During a public hearing held prior to their regular meeting, the Bayard City Council voted Monday to reject M&M Auto’s application for a city business license renewal.
Resident Steve Gabaree, who lives near the auto shop, opened the hearing by presenting a letter detailing his experiences and the city guidelines on zoning, and asked the council to disapprove the license.
M&M owner Marisa Valenzuela said that the business is currently working on fixing the problems that have been addressed to them.
“We don’t have to comply, but we’re doing it to keep the peace. We’re doing it to be OK with the people — these two people,” she said.
M&M owner Matthew Valenzuela said that he makes his living through the business, which he operates to help the community. M&M employee Kenneth Martinez testified to the community value of the business.
“You’re talking about helping — you guys have cost me over $1,500 in my money,” resident Selina Crespin said.
She spoke out against the business and called it “hazardous,” informing the council of the business’s second location, which she said would lead to bringing “junk” into the town.
The Valenzuelas explained the excess of cars at their business is because owners cannot pay for repairs, forcing the shop to keep them on-site.
The council then moved into closed session, after which they requested the presence of the city’s code enforcement officer, Joseph Carlos. They asked the officer about the two citations he had issued to the business, as well as about what he had seen on his visits. The council then adjourned the hearing and moved into the regular meeting, during which they voted to disapprove the license application before moving on to other matters. Councilors said that M&M Auto can reapply for a new license after they have addressed all cited issues.
After lengthy community discussion, the board voted to approve a notice of intent to increase utility rates, a notice of intent to adopt Regional Wastewater Utility increases and to adopt a resolution approving the fiscal year 2023 budget.
During public input, resident Steve Potts made a complaint against prosecutor Edna Reyes, who, he said, had failed to notify the arresting officer after a break-in he had witnessed.
Potts said that the matter has not been to trial yet, and on several occasions Reyes has not notified himself or the officers when the trial was moved.
Councilor Raul Villanueva said that the council would be happy to write a letter to the District Attorney’s Office on the matter, but advised Potts to go to the DA himself, as well as tell the victim of the break-in to approach the DA.
Resident Jade Wilson also notified the council of the Bayard Beautification Committee’s bingo fundraiser event on Sunday, July 31.
Ken Hughes of Sustainable Communities came to discuss potential membership for Bayard, at a fee of $1,000 a year. Councilor Frances Gonzales said that she felt it would be beneficial for the community, and asked to have a discussion about joining as an action item for the next meeting.
The council approved the consent agenda, which included the regular meeting minutes for July 11, the accounts payable report for July 25 and the approval of the police report for June.
The consent agenda also included approval for administration staff and the council and mayor to attend the New Mexico Municipal League conference, approval for Judy Diaz to attend a managing police records in New Mexico seminar and approval for Anthony Aveles, Adrian Badillo, and Mikey Paez to attend Singer Valve training.
Adoption of the consent agenda also approved of the resignation of Public Works Director Anthony Aveles, although councilors agreed to discuss Aveles’ resignation letter in a later executive session.
The council appointed Tina Forgas as a member of the Bayard Housing Authority board, and appointed Gary Arellano to be training officer for the Bayard Volunteer Fire Department. They also approved the June 30 financial report and budget adjustments, and approved the city uniform policy. The board also approved a 25-cent raise for procurement officer certification for Marlena Valenzuela, Tanya Ortiz and Michelle Holguin, effective July 30.
Councilors postponed discussion of the municipal court budget with Judge Jose Sandoval, as well as the approval of a 30-day extension of the introductory period for Michelle Holguin and Joseph Gomez, pending discussion in closed executive session.
All members of the council were in attendance. City employee Tanya Ortiz filled in for Clerk-Treasurer Kristina Ortiz, who was on vacation.
The council’s next regular meeting will be held Aug. 8 at 6 pm