Magdalena mayor sworn in; nominates new trustee

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Magdalena’s new mayor, Diego Montoya, was sworn in by Municipal Judge Robert Serna at Monday night’s meeting of the Board of Trustees, along with new trustees Richard Rumpf and Tom Barrington.

John Larson — El Defensor Cheiftain: Municipal Judge Robert Serna swears new Magdalena Mayor Diego Montoya during the village board meeting March 10.

In the March 4 election, Montoya defeated outgoing trustee Tommy Torres, and write-in candidate Rumpf was the only candidate for trustee. With the board still short one trustee, Montoya’s nomination of Barrington to fill that seat was approved by the board by a 2-1 vote, with Barbara Baca voting no.

Baca explained that she believed Montoya should have nominated Torres, because during the candidate forum on Feb. 19, Montoya stated that he would consider naming Torres to the position if he won the election.

“At that time, I did say I would consider Tommy; and I did consider him,” Montoya said. “But I also considered other qualified people.”

Barrington’s term will be two years.

In other action:

In unanimous vote, the board approved the mayor’s request to retain Larry Cearley as Village Marshal and Jeannie Johnston as Village Clerk.

Johnston reported that the Department of Finance and Administration had approved the audit for fiscal year ending June 31, 2012. “One more audit and we’ll be caught up,” Johnston said. She also said the audit for fiscal year ending June 31, 2013, which is being conducted by Rick Penner, should be completed before the end of April.

Johnston reported that the DFA approved grant funding for two $50,000 loans the village applied for engineering services for the wells. “The DFA had a special meeting on Feb. 27 to review our audits that were up to date so far,” she said. “This means the village will not have to pay back what were originally loans.”

In a 3-1 vote, the board approved the mayor’s nomination of Rumpf as Magdalena’s fire chief. Johnston said that according to municipal code, the firefighters of a volunteer fire department elect their own chief and then the board has to confirm it. Former clerk Rita Broaddus said if the fire chief was a paid position, Rumpf would have had to abstain from voting.

The board also approved the mayor’s recommendation of Michael Bisbee as assistant fire chief.

Trustee Barrington was named Mayor Pro Tem, as well as the village’s representative to the South Central Council of Governments.