Highlights From Espanola City Council Meeting
By Robert A. Naranjo
The Espanola City Council met on Jan. 26 for its regularly scheduled meeting but held it at the Plaza de Española’s Misión Convento instead of City Hall.
During the meeting City Police Chief Richard Gallegos and Rio Ariba County RACSTOP’s Maxine Gallegos both addressed the City Council regarding an MOU between EPD and RACSTOP. The MOU is designed to coordinate efforts between the City and Rio Arriba County in fighting DUI incidents and coordinating substance abuse treatment projects. The City Council gave its blessing to the MOU and commended the two agencies for working so well together.
Also at the Tuesday meeting, the new Planning and Land Use Director, Patrick Nicholson passed his first ordinance dealing with the conditions and maintenance of all property in the City. Ordinance 2O16-O2 adopted the 2O15 Edition of the International Property Management Code.
The Ordinance title alone consists of 81 words and is all inclusive, including but not limited to: regulating and governing the conditions and maintenance of all property, buildings and structures; standards for supplied utilities…safe and sanitary structures fit for occupation, condemnation of buildings unfit for human occupancy and demolition of such buildings, issuance and permit collection.
Nicholson also explained that the old City of Española Planning and Zoning Department is now the “Planning and Land Use Department”. Nicholson said that it was one of the first things he did as the new Director of the old Planning and Zoning Department.
Mayor Alice Lucero sent praise in Nicholson’s direction saying, “…congratulations on passing your first ordinance” after the City Council voted to approve Ordinance 2O16-O2. There was only person who stood for comment during the Public Comment section of the Public Hearing on Ordinance 2O16-O2 was Robert Naranjo who addressed the Mayor and Council and said that he is not a city resident but lives close to the city limit boundary. He asked if there “…were any provisions in the Ordinance for making sure historic buildings were not demolished.” Mayor Lucero assured him that a separate Ordinance is in place to protect historic buildings. The Council then passed the Ordinance unanimously.