Bayard refuses M&M Auto business license

(Press Staff Photo by Marcela Johnson)
Bayard Councilmen Raul Villanueva, left, and Eloy Medina listen to Ken Hughes along with Mayor Chon Fierro and Councilmen Frances Gonzales and Jose Diaz.

During a hearing held before their regular meeting, the Bayard City Council voted Monday to deny M&M Auto’s request to renew the city’s business license.
Resident Steve Gabaree, who lives near the auto shop, opened the hearing by presenting a letter detailing his experiences and the city’s zoning guidelines and asking the council not to approve the license.
M&M’s owner Marisa Valenzuela said the business is currently working on fixing the issues that have been addressed.
“We don’t have to agree, but we are doing it to keep the peace. We’re doing it to be okay with people — these two people,” she said.
M&M’s owner Matthew Valenzuela said he makes a living through the business, which he operates to help the community. M&M employee Kenneth Martinez testified to the value of the business community.
“You talk about helping – you guys cost me over $1,500 in my money,” said resident Selina Crespin.
She spoke out against the business and called it “dangerous”, informing the council of the business’s second location, which she said would lead to “rubbish” being brought into town.
The Valenzuelas explained that the surplus of cars in their business is because the owners cannot pay for repairs, forcing the shop to keep them locally.
The council then went into closed session, after which they requested the presence of the city’s code enforcement officer, Joseph Carlos. They questioned the officer about the two citations he had given the business, as well as what he had seen during his visits. The council then adjourned and went into regular session, during which they voted not to approve the license application before moving on to other business. Councilors said M&M Auto can reapply for a new license once they have addressed all the issues cited.
After extensive community discussion, the board voted to approve a notice of intent to increase utility rates, a notice of intent to approve the Regional Wastewater Utility increase, and to approve a resolution approving the fiscal year budget 2023.
During the public hearing, resident Steve Potts filed a complaint against prosecutor Edna Reyes, who, he said, failed to notify the arresting officer after a break-in he witnessed.
Potts said the case has not yet gone to trial, and in some cases Reyes has not notified himself or officers when the trial has been moved.
Councilman Raul Villanueva said the council would be happy to write a letter to the District Attorney’s Office about the matter, but advised Potts to go to the DA himself, as well as tell the break-in victim to approach the DA .
Resident Jade Wilson also announced the Bayard Beautification Committee fundraiser on Sunday, July 31.
Ken Hughes of Sustainable Communities came to discuss possible membership for Bayard, at a fee of $1,000 a year. Councilwoman Frances Gonzales said she thought it would be beneficial to the community and asked that the merger be discussed as an action item for the next meeting.
The council approved the consent agenda, which included the minutes of the regular meeting for July 11, the accounts payable report for July 25 and the approval of the police report for June.
The consent agenda also includes approval for administration staff and the council and mayor to attend the New Mexico Municipal League conference, approval for Judy Diaz to attend a New Mexico police data management workshop, and approval to Anthony Aveles, Adrian Badillo and Mikey Paez for attending Singer Valve training.
Approval of the consent agenda also approved the resignation of Public Works Director Anthony Aveles, although councilors agreed to discuss Aveles’ resignation letter at a later executive session.
Council appointed Tina Forgas as a Bayard Housing Authority board member and named Gary Arellano as a training officer for the Bayard Volunteer Fire Department. They also approved the June 30 financial report and budget adjustments, and approved the city’s uniform policy. The board also approved a 25-cent increase in procurement officer certification for Marlena Valenzuela, Tanya Ortiz and Michelle Holguin, effective July 30.
Councilors postponed discussing the municipal court budget with Judge Jose Sandoval, as well as approving a 30-day extension of the introductory period for Michelle Holguin and Joseph Gomez, pending discussion in closed executive session.
All council members were present. City Clerk Tanya Ortiz filled in for Treasurer Kristina Ortiz, who was on vacation.
The next regular council meeting will be held on August 8 at 6:00 p.m.

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