The April 18, 2023 town council meeting began with a discussion of replacing a pump that was operating poorly in Mountainair’s water system. Town Public Works head Edward “Popeye” Padilla concluded his briefing to the town council explaining that the department was also dealing with vandals damaging stop signs.
The town council then moved on to the purchase of real estate at 711 West Broadway. With mayor pro tem Gayle Jones appearing via Zoom, the council unanimously approved the purchase of the property.
Fire Chief Phillip Nelson had submitted a request for authority to make purchases of equipment in the amount of $30,000 above the town’s procurement policy. With the understanding that this purchase authority would not bypass the town’s procurement oversight and recording system, the town council unanimously approved this request.
Mayor Peter Nieto brought the final matter before the town council, a proclamation designating May 4, 2023 as a Day of Prayer (the National Day of Prayer occurs on the same date). On May 4, Mayor Nieto said, churches in town had reserved the Dr. Saul Building for a prayer ceremony (details regarding the event have not yet been released). For the National Day of Prayer, the President of the United States is required by federal statute to issue a proclamation encouraging Americans to pray or meditate. This statute, 36 USC 119, was a product of the Red Scare, and was part of the Truman Administration’s strategy against communism taking root in the United States (along with loyalty review boards that investigated all federal employees). The Truman Administration signed the statute into law in 1952. In 1998, Congress modified the law to specify that the day would occur on the first Thursday in May.