meets in August of every even-numbered year.

Among the changes were 50-cent and $1 increases for zoo visits for children/seniors and adults, respectively, and $10 increases for annual membership, with a 50-cent per person military discount.

City Attorney David Richards said Clovis Area Transit Service was considering a waiver of fees for veterans, but was researching whether such a waiver would violate the state’s anti-donation clause. Commissioner Sandra Taylor-Sawyer asked what the difference was between a zoo discount and a city bus discount. Thomas said one was a waiver and one was a reduction in fees, but Richards noted both have anti-donation implication, but that he is waiting on clarification from the state.

The commission approved the recommendations, and Richards said he would come back with changes if necessary before the new fees begin Jan. 1.

• The commission issued a proclamation naming Friday as Clovis High School Wildcadette Day, to coincide with the team reunion and performance during the Wildcat football team’s game against Wolfforth Frenship.

Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, a member of the team in 1978, read the proclamation and noted that the sisters of Commissioner Fidel Madrid and a daughter for Commissioner Bobby Sandoval were also Wildcadettes.

• Brian Daly, district manager for EPCOR Water, said the city used 156 million gallons of water in September, for an average of 5.2 million gallons per day, which is a 46 percent average usage of daily pumping capacity. Daly said the usage never rose above 70 percent capacity, largely due to a wet month. The average September has 2.6 inches of rain. Daly cited a rain figure of 4.15 inches for the month.

• City Engineer Justin Howalt recognized the staff of the wastewater treatment plant for receipt of a Good Housekeeping Award, and noted it was the sixth such award in 10 years for the crew.

“It’s a privilege for me to work with these guys, and I wanted to publicly acknowledge the fine work they do,” said Howalt, who noted that wastewater treatment is not a particularly pleasant task.

• Proclamations were read declaring Saturday as both Trek for Trash and Tour de Taco Day in the city.

Commissioner Fidel Madrid advised all citizens to take part in the Saturday trash pickup, which starts 8 a.m.. at 500 Sycamore.

Commissioner Tom Martin, who is organizing the Tour de Taco bicycle event that goes between Taco Box locations in Portales and Clovis, noted the event benefits the Boy Scouts and delivered the proclamation to Jackson Russell of Troop 226.

• The commission approved an agreement with Consensus Planning for $44,600 to prepare a revised 10-year master plan for parks and recreation in the city.

The item was originally on the consent agenda, but was pulled by Commissioner Randy Crowder for clarifying questions. He asked what account the money was coming from, and was told it was from remaining from the 2011 parks and recreation bond renewal. He also asked about public input opportunities, to which Legislative and Community Development Director Claire Burroughes said the city would discuss the matter over several public parks and recreation meetings, through online and randomly-mailed surveys, a town hall meeting and when the final recommendations go to the city commission. Crowder, satisfied with the answers, moved for approval.

— Compiled by staff writer Kevin Wilson