The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

New commission to resolve license issue


Last updated 3/31/2020 at 2:46pm

Courtesy photo

New Clovis Mayor Mike Morris, left, with wife Sara Morris, is ceremonially passed the gavel by outgoing Mayor David Lansford following his swearing-in ceremony Monday.

CLOVIS - The new Clovis city commission will have a liquor license issue to resolve and a healthcare emergency to consider when it meets for the first time with a new mayor and two new commissioners Thursday.

The meeting, due to state restrictions on attendees at gatherings, will be broadcast on Suddenlink Channel 10, online at and

It begins at 5:15 p.m.

Anybody with questions or comments can call 575-763-9200 during the meeting.

The meeting will be the first with Mike Morris as mayor. Additionally, there are two new commissioners - Leo Lovett in District 1 replacing David Robinson and Lauren Rowley in District 2 replacing Sandra Taylor-Sawyer.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the subject of the emergency declaration, which would "authorize the exercise of necessary emergency power and expenditure of available resources, as well as the requesting and accepting of aid, assistance and relief programs and funds available from the state of New Mexico, the federal government and others."

The declaration would give City Manager Justin Howalt broad power to change city operations and policies as may be necessary or proper in light of the emergency. Listed powers include authority to extend due dates for payments or delaying the consequences of delinquent payments, expend any available funds for COVID-19 emergency purposes, set travel policies for employees, loosen sick leave rules and change hours during which city offices and departments are available to the public.

The commission will also take another look at a distance waiver request for the Guadalajara restaurant's liquor license transfer. The item was tabled last Thursday.

The plan is for the restaurant to move into the Master's Centre, but it would share the building with Wayland Baptist University's Clovis branch. Students and officials from WBU told the commission they had concerns alcohol service would upset the atmosphere of the building where many students study and possibly put students in danger.

Applicant Sid Strebeck said social alcohol is a difficult thing for any restaurant to be without, and noted the last thing he wants to do is change the building's atmosphere.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control office did a site visit and told Strebeck WBU-Clovis didn't fit the definition of a school for licensing concerns and granted preliminary approval of the license. A liquor license application requires an establishment be more than 300 feet from a school or church, or get a waiver from the local control board.

The commission, based on ABC's determination, approved the liquor license transfer under the caveat it might deal with a distance waiver request down the road.

Following that meeting and two weeks after the initial site visit, the state office reversed course - ruling WBU-Clovis did fit the school definition and that a distance waiver would be required.

After a back-and-forth discussion, Commissioner Robinson said he felt the newly elected commission should have the final say.

Other items on the agenda include:

• Selection of a new mayor pro tem, who performs mayoral duties when the mayor is not available. District 1 Commissioner Juan Garza currently serves in the position.

• Re-appointment of Terry Potter to the Senior Services Committee.

• Re-appointment of Lisa Pellegrino-Spear, Jamaal Williams and Joyce Gates to the Parks, Recreation and Beautification Committee. Michael Koss, a region commission for American Youth Soccer Association, would also be appointed as the committee's representative from an organization utilizing local parks.

• A request to award fencing work to Edgar Flores Construction and Two Horse Construction at Hillcrest Park. The fencing project was divided into three separate bids - one for the parks and public works complex, one for the Clovis Fire Department and AYSO fields and one for the Little Safari fence. Flores was the low bidder for the first two totaling about $92,500 with Two Horse getting the third at $15,600.


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