Commending our mayors who have heart and care
Do you ever wonder what the duties of a mayor are? Black’s Law defines two types of mayorships: A council-weak and a council-strong body. A council-weak system gives the mayor light duties like overseeing meetings, interacting with the public and developing a budget, leaving the city councilors to make and implement laws and ordinances.
This appears to be Belen’s system. Mayor Jerah Cordova fulfills his duties as a public official by presiding over meetings, yet the true power to enact changes lies within the panel known as the city council. As we’ve all witnessed over the past few months, the Belen City Council does not typically make any decisions without deferring to special interests in Belen, aka those who don’t want anything to change.
I applaud Mayor Cordova and his wife for making a bold and generous decision to donate his entire 2019 salary towards getting the Judy Chicago Museum going. This promises to bring much needed revenue to Belen. I believe Mayor Cordova takes his duties seriously and always has Belen’s best interests at heart.
The other system of mayorship, council-strong system gives the mayor more leeway, allowing the mayor to set up task forces, reach out to other elected officials and even veto council actions.
Earlier this week, the mayor of Pittsburg, Penn., Bill Peduto, sent out a letter to 60 other mayors around the country, many of whom manage cities that have also experienced shocking massacres and heartbreaking gun violence in churches, schools, nightclubs and outdoor venues. A few weeks after 11 elderly people were executed by a man with an AR-15 inside their synagogue, Major Peduto’s letter urges other mayors to join him in introducing legislation to take on the NRA and federal gun laws that actually prevent common sense gun measures at the local level.
In his letter, he attached three proposed measures for gun safety in Pittsburg and invited other mayors to introduce their own measures on the anniversary of Sandy Hook, where 21 innocent children and their teachers were brutally murdered in their school as they readied for Christmas break.
It turns out that in Florida and Pennsylvania, state law prevents local entities from making their own laws. This hamstrings local governments from protecting their citizens or improving their quality of life.
According to Dan Daley, a Coral Springs city commissioner “For years, state lawmakers have used a tactic called preemption to ban cities and counties from passing their own laws. They’ve blocked local decisions on wages, jobs, affordable housing, clean air and water, discrimination, and gun safety. Those legislators won’t tell you this, but deep-pocketed special interests and their corporate bottom lines are the force behind it regarding guns.”
I want to commend Mayor Peduto for taking his duties seriously and caring about his city.
I have to say that we are at a crossroads when it comes to progress, safety and well-being in Valencia County. Just (recently), we are told that city counselors are mulling the idea of allowing nuclear waste to be brought through Belen, and at least one councilor is dragging his feet on rejecting it. How their decision goes cannot be decided or vetoed by the mayor. Hopefully, these men will make a decision for the well-being of all citizens and visitors to Belen and Valencia County and I really hope they are listening to all the voices who are speaking.
It would be nice to be able to commend them for doing something exceptional for their town.
(Editor’s Note: The Belen City Council voted 3-1 in November to approve a resolution opposing the transportation of high-level radioactive waste via the railroad through the Hub City.)
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