June 20 First News
A city hall panel is discussing whether the Santa Fe mayor’s job should be full time. The New Mexican reports that the Wednesday meeting of the city’s Charter Review Commission focused on possible changes to what they call a “weak mayor” system. Under consideration is whether the mayor should have a vote in all city council debates. At present, the mayor votes only in case of a tie. The proposal being discussed also would prohibit the mayor from holding another job while in office. The commission meets on these issues next week.
A court hearing is set for this morning in Santa Fe over the dispute between the operators of the Legal Tender restaurant and the Lamy History and Railroad Museum. The operators claim they were unfairly evicted from the restaurant by the museum’s board. Questions include whether the restaurant outgrew its space at the nonprofit museum in Lamy and also the financial contribution made to the museum from the restaurant’s proceeds.
A 60-year-old California man has pleaded guilty to federal charges of trying to sell jewelry that he claimed was authentically Native American. Prosecutors say Andrew Alvarez also tried to pass himself off as Indian at several art shows in Santa Fe. Alvarez has been sentenced to 30 months of probation, followed by a year of supervised release.
The little town of Magdalena, just west of Soccoro, is dying of thirst. Its only water well has dried up and residents are being allocated bottled water by the case, one case per person every other day. The local Laundromat has been ordered to cut back it seven-day-a-week schedule to two days. To help out, the Albuquerque police department is collecting donated bottles of water for residents of the small town – population, just under 1,000.
The New Mexico Realtors Association says residential sales statewide increased in May and are about 12 percent ahead of last year. Sixteen of the state’s 33 counties showed increases. Home prices also improved, growing more than 4 percent.
Weather: Sunny and hot with highs around 90. No rain in sight.