by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — The Walsenburg City Council Tuesday night formally accepted the resignation of Ward 2 councilman Gary Sporcich in a unanimous vote.
Sporcich resigned by letter on May 21 saying in part, “Over the last year and a half I have enjoyed representing Ward 2 and the city, I am happy that some of the ideas I had where [sic] used in certain cases and the committees that I sat on.” Mayor Larry Patrick read the resignation letter into the record and councilwoman Erin Jerant made the motion to accept Sporcich’s resignation ‘with regret.’ The ‘with regret’ term was used by a couple of council members as they voted, but not by the entire council.
In conjunction with the Ward 2 opening, former city council member and Ward 2 resident, James P. England appeared before the city council to present his letter of intent to seek the open council seat. ”I am here this evening to formally present my letter of intent to fill the now vacant seat in Ward 2, formerly held by Councilperson Gary Sporcich. I was raised to give back to the community I live in, and would be honored to finish the term left vacant by Councilperson Sporcich. I offer my past experience from council with an intense desire to serve my ward, and would appreciate the Council’s consideration of this letter of intent,” England’s letter said in part.
Ward 2 Councilman Rick Jennings offered a motion that the city council begin advertising the open seat for at least two weeks to see if there were any other residents of Ward 2 interested in the position. The motion passed with councilmembers Jerant and James Moore voting no, and members Nick Vigil, Silvana Lind, Craig Lessar, James Baca and Patrick voting yes.
In other business, the council voted on a motion by Moore to request an extension for the city audit so the former and current audit firms can secure the necessary information to complete the task. The motion passed unanimously.
The council voted unanimously to send city clerk Wanda Britt to the Colorado Institute for Municipal Clerks at the University of Colorado at Boulder from July 8 through the 13. The city will apply for a grant through the institute for partial funding. The motion made by Jerant, however, was to permit Britt’s attendance without mention of an exact dollar amount.
City council also voted unanimously on second reading to pass a paragraph amending section ‘N’ of Ordinance 1010, which provides specific penalties for violations or failure to comply with the ordinance which regulates business licenses in the city. The amended section reads: “Any person who violates or fails to comply with the terms of this Ordinance shall upon conviction thereof,. be punished by a fine not exceeding $300. In addition, such person shall pay all costs and expenses in the case, including attorney fees. Each day such violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.”
Council also voted to make a $200 donation towards the upcoming July 4 fireworks display at Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center/Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home-Walsenburg. The health center and nursing home are taking donations for the annual display and are seeking businesses and individuals to participate. The health care groups have a six tier system of donation categories and those participating at the Gold, Silver or Bronze levels ($500, $300 or $100) will be listed as a co-sponsor of the event while those donating at the $75, $50 or $25 levels will be recognized as donation sponsors.
Following the regular meeting, the city council met for about 30 minutes in an executive session to obtain legal advice regarding personnel matters. Mayor Patrick said no decision was reached and no votes taken after the closed door session.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward