By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer
New Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield said during her campaign community members told her they wanted more input in the direction of the city.
Her plan is to hire a consultant to develop a blueprint for how the city progresses in the next 12 years. She pitched the concept to the City Commission during Thursday’s meeting, but it was turned down in a 5-3 vote.
According to the proposal, the city would pay The Idea Group of Santa Fe $10,000 to develop an updated version of a community-based vision plan completed in 1996.
A major issue for several commissioners was the proposal indicated that Brumfield’s “vision plan” would also be the first step to an economic development plan.
Mayor Pro-tem Randy Crowder said since the city already has a comprehensive plan that addresses the city’s vision, it wouldn’t be appropriate for the Commission to pay for what he sees is an economic development plan.
Crowder said the city spent about $50,000 for a 10-year comprehensive plan that included input from the community. He said the city used a state grant to pay for the plan, which was approved eight months ago.
“I feel it would be more appropriate for (Clovis Industrial Development Corp.) to take the first step, not the taxpayers,” said Crowder, who voted against the mayor’s plan.
Brumfield argued the comprehensive plan dealt more with city operation and infrastructure and was more staff-driven.
“It doesn’t have the overall community input that I think this would have,” she said.
Brumfield said the vision plan would focus on recreation and beautification projects.
Crowder said the comprehensive plan already addresses those areas. But other commissioners who supported the proposal, including Bobby Sandoval and Len Vohs, said not all segments of the community were represented during the development of the comprehensive plan.
Crowder also said the lack of a bidding process was a red flag. Brumfield said the city can act on quotes without going through a bidding process if the price is under $10,000.
Commissioner Chris Bryant, who voted against the proposal, said he didn’t feel it was the right time to be spending money on a plan that he felt wouldn’t be too different from the 1996 vision plan.
“I don’t think we’ll find out much more by spending that kind of money,” he said. “At least not at this time.”
Breakdown of the votes:
Fred Van Soelen