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La Junta Resident Asks Council to Consider Removing a Council Member from a Board

(La Junta, CO) -- Council member Ed Vela came under the gun Monday night at the regularly scheduled meeting when resident Frank McKenzie asked council to think about removing him from the City Utility Board.

To give the background, McKenzie explained there is a five member board, three elected from the city, two other members which consists of the Mayor and an appointed council member.

McKenzie furthered that he has had concerns about Vela explaining that

Vela isn't willing to adhere to the rules governing elected officials. And he feels it's put them all in jeopardy. He is asking for a new appointed member to the utility board.

Vela responded, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone. because while we were discussing a five cent electric increase, right here where I am sitting. Frank and two other, those other two elected people were standing right here discussing it after we adjourned the meeting."

Mayor Ayala told Vela he should have reported it or said something about it then.

Vela said he doesn't feel the board has paid him attention and has appeared to have contempt for him.

City Attorney Phil Malouf stated that they would be able to discuss it in executive session but not make a decision on it without considering a few things.

Attorney Malouf said Vela has a right to be heard and while he appreciates McKenzie's request. He added that it shouldn't be acted on right away but suggested that council go into executive session to discuss legal ramifications.

Vela voiced that he was concerned about two members of the utility board who were present at the meeting Monday night attending the executive session for fear of intimidation.

Malouff advised that a hearing must be later because there are items that would need to be filed to follow procedure.


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1 Comment

Jul 19, 2022

I'm more familiar with the simpler form of municipal governance: "Manager/Counsel, including three to five members elected at large or by district, and a Mayor elected by that same body. But I've never witnessed appointed members of a city "board" in attendance at an executive session.

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