At its first meeting of the year, Magdalena’s Board of Trustees last week approved the hiring of a new Village Clerk/Treasurer. Jason Adcock, a Socorro native, will assume the position on February 6.
The clerk position was vacant for several months, and in that interim, the clerk’s duties and responsibilities have been fulfilled by longtime Deputy Clerk Carleen Gomez.
In appreciation for her doing double duty during that time, Mayor Richard Rumpf awarded Gomez with a plaque recognizing her for 20 years of service at Village Hall.
He credited her for her dedication and diligence to the operation of the village government as well as her experience interacting with the state government.
“She is an unbelievable asset to the Village of Magdalena. Her dedication and service have been above and beyond,” Rumpf said. “Carleen is an integral part of our village. She knows how everything works and has kept the mayor in line all these years. We’ll come up with something, and she’ll say, ‘no, that’s not how we do that.’ And I’ll go back to my office and do it the right way. There’s always a way to get it done, and I appreciate her input in helping me keep this village going.”
John Lee, president of the Magdalena Chamber of Commerce, also commended Gomez at the meeting and presented her with a framed certificate of appreciation.
“A well-run village is important for the business community and for people to have a good impression of the area,” Lee told Gomez. “So, we deeply appreciate that fact, and the Chamber would like to present you with a certificate of appreciation for your 20 years and hard work and how important you are to the village. You keep the ship rolling somehow.”
The Science Cafe’s Jim Sauer presented Gomez with several cards and a plant courtesy of the kids of the Science Cafe as well.
In other business, Marshal Michael Zamora updated the board on the law enforcement grant his office received recently.
The legislative grant totals $281,250 to be split up over three years. According to the DFA, the funds for the first disbursement of $112,000 must be expended by June 30. The second disbursement of $112,000, made on July 1, must be used by June 30, 2024; and the third disbursement of $57,250 on July 1, 2024, should be expended by June 30, 2025.
Zamora outlined some of the uses with the first disbursement.
“What I’m proposing is retention bonuses amounting to $10,000 for each deputy and a $5 an hour raise in pay,” he told the board. “We will allot $3,500 to go toward moving expenses for new hires and a $4,000 sign-on bonus. All of this totals up, so far, to $51,900 of the $112,000 in funding that we’ve got to use by June 30.”
Zamora said the balance of $60,100 will be used for future needs, “whether it’s marketing for vacant positions, attending hiring fairs, housing expenses, and other personnel expenses.”
All disbursements will be pending approval by the Board of Trustees.
“We can come back later and allocate more of those funds,” Rumpf said.
In his Mayor’s report, Rumpf gave the board an overview of what the village was requesting in capital outlay funding.
“We’re looking at additional funding for the rodeo grounds to upgrade the water lines and electrical lighting,” he said. “Other requests are for the library. The deck of the historic train station is deteriorating and becoming a safety hazard. Also money for the furnaces and painting.
“The other item we’re looking at is applying for an animal shelter. I doubt very much we’ll get that,” Rumpf said. “Another is the possibility of getting money for purchasing two single-wide mobile homes as a potential for rentals for our law enforcement officers. We already have one hooked up at the rodeo grounds. The total request for those is $365,000.”
The Board also approved the hiring of Robert Aguilar for the village’s Joint Utilities Department.