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Official: Rumors hurting City Hall

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By David Giuliani

City Councilman Morris Madrid contends that rumors are hurting the morale and credibility of city government.

During his council member’s report at last week’s meeting, Madrid said that some were alleging that he wasn’t operating in good faith because he missed two council meetings during a recent week, but he said he had problems with the notification for the meetings, suggesting that the city may have violated the state Open Meetings Act.

Mayor Tony Marquez said afterward that the city has looked into such allegations but has found that it followed the law in its notification procedure.

Madrid didn’t show up for a daylong meeting in which the city reviewed contracts and agreements as well as one to create a draft strategic plan. Both meetings were during the workday, and Madrid has a full-time job at the state hospital. The council positions are considered part time.

The councilman said he was also concerned that an attorney wasn’t present at the council’s regular meeting. In response, City Manager Jeff Condrey said that the city’s contract attorney, Carlos Quinones, couldn’t make it but offered an associate in his place. Condrey told Madrid that at the time, he thought it was unnecessary but that he wouldn’t do that again.

Madrid also contended that rumors were rampant that a bunch of department heads would get fired.

“There is no agenda like this,” he said.

Such rumors started circulating after Tony Marquez beat then-Mayor Henry Sanchez in the March municipal election.

Additionally, Madrid requested a report on fees and credits waived for utility services. He said many rumors are circulating that some people get special treatment, which he said he didn’t believe to be the case.

He said fees are waived for good reasons and that he wanted to show the report to the public to demonstrate that the city’s decisions are legitimate. Such a report could add to the city government’s credibility, he said.