WALSENBURG — The Walsenburg City Council voted Tuesday night to put a one percent sales tax question and a term limits question for the city clerk before voters in the November General Election. With five of seven members present, the city council voted 3 to 2 to put the tax increase item on the ballot with Greg Daniels and Dennis Hoyt voting no, and Charles Montoya, Jim Eccher, and Clint Boehler voting yes. Walsenburg voters will again this year see the city put forth a ballot question to eliminate term limits for the city clerk. While current city clerk Wanda Britt has been retained by voters in the past, citizens have not supported elimination of term limits for that position at the ballot box. A ballot issue concerning a proposed municipal excise tax on locally grown marijuana will have to wait until 2017 according to city attorney Dan Hyatt. He said that particular question will have to be addressed by Walsenburg voters in an odd-year municipal election. On the issue of marijuana, Barbara Johnson of Bud Hut spoke to the council during citizen’s
forum, requesting they review the renewal and licensing fees for marijuana businesses to bring them more in line with the lower fee schedules currently under consideration by the State of Colorado. Mayor Eccher said the council would review the city’s current fees and consider lowering them to assist local businesses. Following interviews with the top three candidates for the Walsenburg administrator’s job held this past Sunday in a special meeting, Mayor James Eccher said the city is just days away from completing a contract offer with the city council’s overwhelming choice. It is expected a special meeting will be held without an executive session for a contract signing with the new administrator within a week. Sources in city hall say the job will be offered to Leslie Anne Klusmire, currently a municipal administrator on the Western Slope. In other business; the council approved the recommendation of interim-administrator Lew Quigley to hire the 2015 assistant Wild Waters manager Kaila Alberici as the manager for the water park this year. Alberici attended the council meeting this week and talked about some of her ideas for the coming season. They included cross training all staff members, admission, and concession staff, as lifeguards; instituting family and teen nights; and offering suggestions on pool hours based on usage last season. Cindy Campbell, representing LiveWell Huerfano County asked Mayor Eccher to consider appointing a council member to that organization’s board of directors. Former Huerfano County Commission Chairman Art Bobian and former Walsenburg Mayor Larry Patrick’s term on the board expired in January. County commissioner Gerald Cisneros has replaced Bobian on the board and both Greg Daniels and Charles Montoya showed interest in the appointment. City council voted unanimously to accept the support offered by the Huerfano County Commissioners regarding cleaning up Walsenburg by demolishing vacant and dilapidated houses. The county has committed to provide 40 cubic yard dumpsters to sites at Walsenburg Building Official Rick Dunn’s direction. The city is undertaking a project aimed at ridding Walsenburg of burned out residences and other buildings deemed to be a hazard or public nuisances, Dunn wrote to the commissioners last month. He said the city has hired a licensed asbestos inspector to check the properties in question. The county commissioners voted to support the project at their March 1 meeting. For details on the project call city hall at 738-1048.