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Remarks during council meeting not appreciated


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Regarding the article, “Christmas Railway full steam ahead”: Ms. Alison Penn, reporter, RDR does a great job writing her articles and covering many of the activities of the City of Roswell. During the City Council meeting Thursday, Aug. 9 the council made the decision to grant lodgers’ tax funding for the “Christmas Railway” event conducted and managed by Councilor Jacob Roebuck.

There was no question about the value or importance of the event to the City of Roswell. All Councilors supported the contract for the event. The basic question was: “Is Councilor Roebuck entitled to receive $20,500 in lodgers’ tax funding for the promotion and advertisement of the event?”

The New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act states, “unless a contract is awarded pursuant to a competitive process, a local government agency shall not enter into a contract with a public officer or employee of that local government …” To me, that was problematic.

On a 5 to 4 vote, the majority of the council disagreed with my position and awarded the lodgers’ tax funding. The majority rules, I accept that. I’ve lost before.

A statement made by Councilor Jeanine Best during debate was inappropriate and demeaning to the council members and embarrassing to those present. Reporter Alison was benevolent in her wording saying that Best, “questioned the judgment of the other councilors,” when the actual statement by Councilor Best was, “pull you heads out and quit being silly and stupid.”

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This language in a Roswell City Council meeting is unacceptable and certainly unprofessional. Councilor Oropesa requested that Mayor Kintigh control the decorum and professionalism of the meeting. Nothing happened.

I serve as a member of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee chaired by Councilor Best. Due to the vulgarity of her statement and the personal attack on the members of the council, I am requesting Mayor Kintigh to assign me to a different committee immediately. I cannot, in good conscience, serve on a committee of the Roswell City Council whose chair thinks and calls her fellow members “silly and stupid.”

Steve Henderson
Roswell City Councilor, Ward II

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