Edgewood’s outgoing town council held its last meeting Dec. 15, and the incoming administration wasted no time in swearing in its five commissioners. Starting with an organizational meeting Jan. 3, Edgewood will operate under the commission-manager form of government.
The last meeting of the council followed fairly predictable lines, with almost no action taken in the 40-minute meeting.
With the town’s interim deputy clerk out sick, Mayor Pro Tem John Abrams wondered at the outset whether the meeting should be held; Councilor Linda Holle repeated her concerns that the governing body could not legally act without a sworn clerk.
About two dozen people attended the meeting virtually or tuned in to the town’s Facebook livestream, including some of the incoming commissioners.
After voting 3 to 0, with Holle abstaining, the council passed a resolution to advertise its vacant positions, which include town clerk, deputy clerk, and planning and zoning administrator.
The meeting then moved to comments from the councilors.
Councilor Audrey Jaramillo thanked the public and fellow Councilor Sherry Abraham in particular for her mentorship. She is the only member of the current governing body who will be on the new commission. “We’ll start the new year quickly on Jan. 3,” she said.
“It’s bittersweet to finally get to the end of my term,” Abraham said. She said she enjoyed her time on the town council, “trying to make Edgewood the best town in New Mexico.”
Holle said the experience was “challenging, educational and rewarding,” and thanking the town staff she said she got to know through attending events. “Sometimes it’s a thankless job,” she said.
Abrams said he was frustrated that under his leadership as Mayor Pro Tem, the town was able to get little accomplished. He did point to several projects that are in the works and funded. “I hope the incoming commission finds all project folders with all of their documentation laid out neatly and waiting for them.”
He also pointed to a just-completed audit and said the town has “a very, very healthy budget.”
Abrams added, “To my community, I apologize that under my leadership … we weren’t able to accomplish a whole lot. I definitely would have preferred otherwise.”
At the swearing-in on Dec. 16, the five commissioners drew cards to see which two of them would hold 4-year terms, and which would hold 2-year terms. That staggers the terms so that in future elections, the entire body doesn’t turn over.
Jaramillo noted that those who ran against opponents, Kenneth Brennan and Filandro Anaya, drew the high cards for 4-year terms.
That means that Jaramillo, Jerry Powers and Sterling Donner will each hold 2-year terms.