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New City Councilor Picked To Be Deputy Mayor

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No sooner did he take his seat behind the dais, than novice Rio Rancho City Councilor Mark Scott landed the position as deputy mayor.

As deputy, Scott will step in to fill mayor’s role at ceremonial functions and chairing council meetings when Mayor Tom Swisstack can’t be present.

“I’m very honored and humbled that councilors put this trust in me. I’m excited to get to work,” Scott said.

Scott was elected to the District 4 council seat in a runoff election April 17, sworn in on Monday and attended his first meeting as councilor on Wednesday.

Councilor Tamara Gutierrez first nominated Councilor Patty Thomas for the deputy mayor’s position, saying Rio Rancho needed someone with city government experience who had a flexible work schedule. Thomas has represented District 2 since 2001 and is retired.

When no one seconded Gutierrez’s nomination, Councilor Chuck Wilkins nominated Scott. He said the city needed someone who was energetic, outgoing and business friendly. Councilor Tim Crum seconded Wilkins’ proposal.

There were no other nominations.

Councilors voted 5-1 for Scott. Gutierrez cast the no vote.

In other matters, the council voted unanimously to:

♦ Use $300,000 left over from the project that extended Paseo del Volcan from Iris to U.S. 550 for landscaping a 200-foot section of median on Paseo del Volcan near U.S. 550. The landscaping will include a “Welcome to Rio Rancho” sign, trees, plants and irrigation. ($240,000 comes from the state Department of Transportation and $60,000 was city money from the 2009 voter-approved road bonds.)

♦ Terminate Special Assessment District 9, which was to provide flood control improvements on three roads in northern Rio Rancho. The project would have allowed the city to recoup the cost of the improvements from property owners who benefited. Changes that reduced the scope of the project made it cost prohibitive, according to a council briefing memo. The city has already spent $320,000 from impact fee funds to conduct preliminary appraisals and other work for the proposed improvements.

♦ Approve a $3.3 million contract to Anderson-Brown Inc. to expand the capacity of the Cabezon wastewater treatment facility from 0.6 million gallons per day, to 1.2 million gallons per day to accommodate future growth. Funding comes from a loan from the state Environment Department.

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