Published: 9:04 pm, Sun. Feb. 26th, 2017Updated: 9:02 pm
The Artesia City Council will reconsider the hiring of a fire chief at Tuesday’s regularly-scheduled meeting.
The Artesia Fire Department was left without a chief for another two weeks Feb. 14 when the council voted 4-3 in favor of hiring former Artesia Fire Department division chief and current Eddy County fire marshal Kevin Hope. With one councilor absent, that tally was an “aye” short of the five votes needed for confirmation.
Hope served at the AFD for 12 years before accepting the position of fire marshal and director of Fire Services for the county, and came with a letter of recommendation from recently-retired chief J.D. Hummingbird.
However, some councilors raised questions as to whether Hope might again consider an offer outside Artesia in the future, while others expressed concerns over the selection process in general from the pool of five candidates interviewed.
Councilors Raul Rodriguez, Luis Florez and Terry Hill ultimately comprised the dissenting votes, and, in accordance with government procedure, one of those councilors would need to nominate Hope in order for him to be reconsidered Tuesday.
The council meeting will also include the hiring of a new supervisor for the Artesia Public Library, one police corporal, and one water technician.
A public hearing will be held on a consideration for the approval of the final plat of Stonegate Subdivision No. 1, zoned “C” Business District and “R2” General Residential District, and Community Development Director Jim McGuire will also submit for the council’s approval a Subdivision Improvement Agreement for Southgate Subdivision No. 1 and a request from the Changing Lives Coalition for the use of the Artesia Center kitchen facilities for its after-school and summer meals programs.
City Clerk Aubrey Hobson will present for consideration a resolution opposing election legislation, and the council will adjourn to executive session in accordance with the Open Meetings Act to discuss threatened or pending litigation.
Included on the council’s consent agenda is permission to set a public hearing for March 28 on the city’s proposed water rate increase. The council will take no other action on the water rate issue at Tuesday’s meeting.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers at City Hall.