While its embattled town council decided to replace a totaled Edgewood Police Department cruiser, there’s still no decision on how Edgewood will go about electing its district representatives.
A petition and subsequent special election in Edgewood led to a change in the town government’s format from its current mayor-council to a commission-manager style. The first commissioners are due to be elected in the November general election. The council must decide whether voters will elect commissioners at large or only from within their district.
The issue, according to Mayor Pro Tem John Abrams, is an “unclear” order of operations that needs to be executed leading up to the election. How does the town go about communicating its preferred method of election to the office of the Secretary of State?
Should the town council issue an ordinance or a resolution? Once issued, does the ordinance or resolution get submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State, or does it go to the Santa Fe County Clerk?
A letter to the council from the Secretary of State’s office answered none of those questions, Abrams said.
The Mayor Pro Tem suggested that the council solicit the opinion of the Attorney General’s office regarding next steps to take in the interest of “doing it right.” This notion was backed by councilor Linda Holle.
Abrams said he had spoken at length with the Santa Fe County Clerk regarding what to do next, and said it was her recommendation that he get in touch with either the Secretary of State or the Attorney General’s office. Her task is simply to manage the election, not dictate how it is to be held, Abrams said.
Councilor Sherry Abraham asked Abrams if he planned to send letters from Edgewood citizens stating their preference to the Attorney General’s office.
To this query, he responded, “Why would I?”
If he’s asking a government official for guidance on a procedural matter, the opinions of constituents on how districting is set up don’t matter, Abrams said.
In other business, Larry Hall, chief operator for the Town of Edgewood’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, delivered a report on the first quarter.
Tearing plates within the cassette filters is still ongoing, and plans are in place to install a functional screen that would eliminate the introduction of destructive debris, Hall said.
As of now, all water diverted into alternate disposal sites is being tested, and all samples indicate readings within the requirements of the discharge permit, he said.
Abraham asked about an anomaly within the Monthly Flow Data Report. During the month of February 2021, the average daily flow of gallons of wastewater through the facility peaked at 70,100 gallons, an increase of over 162% from January 2021. February’s flow also exceeded March’s peak daily flow by over 69%.
When asked about this, Hall said that he noticed it as well. He said that, though the number as a monthly average looks alarming, when he investigated, the increase in water flow was due to a couple consecutive days in February where the average daily flow exceeded the average 30,000 gallons per day.
Abraham asked if the jump in gallons per day indicated a blockage or leak that had backed up then broken loose.
Hall said that, after some quick math, he recognized that any blockage that could cause an extra 40,000 gallons of water per day over a two-day period would have had to have been a 5-mile-long blockage within a 6-inch sewer pipe, which was “mathematically impossible,” he said.
Hall said the increase could easily have been due to just a couple hours’ use of a garden hose.
Edgewood Police Chief Darrell Sanchez asked for a budget increase of $40,000 to replace a police vehicle.
He said on April 28,officer Rodriguez was T-boned by a red-light runner. The officer escaped with minimal injury, but repairs on the cruiser were estimated to exceed the value of the car, Sanchez said.
After much searching for a replacement vehicle, one was located in Denver for $34,678, and it will take an additional $5,445 to strip and reinstall all necessary law enforcement equipment, he said.
When Councilor Audrey Jaramillo asked about insurance reimbursement for the destroyed car, town clerk Juan Torres said a claim was submitted, but there was no word yet on how much compensation will be offered for the vehicle.
In the meantime, said the chief, the department can’t afford to be down a cruiser. Abrams agreed, and expressed an urgency to the purchase, as suitable police vehicles are hard to find, he said. The council agreed.
Daniel McGregor, secretary and treasurer of the Estancia Basin Water Planning Committee, asked for another $2,000 in continued support from the town with the hopes of eventually expanding well monitoring further east and south.
Abrams spoke in favor of the allotment, and said the issue would be brought to a vote at the next council meeting.
Boy Scout Troop #465 was also in attendance at the virtual meeting. On the way to earning their Citizenship in the Community merit badge, each Scout also donated eight volunteer hours at the East Mountain Food Pantry in Tijeras. The merit badge is required in order for the Scouts to continue on to an Eagle Scout ranking.
The meeting concluded with shared acknowledgment of the successes of the Santa Fe County Earth Day event at the Senior Center, the trash pick up at Venus Park, the tree seedling giveaway at town hall, and a second vaccination event at Walmart.