Voters were invited by CORE, or “Citizens for an Open and Responsible Edgewood,” to gather at Legacy Church Thursday evening to keep citizens up to speed prior to the election, and to emphasize the clear lines drawn between opposing sides of our current town council, according to Jerry Powers, one of the event’s organizers.

Roughly 60 to 70 people attended the socially-distanced meeting in person, which was led by Powers and attorney Adrian Terry, who has represented CORE’s positions in various lawsuits still pending. Additional viewers watched a livestream.

Terry said the genesis of the group came out of learning of the town’s interest in acquiring the Epcor water system either through purchase or condemnation.

The issue was that this letter was not made public by the town’s governing body, but by Epcor, and that discussions about the acquisition of the facility did not take place in an open forum, Terry said. The majority of attendees at the meeting were vocally opposed to the town taking over the water facility.

The rest of the presentation consisted of showcasing the various ways that mistrust has been fostered in Edgewood’s current governing body, and outlining the differences between at-large and districted elections.

Town councilors Sherry Abraham and Audrey Jaramillo were present at the meeting. Mayor Pro Tem John Abrams and Councilor Linda Holle, the other half of the town council’s familiar 2-2 split, were not present.

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Powers and Terry shared a clip of 1st Judicial District Judge Kathleen McGarry Ellenwood admonishing the council back in March. She called them to task for failing to do their jobs and take the necessary next steps toward the governmental transition with expediency.

Powers stated that Edgewood shouldn’t need to be ordered to follow the law, and laid the blame for the judge’s admonishment squarely at the feet of Abrams and Holle.

After highlighting several reasons why CORE members believe their group—which they say is not a political organization—is necessary to keep Edgewood citizens politically informed, the floor was opened up for public comment.

Overwhelmingly, vocal attendees of the meeting agreed with nearly everything said by Powers and Terry. However, when one gentleman mentioned that he thought it might be a good thing for the town to take over the Epcor water facility, he was lambasted by the rest of the congregation.

Former mayor Brad Hill took his turn at the microphone to say that with so many residents of Edgewood reliant on their own wells, he couldn’t support the town spending millions on a project that he and so many others would never benefit from.

In addition to voicing concerns about water, legal bills, roads funding, and a lack of kid-friendly options for children and families in Edgewood, a couple of commenters stated that they would be interested in running in the election.

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Terry said that, though he technically lives just outside the newly-drawn borders, even if he could run, he doubted that he would.

Powers also avoided stating that he would offer his own candidacy to the endeavor, but one attendee did volunteer that Powers is retired, and that he lives in District 2, which is the only district in the new plan without a current or recent council member residing within.

The deadline to register as a candidate for commissioner in the November general election is August 24, according to Powers, and he encouraged interested parties to contact the Santa Fe County Clerk’s office for the registration necessary forms at 505-986-6280.

Edgewood’s meetings are livestreamed on its Facebook page, and the agenda and other meeting materials are available at edgewood-nm.gov.