Councilor thanks employees who moved on from Edgewood

I would like to publicly thank Mr. Juan Torres, former Edgewood Clerk-Treasurer, Ms. Carla Salazar, former Edgewood Deputy Clerk and Ms. Tawnya Mortenson, former Edgewood Planning & Zoning Administrator, for their many years of dedicated service to the citizens of Edgewood.

Though you may not have had personal contact with any of these individuals, I can assure you that each of them worked well together and as experienced municipal employees in their respective fields, they have left the government of the Town of Edgewood in its best shape ever.

Here are some highlights:

Mr. Torres was instrumental in negotiating with Santa Fe County to acquire the old County Fire Department building located on the Frontage Road east of Dairy Queen for our growing Police Department. The 7,000 square foot building had been vacant since 2014 and Santa Fe County Manager Katherine Miller was happy to see the facility repurposed. Cost to the Town of Edgewood was $1 for a building almost four times larger than the original Police Department building.

Soon after Mr. Torres was hired, he discovered that the Taxation and Revenue Department didn’t have all of the businesses situated in Edgewood listed in Edgewood’s column for dispersal of Gross Receipt taxes. Hardly any of the many annexations done after the Town incorporated were sent forward to Tax and Rev after they were approved. The result was that many Edgewood businesses were being counted toward Santa Fe County and not to the Town of Edgewood. Juan, Carla and the rest of the staff went to work locating as many of those early annexations as possible and brought the evidence to Tax and Rev’s attention. Needless to say, Edgewood soon saw a rise in the amount of Gross Receipt taxes coming into the Town’s coffers.

From the day he started his job as Edgewood’s Clerk-Treasurer, Mr. Torres made a habit of improving the Town’s overall financial position and solvency. In that endeavor he has been quite successful. In 2016, there was approximately $800,000 in the Town’s bank account. Now at the end of Mr. Torres’ tenure as Clerk-Treasurer, the balance has increased to around $6,000,000. I’d say he has served the taxpayers of Edgewood well!

No history of Mr. Torres’ time in Edgewood would be complete without mentioning his and Ms. Salazar’s work to get the Town to adopt a Lodger’s Tax and set up a Board to administer it. Since the new hotel had been built and several bed and breakfasts were already open as well as the Route 66 RV Park, Juan and Carla decided the Town had the businesses in place to pay the tax and put that money to use promoting our Town and its attractions. Both the tax and the Board that administer it have been a resounding success. Many thousands of dollars have been raised and spent in an effort to put “heads in our beds”!

How fortunate we were to have Deputy Clerk Salazar on board! Part of the reason she was hired was that she had experience organizing community events. Hundreds of people have attended and enjoyed the Town’s Christmas tree lighting events, Water Fun Days and Brews on Bachelor outdoor parties, planned and organized by Ms. Salazar and her team. However, Ms. Salazar is a multi-talented individual. She assisted Planning and Zoning in reviewing land use matters, served the Town as a successful grant writer, and was the consummate professional in her dealings with State officials as well as in neighborhood informational meetings. She could also read a set of engineering plans as well as any engineer!

Planning and Zoning Administrator, Ms. Tawnya Mortensen, expanded the duties, responsibilities, and professionalism of her department. A Code Enforcement Officer was added to her staff and “Clean and Liens” were implemented for the first time in the Town’s history as a means to clean up properties that were unsanitary eyesores, and/or safety hazards. In addition, Ms. Mortensen implemented the use of a Technical Advisory Committee made up of other department heads to more quickly identify and resolve problems with land use applications before an applicant spends a lot of money needlessly.

Juan, Carla and Tawnya, many thanks for leaving the Town of Edgewood in better shape than you found it. You will be missed.

Councilor Linda Holle, Town of Edgewood

Community member says thank you as she retires

A huge THANK YOU to the East Mountain community for all the cards, gifts, hugs, and well wishes sending me off to retirement from the Salvation Army in Edgewood.

You are all the kindest, most loving people I have had the opportunity to work with. I thank God that I was counted faithful to serve my community. Thank you for sharing your lives and friendships with me. Love to you all!

Wishing you blessings and happiness.

Marsha Maxwell