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

Building safety administrator honored for retirement


Last updated 11/7/2020 at 6:13pm

CLOVIS — In what must feel like a lifetime ago, Louis Gordon came to a place he had never heard of called Clovis because Cannon Air Force Base was the only stateside base that house F-111 aircraft.

Gordon was honored for his second retirement at Thursday’s Clovis city commission meeting, following just over 22 years with the city. Tuesday is his final day as a building safety administrator.

After Mayor Mike Morris said somebody like Gordon simply isn’t replaced, the commission and city administrators expressed their appreciation for Gordon’s professionalism, knowledge of city code and ability to explain complicated matters in simple terms.

“We’ve seen a lot of changes, some good, some bad,” said former Building Safety Director Pete Wilt, who worked with Gordon 17 years. “There’s a lot to be thankful for, a lot to remember. It’s been a pleasure knowing you. You’ve been a very positive influence for the city of Clovis, and I wish you well with your future endeavors.”

Vincent Soule and Candace Morrison of the Planning and Zoning Committee also came to honor Gordon, with Morrison noting Gordon has always been helpful to the county assessor’s office and despite her happiness for him wishes he wasn’t leaving the position.

Gordon said he was grateful for his military opportunities, even though he originally planned to do one tour.

“I got married, and everything changed,” Gordon said. “I’m so glad that I did. Thank God for that opportunity. Thank God for the opportunity to serve this community for 22 years — actually 22 years, 10 months and 10 days.”

Gordon said he enjoyed his city career, and made great friends with the city and across the state through the New Mexico Municipal League.

• The city altered its agreement with the Eastern Plains Council of Governments on the distribution of $70,000 in CARES Act relief money.

The change centers on eliminating specific allowances of $25,000 for housing assistance, $25,000 for utilities assistance and $20,000 for childcare assistance and letting the $70,000 go in any portion to any of the three areas. The applications for housing and utility assistance are far outpacing those for childcare assistance, and the city doesn’t want the federal dollars unspent.

• Underground electrical boxes were approved for Greene Acres Park to aid in efforts to decorate the park with Christmas lights. City Manager Justin Howalt said volunteers would supply the lights and volunteers as long as the city could supply the utility access.

The five boxes will be installed at a cost of $7,137.38 in the north area of the park. If the utility upgrades are popular, and Howalt presumes they will be, the city will look at more boxes in the park’s west and east areas. The electricity access, Howalt said, could also provide benefits for the Smoke on the Water fireworks show and other events at the park.

• The city approved introducing ordinances that would raise garbage and sewage rates 5% next year and 5% in 2022. Public Works Director Clint Bunch said he wouldn’t anticipate another rate hike on garbage fees until around 2027 and that sewer fees hadn’t risen since 2010.

• The commission approved rate hikes for shelter rentals at all parks from $25 to $30 to match those charged at Ned Houk Park and Youth Recreation Building rental from $50 an hour to $65 an hour.

• Morris encouraged citizens to continue social distancing and wearing face coverings as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen in New Mexico and Curry County.

“Whatever you think about how it’s been handled (up to this point),” Morris said, “it’s affecting our community in a very real way and we need to think about that.”

• Commissioners approved $766,625 on items for various departments the city didn’t budget due to an unclear outlook on revenue during the budgeting process. Expenditures include a new ambulance, 25 new car computer cards for the Clovis Police Department, a landfill scraper hitch replacement and a garbage collection truck. Bunch said he may be able to get the garbage truck for $75,000 less than the $350,000 requested.

• The next meeting is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Nov. 19 at the North Annex of the Clovis-Carver Public Library.


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