At today’s Truth or Consequences city commission meeting, the four sitting commissioners made the decision not to appoint anyone to the vacant Position II commission seat until after the upcoming municipal election. At first glance this may seem like a good idea; however, I see the potential for a dangerous conflict of interest because of this failure to act.
In making their unanimous decision (4-0) to wait for the results of the election in November, the commissioners have ignored their civic responsibility to see that a full seated commission (five commissioners) is maintained, and let’s be honest. We currently have only three out of four city commissioners that have shown up for the last three of four city commission meetings in person. Commissioner Frances Luna is literally phoning into the meetings, which has resulted in poor communications between the residents and the city commission. We residents and voters deserve a commissioner that will show up and not make jokes about her spotty attendance.
Another disturbing comment was made today by Commissioner Amanda Forrister. It seems she only wants to fill the vacancy with someone that is currently running for a commission seat. This is also very troubling. Does it mean she will appoint only a losing candidate in the race?
In any case, here is a scenario that could easily take place.
Let’s suppose the two current city commissioners who are up for re-election are unseated (Luna has chosen not run for the third open seat that she presently occupies). Because of today’s decision to wait until after the election, it would be possible for a commissioner that was just defeated at the polls to be appointed back to the commission he or she was just voted off of. In my opinion, this would be a conflict of interest, as well an insult to the voters of T or C.
Since the existing city commissioners have failed to do their jobs by appointing a candidate to fill the vacancy (full disclosure, I am one of two residents that has so far asked to be considered), I suggest that the commission appoint a candidate at the next commission meeting on Oct. 27, which will be prior to the election. If they choose not to appoint a commissioner prior to the election, then they should wait until after the new commissioners are seated in 2022. In my opinion, it would be unlikely that a new commission would appoint one of the defeated commissioners to Position II.
Truth or Consequences