Another Edgewood town meeting meant another failed attempt to meet a July 5 deadline to notify the Santa Fe County Clerk of Edgewood’s decision regarding its special election in November.
Whether the town’s five commissioners, representing the town’s five freshly created districts, will be elected at-large in the special election—meaning commissioners would be elected by all voters regardless of the district they reside in, or as single-member districts, wherein candidates would live within their respective districts—remains undecided.
Public comment was moved up to the opening portion of the meeting so callers could voice their opinions before the council debated the topic.
The majority of callers who spoke on the election indicated a preference for an at-large voting style, while only one caller expressed ambivalence to a preference.
Councilors Audrey Jaramillo and Sherry Abraham have long voiced their preference for the at-large election style, while Mayor pro tem John Abrams and Councilor Linda Holle have yet to voice an opinion.
Abrams and Holle have maintained their concern with the process, namely that the “vehicle” to most effectively implement the election resolution needs to be in accordance with the law.
Abraham made a motion to pass a Town of Edgewood Election Resolution, which would have made a decision to conduct that election at-large, but Abrams and Holle took issue with its wording and voted against the measure.
Abrams said last month that he’d requested an opinion from the Attorney General’s office on the best way to go forward with the election resolution, but as of Wednesday night, he’d still not heard back.
With the July 5 deadline approaching, Wednesday’s meeting marked the last time the council was scheduled to meet prior to a decision needing to be submitted.
This prompted Jaramillo to ask, if no word is received from the AG’s office by July 5, “What happens then?”
“We will do what we need to do,” said Abrams, who went on to say that he’s “plying the Attorney General’s office on a regular basis. We will hear from the Attorney General if I have to go sit on his front porch,” he said.
Abrams said he would request a special meeting of the town council to discuss any advice obtained from the AG’s office once it’s received.
One point that all council members agreed on was reopening of town hall. In recent weeks, several public commenters and Abraham and Jaramillo had asked Abrams to reopen town hall, but he declined, saying that he would follow the example of the state.
With the state scheduled to reopen fully on July 1, with no pandemic restrictions, Abrams made a motion to reopen town hall at the same time. The council agreed, though the library remains under construction and closed to the public.
As has become common at Edgewood’s meetings, councilors traded snide comments and barbs. At one point, while discussing the wording in the submitted election resolution, Holle said that she objected to voting on any resolution submitted with several changes in red print, other passages stricken through entirely, and no consensus on how the resolution should read.
“I think we need a clean copy that doesn’t need any editing,” she said.
Jaramillo chided Holle for claiming an inability to effectively read and understand the document, saying, “[Y]ou’re a librarian; you can read red letters and strike-outs.”
Jaramillo further said that if Holle wanted a clean copy, she should have submitted one herself prior to the meeting, and that all councilors have edited documents together in the past, so she didn’t understand why Holle was taking issue with this edited document.
“That’s right, but I would never turn anything like this in for a resolution,” Holle said.
“She had to show what was going to be changed, honey,” said Jaramillo.
This prompted a quick response from Abrams: “Councilors, let’s watch it.”
Other actions taken at the meeting included the hiring of Kyle Elliott to the Edgewood Police Department, and the passing of a 30-day fireworks ban within the town, which will take effect once Santa Fe County officially accepts it on June 29.
The meeting wrapped up with some announcements for the town. The Chuckwagon Supper Shows will resume at Wildlife West Nature Park on June 26. Movies in the Park will also resume on June 26 with a showing of “Onward.”
Clerk Juan Torres said that the community bulk dump event was a success, with over 160 residents participating. He also mentioned “an unfortunate uptick in illegal dumping” at E.C.H.O. Park, so bulk dumping events could continue in the future.