Sunland Park City Council Postpones Mayoral Appointment
After Voting and Tying 3-3
EL PASO, TX — The DFA is taking over the books in Sunland Park amidst all the alleged and suspected crimes involving taxpayer money. Meanwhile, a city council mired in its fourth attempt to select a mayor showed the strain of a long and frustrating process.
Former Mayor Elect Daniel Salinas lost his chance to become mayor when police arrested him for conspiracy, extortion and other charges.Sunland Park then appointed Javier Perea as mayor, but then the State Attorney General claimed the decision null and void because it violated the states open meeting law. Police closed another meeting that was too crowded, and an outdoor meeting collapsed when the mayor pro tem walked out.Today Perea and Gerardo Hernandez applied for the job. City council voted even though they had one member missing and called him on the phone and that enraged the crowd.
"Ms. Avila please hang up that phone! Hang up that phone!" yelled one Sunland Park resident.
Christian Lira, the missing council member showed up and voted, tying the Hernandez-Perea race.
"Unfortunately, what I see is the council is split three against three and I don't know everybody will be able to agree to appoint somebody," said Council Member Carmen Rodriguez.
Then another problem surfaced at the meeting. The Assistant Attorney General's office responded in an email to Mayor Pro Tem Isabelle Santos. The Assistant Attorney General's office said it's not aware of any process set forth in law to appoint a new mayor, unless there is a death, disability, resignation or change of residence of the mayor. But then a resident brought up a strong point to the council saying Daniel Salinas never took an oath.
"He never held the position. He never did so therefore the council can't replace him because he never had a position," said the resident.
City Council now wants to postpone the meeting till next Friday to make sure they are following the rules.
"I myself I can speak for myself and I understand the residents and I respect their votes," said Rodriguez.
The meeting will be held Friday to decide how they will elect a new mayor.