by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — As the city of Walsenburg begins a statewide search for a new police chief, there was another high profile resignation announced late last week by Ward III councilman James Baca.
Baca announced his resignation on February 28 and said the move was effective that day.
Baca has been outspoken on a number of issues before the city council in 2012 and this year, and while plagued with some health issues, his letter of resignation showed a lot of personal frustration he has felt as a council member.
“I have at this point lost faith in the ability of this Mayor and certain member of council, along with the administration to continue in a losing battle,” Baca wrote. “These people cannot separate their wants from the needs of the community they represent. We are the representatives of this community and it is unfortunate that the words of our citizens end upon deaf ears. I refuse to be part of this group who will spite the majority to adhere to promises and commitments made in political elections and the so-called betterment of a few, i.e. Northlands.”
Baca went on to say in his resignation letter, “The constant back and forth and disregard of my citizen concerns (i.e.) water rates, city clean-up, lack of discipline towards employees abusing their job duties, and the largest complaint, the lack of concern toward a budget that as it is always called ‘a guideline’, that is always overspent.”
Baca concluded his letter by saying, “I can only hope that you and council can see the light and steer to a more prosperous course for the city. The way it is heading causes me great concern. I would like to say its been the best, but my health just cannot continue this constant stress.”
The city council officially acted on accepting Baca’s letter at their regular meeting Tuesday night. The city has 60 days from that formal acceptance to select a new council person from Ward III or could face the expense of a special election to fill the vacant position.
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