Ignacio trustees want planner

Ignacio town trustees continue to press their desire to hire a town planner.

They debated whether they could discuss it at their July 22 meeting, since it wasn't on the agenda. If not, trustee Tom Atencio wanted a special meeting. Attorney David Liberman thought the discussion could be added to the agenda. "I think you can amend the agenda to talk about advertising for a planner," he said.

Trustee Alison deKay said, "It was thoroughly discussed in executive session" as part of an improvement plan and performance goals for Town Manager Lee San Miguel.

Trustees met in closed session that evening before the regular meeting to discuss the improvement plan and goals.

"Say the direction has been given," deKay said.

Atencio countered, "We gave him no direction in the executive session. It should have been part of the agenda. To me it's old business. Let's amend the agenda."

Trustees voted 5-1 to do that, with deKay voting no.

"One of our goals is a full or part-time planner, to have Lisa (Finance Director Lisa Rea) look at the budget in terms of what we can do," trustee Dixie Melton said. "Maybe part-time the rest of the year and moving to full-time next year."

Atencio wanted code enforcement as part of the job.

They decided formal approval wasn't necessary to advertise the position, using the same job description and qualifications as in 2012.

Rea recommended paying an hourly wage rather than a salaried position, the same rate for full or part-time. "We have a wage scale for planners. If it meets with what we have in the budget, we can advertise it," she said.

Pat Senecal served as town planner for several years until she retired in 2011. She was replaced by Miriam Gillow-Wiles, who resigned last fall to become executive director of the Southwest Colorado Council of Governments.

Trustees hired Town Manager San Miguel last fall and included planner in his duties. They approved paying him an additional $6,000 for that in February.

But at their July 2 meeting, trustees took two executive sessions and three votes to nix another pay increase of $4,000 for San Miguel to continue planner duties. San Miguel was to keep getting the February increase until a planner is hired. As approved, that motion included advertising for a planner as soon as possible.