Clayton announces resignation


June 9, 2019

David Grieder

Clayton announced her resignation with a "heavy heart" at the close of Thursday's commission meeting.

CLOVIS - After 39 years in Clovis and more than three representing its District 1, Clovis City Commissioner Ladona Clayton announced Thursday her resignation effective July 12.

Clayton, who also resigned this year from her superintendent position at Clovis Christian Schools, is pursuing a new position as head of school at Tyler Street Christian Academy in Dallas.

The announcement came at the close of Thursday's regular city commission meeting during the "future agenda items" section, when Clayton declared the "bittersweet" development with a "heavy heart" and some tears.

This will be Clayton's first time living outside of New Mexico, but she described the new position as "an opportunity we could not refuse." Clayton has a daughter in Dallas and will head there with her husband after two more commission meetings, following which the city has 30 days to fill the vacancy.

"Two more meetings, then I will close this chapter in my life," she told her fellow commissioners, who said they would miss her. "I appreciate learning from you and serving with you."

In a brief interview following the meeting, Clayton told The News she was "so honored to have the opportunity to serve" and pointed to her work in developing the city's Master Water Assurance Plan as one of her proudest contributions in working with other commissioners.

Also at Thursday's commission meeting:

• Presentation from Wilma Fulgham of a proclamation designating June 6-9 as the "49th Annual Pioneer Days Celebration," with keys to the city awarded to the visiting rodeo royalty. Mayor David Lansford told the rodeo court they "represent the finest qualities of an American, and that's what we appreciate the most."

• Unanimous approval of a motion from Commissioner Sandra Taylor-Sawyer to not participate in a multi-district lawsuit against manufacturers and suppliers of opioids. Taylor-Sawyer brought the item to Thursday's agenda and made her motion after discussion in the meeting among city commissioners, city manager Justin Howalt, police chief Doug Ford and fire chief Mike Nolen.

Nolen said data from 2013-17 showed 36 deaths in Curry County attributed to opioid overdose but that it would be difficult to determine which among those if any were linked to prescription opioids. Howalt said city staff "haven't been able to define the level of effort it would take" to delineate those figures, while Lansford, a pharmacist, said he believed the issue of prescription opioid abuse had abated recently and that "the regulatory methods are working."

Taylor-Sawyer concluded "we really do not have a large problem in this area and our time can be used to (address) other problems."

• Presentation from William Hall and Selmus Price for a proclamation declaring June 15 as this year's "Juneteenth Freedom Day" in Clovis.

• Presentation of honorary clocks to two distinguished city employees of the quarter: Chance Chenault with the fire department and Melissa Peacock with the finance department.


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