General Election returns all incumbents to office

By Edna Clark

In what was one of the better voter turn-outs in Van Horn, 5 incumbents were returned to office in the May 6 Joint General Election for City Aldermen and CCAISD School Board Trustees.

City Alderman voting results are as follows: Lyndon McDonald – 239, Marcial Gonzalez – 160, Nuny Morriss – 246, Ruben Mendez – 141, Ryan O. Martinez – 163 with total ballots cast at 477.

`CCAISD Board Trustee voting results are as follows:  Cody L. Davis – 169, Sandy Urias – 240, Leticia Hernandez – 279 with total ballots cast at 477.

Municipal Proposition to reauthorize local sales and use tax of ¼ of 1 percent for street maintenance and repair passed with 275 votes cast in favor, 92 against with total ballots cast at 477.

The Van Horn City Council met on Tuesday, May 9th, with all aldermen present and Mayor Pro Temp Pam Young presiding.

Council canvassed and approved the May 6th 2017 Election. Incumbents Lyndon McDonald, Nuny Morriss, and Ryan Martinez defeated Marcial Gonzales and Ruben Mendez in the race for City Aldermen.

As this was a joint election with CCAISD where incumbents Sandy U. Garibay and Letty Hernandez were re-elected.Also, approved in the election was the tax proposition that pays for city street repairs.

Mayor Pro Temp Young proclaimed May 19, 2017 as Purple Day & Say No to Lupus Day in the Town of Van Horn.

City Secretary Fran Malafronte requested that Council approve the annual summer voluntary PIC Program. Under this program, two local youths will be hired to work 20 hours per week for 8 weeks. Employment applications for the two positions are available at City Hall. Teens are encouraged to stop by and pick up the applications during regular business hours.

Ms. Malafronte made Council aware that the City had been fined $1,120 by the TCEQ for a wastewater permit violation that occurred in August, 2016. At the time of the sewage sample collection, the pump in the golf course was not functioning. That, combined with the excessive sewage disposal triggered by the pipeline activity, caused the sewage system to be out of compliance with TCEQ regulations.

The sewage pump has since been repaired and is functioning properly, and the population of Van Horn has returned to normal. Hence, Ms. Malafronte advised Council that there should not be any further malfunctions or repeat violations.

Council approved payment of $1,120 to pay for the violation which was a reduced fee since this was a first offense for the Town of Van Horn.

The 2016 Consumer Confidence Report was presented from Chief Water Operator Cuco Corrales. Copies of this water report will be released to the public with the June water bills per TCEQ regulations.

A public hearing will be held on June 13, 2017 to review and accept the report. The community is invited to attend the hearing and make their voices heard.

The annual mutual assistance agreement between Van Horn and Fort Stockton was renewed. Under this agreement, if emergencies occur in either city, the sister city will provide workers and resources to assist the other city in times of crisis. The Town of Van Horn has agreements of this sort with other local towns.

According to Ms. Malafronte, the Van Horn gas department employees responded to the rock house fire in Marfa when gas lines were endangered. The Town of Van Horn can expect the same type of help if our town should ever be in this situation.

Council approved the purchase of a trailer and canopy to transport and protect the new street roller at a total cost of $5,617.76 for both items. The recent tax that was approved in the May 6th election will be used to pay for these and any other like expenses.

Mrs. Patti Scott received permission to use the Convention City on May 19, 2017 for the annual motorcycle Run Wall the Wall. Council waived the usual fees for the Convention Center. The Run for the Wall is composed of cyclists crossing the country on the way to way to Washington DC to increase public awareness of military veterans. The citizens of Van Horn and Culberson County are invited to come out and meet the men and women who participate in this worthwhile venture.

Council approved the creation of a small account at Van Horn Bank for debit cards to replace the Bank of America debit cards which are no longer in existence. Town of Van Horn employees are allowed access to the debit cards for city expenses. The cards must be signed out and back in at City Hall with all receipts for purchases that were made using the debit cards.

City pool fees were waived by Council for June 2, 2017 at the request of the Extreme Cheerleaders director Mario Villanueva for the cheerleaders’ summer pool party.

Council went into Executive Session for personnel.   No action was taken as a result of the session.

The next regularly scheduled City Council meeting will be Tuesday, May 30th at 7:00 PM. Aldermen McDonald, Morriss, and Martinez will be sworn in to office at that time.