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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Council honors former member for years of service, approves Lodgers’ Tax funds

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Artesia Mayor Raye Miller and city councilors present former Mayor Pro-Tem Luis Florez and his wife, Aida Florez, with a commemorative plaque recognizing his seven-and-a-half years of service on the city council Tuesday at City Hall. Pictured from left are Sam Hagelstein, Raul Rodriguez, Kent Bratcher, George G. Mullen, former Mayor Pro-Tem Luis Florez, Miller, Aida Florez, Jarrod Moreau, Ignacio “Nacho” Mariscal, Mayor Pro-Tem Terry Hill and Jeff Youtsey. (Elizabeth Gibson – Daily Press)

The Artesia City Council recognized former Mayor Pro-Tem Luis Florez during Tuesday’s regularly-scheduled meeting for his seven-and-a-half years of service.

After Mayor Raye Miller read from the plaque, the councilors presented it to Florez and his wife, Aida Florez. Florez’s term ended in March 2020. The plaque read: “In appreciation of seven-and-a-half years dedicated to serving the citizens of the City of Artesia as City Councilor. You have proven your commitment and dedication to improving the lives of all those that live in Artesia. Your service to our community is valued greatly and will be missed immensely.”

During the meeting’s period for hearing visitors, Florez stood and thanked his former fellow council members.

“I just wanted to thank the city council for the years I was there,” Florez said. “We had a special group. We had a lot of cooperation, and we got a lot done.”

Florez then motioned to members of the city staff, the Chamber of Commerce and Artesia MainStreet sitting in the audience and thanked them as well.

“Other communities hold Artesia in high esteem — everywhere I’ve been,” he said. “And it’s because of the quality of folks that we work with.”

In other council business, the council voted to approve the use of city services, road closures, and a waiver of fees for the Red Dirt Black Gold Festival that will run Friday, Aug. 27, through Sunday, Aug. 29.

Additionally, Fire Chief Kevin Hope received approval from the council to move the 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit to the Bulldog Bowl parking lot. The exhibit — which will arrive at the Bowl later today and remain there until Monday, June 14 — was previously slated to be set up at Baish Veterans’ Memorial Park in front of City Hall. Hope said the location was changed due to the large size of the exhibit.

As part of its consent agenda, the council granted permission for:

• approval of Service Agreement A-21-59 with Eddy County.

• the reappointments of Joyce Moore, Olympia Posey, Mary Reyes, Emma Salgado and Claude Whisenhunt to the Commission on Aging Advisory Council, terms to expire June 2023, and Devyn Garcia to the Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board, term to expire June 2024.

• the hiring of temporary recreation positions at a pay rate of $10.50 per hour.

• one police employee to attend the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) in Bernalillo.

• one police employee to attend Assisting Individuals in Crisis and Group Crisis Intervention training online.

• Lodgers’ Tax funding requests in the following amounts:
– Artesia Arts Council: $40,000 (year-round)
– Artesia MainStreet: $25,000 (year-round)
– Artesia Aquatic Center: $40,000 (year-round)
– Eddy County Fair: $15,000 (July 24-31)
– Red Dirt Black Gold Festival: $42,000 (Aug. 28)
– Green Chile Cook-Off: $5,000 (Sept. 18)
– Clays Crusher Fun Shoot: $5,000 (Sept. 18)
– Artesia Horse Council high-school rodeo: $1,200 (Oct. 1-3)
– Balloons & Tunes Festival: $9,000 (Nov. 2-7)
– City of Champions Classic basketball tournament: $7,200 (Dec. 2-4)
– Artesia Invitational baseball tournament: $4,400 (March 17-19, 2022)
– Lady ‘Dog Invitational softball tournament: $4,400 (March 18-19, 2022)
– Main Event Car Show and Cruise: $15,000 (March 25-26, 2022)

Brienne Green
Daily Press Editor

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