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Mockmore joins Walsenburg City Council

by Brian Orr

WALSENBURG-  David Mockmore, former Chairman of the Re-1 School District and veteran of countless boards, was voted in by the Walsenburg City Council on Tuesday night.  He beat Nancy Lave a Walsenburg businesswoman.  As Councilman Lou Taylor cast the last vote, he said, “I think you’re both crazy for wanting to sit up here…”  Mockmore was sworn in by City Clerk John Zgut, and took seat on the platform.

    C.A. “Mac” MacMillan came before the Council, representing Petroglyph Oil and Gas, and asked the Council to consider leasing to them 837 gross acres located near Wahatolla Estates by the Town of La Veta for a five year lease, for the amount of $9,416.25; paid up front.  Petroglyph would be drilling there for gas, which if found and profitable, they would renew the lease until it was played out.  Council said it would need time to study the proposal, and would get back to him.

    City Administrator Eric Pearson told the Council that the City’s health care plan is slated to go up 7.4 percent, but that he is looking at other health plan options. 

    He reported the City has hired Beth Neece as the new administrative assistant and was “happy to have her on board.”  Pearson went on to describe how the City shut off the meters on the Highway 10 ranch well, in order to find out who is using it and how far it goes.”We learned several intersting things,” he said.  One of the biggest users of the water are a series of stock tanks, both on the city ranch and off.  The reason it was important to figure out where this water was going, according to Councilwoman Edi Flanagin, is all the water has to be augmented back into the Curchara River.

    Police Chief Larry Baldonado filled the Council in on the disaster drill held last Friday.  “I think it went very well,” he said.  Some of the problems encountered were the communications center became overwhelmed with dispatchs and phone calls.  It was also noted the Sheriff Officer’s channel was being called out on, but it wasn’t being received.  Baldonado  said there was a need for more tabletop exercises and actual drills like this one.  Baldonado also addressed the City’s problem with recruiting new police officers- “It’s been difficult.”  He has talked with the regional police officer academies, but has not placed ads in regional newspapers.

    Pool Committee Chairman Bruce Quintana took umbrage at the Journal’s reporting of prelimary pool numbers in last week’s issue, stating he felt “bushwhacked” by the reporting and stated the committee is going through the expense reports line by line looking for errors.

    Former Councilwoman Jacque Sikes, who had headed the finance committee, asked the Council to explain the math on the proposed one percent county-wide sales tax which supposedly would net approximately $240,000, when the City of Walenburg gets $310,00 just inside the city on a one percent tax.  “How can the county-wide tax be lower?  It just doesn’t make sense.  If this is going to be voted on, the citizens deserve to know the truth.”  Mayor Edi Sheldon advised Sikes to attend the next City, County Town (CCT) meeting on Oct. 13 and to bring her questions before the entire group.

    In other business, Vicky Bates of Bresnan Cable asked the Council to renew the Cable’s franchise with the City, which was passed unanimously.

    Resolution 2008R22, establishing uniform charges for City actions was read and adopted, a donation to the County was made to help defray costs on the solid waste transfer station, and a leaf and limb cleanup for the City has been scheduled for the last two weeks of October, beginning with Ward 4 and working backwards.