Residents from Caliente appeared bright and early for the City of Caliente special meeting at 7 a.m. on July 1. The City Hall was fully occupied for the occasion. The city welcomed their new mayor-elect, Stana Hurlburt. Once the meeting was called to order, Mayor Hurlburt told attendants that for any outbursts, she would be blowing the whistle around her neck rather than use the gavel. Hurlburt has been the certified lifeguard instructor for a number of years in the county, and is accustomed to using the whistle.
Mayor Hurlburt then assigned each of the council members to a group or board for the City of Caliente. Assisting with the Parks and Beautification Committees is Councilman Cody Christensen.
Community Development and Planning will be receiving Councilwoman JoLyn Cardinal. Cardinal will also remain the liaison for city attorney John Brown. Councilman Steve Rowe will be overseeing the Public Utilities committee. A new department Hurlburt created was the Caliente Depot and Boxcar Heritage Museum, which will be overseen by Councilman Victor Jones.
Council members Cardinal, Rowe and Christensen, along with the city attorney Brown, all voiced their opinions regarding the position placement of Jones because of past issues between Jones and the City Clerk, and Brown said it would be better for someone to take the position who didn’t have a history with the Clerk, to afford an unbiased judgment.
However, Mayor Hurlburt said, “I stand by my decision,” and felt that the new council could overcome any dilemmas. She did note however, that if things, “aren’t being handled right,” then the council could revise the member placements. Hurlburt, Jones and Rowe voted in favor of the positions, and Cardinal and Christensen voted against the motion. The new committee members placement was passed with a 3-2 vote.
During public comment, Mayor Hurlburt mentioned that there would now be monthly town hall meetings. She said that the council meetings are there for the council to handle business, but community discussions could be offered at town hall meetings. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for July 18 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.