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City Council fills Mayor Pro Tem vacancy

by Bill Knowles

WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg City Council has a new Mayor Pro Tem.  Council member Craig Lessar was selected to fill the position vacated when James England stepped down from the council in mid August.

    With a vote of 6-0-1, with Lessar abstaining, the council filled the position quickly.  Currently the Ward 2 seat vacated by England still needs to be filled.  The Council has 60 days from the time England resigned his seat to fill it by appointment.  If no one comes forward within the 60 day period then the seat will have to be filled by special election.  

    The city council also looked at the duties and pay for future city clerks to determine the monetary value of the elected position that is being vacated by the resignation of Lori Sheldon, the former city clerk.

    After a long discussion the council settled on a 6-1 vote for paying the city clerk $200 a month and then offering the clerk a full time office staff position at a salary set by the city’s pay in class schedule for the full time position.  Although the salary for the full time position is set, some council members expressed the possibility of establishing a salary bracket from which to negotiate.  The full time position and salary for a new city clerk were left tabled until a later date.

    Mayor Bruce Quintana was the only no vote.  He argued for a new pay level for the next clerk.  The idea of higher pay for the position didn’t sit well with the rest of the council who voiced concerns about the pay being too high and the possibility of hiring someone who fails to do the work as assigned.

    The county has requested that the city help with a water tap that the county will need in order to build an ambulance station in the Northlands.  Specifics about what was needed were lacking in the letter to the city but at this point the council seemed positive that a solution amiable to both parties could be negotiated.  Council instructed the city staff to research and prepare a reply to the county’s request.

    The meeting was adjourned without going into executive session.