Thursday, December 10, 2009

County May Be Heading To Court

By John Severance

SOCORRO – Vice chair Daniel Monette shouted: “We’ll see you in court.’’
And with that, it appears that the Socorro County Commission and Veguita resident Brett Jones may be heading to court over a livestock petition that was presented Tuesday night at the County Annex.
Jones approached the board, wanting to apply for order that would prohibit the running at large of livestock within the limits of the Rio Grande and Terra Grande Estates.
Jones provided a petition with 60 names on it and he also illustrated the boundaries of where he wanted the order to be enacted. The boundaries were as followed. Hwy Route 60 and Hwy Route 47 interchange west to Hwy Route 60 and Hwy Route 304 interchange north to Socorro County line from Hwy Route 304 and Socorro County line east and Hwy Route 47 and Socorro County line from east Hwy Route 47 and Socorro County line to Hwy Route 60 interchange (i.e. the greater portion of the city of Veguita.)
Jones also said there is a law on the books that said that cows can not roam in a subdivision.
County attorney Adren Nance said Jones’ request only filled one of three requirements.
There only has to be 25 names on a petition and Jones got 60, but some of the commissioners wondered allowed about the authenticity of signatures.
Jones said: “If you have your next meeting in Veguita, I will bring you those people.”
As far as the town site is concerned, Nance said: “The law says you have to have a post that says this is a town site. You have to post your jurisdiction.
“There is a specific statute that creates a town site in New Mexico and this simply does not fit the statute and it’s a gigantic subdivision. It does not fit an idea of a municipality either. One of the things about a municipality is that there has to be one person per acre living there. And I don’t think there are 43,000 people living in Veguita.”
Jones insisted he had met all of the requirements.
But Nance disagreed.
“The petitioner has not met all three elements required for the Board of County Commissioners to issue an order prohibiting livestock running at large,” Nance said Wednesday. “ Although at least 25 residents of the area did sign the petition, they are not residents of a “town or district” as the area is a subdivision not a townsite, additionally the area was not properly posted. Therefore, the Board cannot issue the order,”
The board tabled the proposal until Jones could meet all three elements.
That’s when Jones told the board he would see them in court.
Chief Deputy Shorty Vaiza escorted Jones out of the building on the recommendation of Tripp.
“I knew this is how this was going to end,” Jones shouted as he left.
In other business:
• Approved the Community Development Ordinance, which is to allow public support of economic projects to enhance local economic development efforts while continuing to protect against the unauthorized use of public money and other public resources. It also allows the County to enter into one or more joint powers agreement with other local governments to plan and support regional economic development projects.
• Approved a motion that will publish the public nuisance ordinance. The changes in the ordinance says the County Manager or any duly authorized law enforcement officer shall enforce the provisions of the ordinance. Before, it was the Sheriff’s Department that was in charge of enforcement. Also each violation of the ordinance would be $300 instead of $750.
• Appointed Carlos Lopopolo as a Land Use Commissioner.
• Approved December holidays for county employees. They would be off on Christmas Eve and Christmas and work a half day on Dec. 31.
• Approved a resolution that dealt with sick leave conversion.
• Approved Verizon Tower Modification Application with conditions.
• Recognized county employee Michael Jojola for his 25 years of service.

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