Changes in job description for economic development director

The La Junta Urban Renewal Authority Board met on Thursday at noon in the Power Board Room. Mack Burtis acted as chairman in the absence of Nancy Bennett. Members present were Susie Sarlo, Mayor Lynn Horner, Ed Stafford, Karen Kelley, Joe Ayala, City Manager Rick Klein and Assistant City Manager Bill Jackson. City Clerk Melanie Scofield acted as official record keeper. Guests were Ginny Lagergren, City Councilman Ed Vela, Chamber Manager Angela Ayala and Gary Cranson.

Chamber Manager Angela Ayala presented the cost of brackets for the city banners recently hung by the electric department. According to the original agreement, Urban Renewal paid half the cost and the Chamber of Commerce half the cost. The cost of the brackets, presented to Ayala by Electric Line Superintendent Reuben DeLeon, was $990. The board agreed to pay its half, $495.

Ginny Lagergren appealed to the Urban Renewal Board for help with the cost of modernizing the electricity in her large building which houses four businesses. The matter was taken under advisement pending Lagergren’s obtaining of two bids on the electrical work.

Sarlo expressed her confusion with the financial report submitted. Tucker agreed to work with Klein to make the report more understandable to citizens without knowledge of accounting terms and practices.

On the agenda were T.O.’s Building, Plaza Building, The Book Stop and the Sign Shop Progress Report. Mayor Lynn Horner reported he has not heard from the gentleman who bought T.O’s for back taxes. The architect’s planning grant for the Plaza Building is presently under way. The Book Stop should be demolished by the end of the month. Asbestos removal is completed. The Sign Shop is making good progress on the remodel and Talor Stokes has submitted a current report.

The matter of advertisement for an economic development director was discussed. The Urban Renewal Authority Board is contributing $12,000 toward the salary. Acting Chair Burtis said, “We have money in this, and Urban Renewal is not mentioned in the job description.” Also, the board felt the job should be a city position, not a contract position, so the director could receive city benefits such as health insurance. City Manager Rick Klein and Assistant City Manager Bill Jackson agreed with the changes, will amend the advertisement and inform the five applicants already on hand of the changes. An extra meeting of the board will be required to accept the changes formally.