City Councilor Tim Crum, District 5, broke with his fellow conservatives and voted with the Mayor to approve the Fire Union Collective Bargaining Agreement at Wednesday night's city council meeting. Councilor Crum, acknowledged the concerns of councilors Wilkins, Clayton, and Scott who were cautious of approving a document that they had not yet examined in detail, but didn't feel that caution warranted a delay in approval.
Councilor Chuck Wilkins pointed out that any agreement shouldn't be taken lightly as the last governing body seemed to do with a multitude of contracts including the horrible debacle with the Mariposa PID, which have left residents to foot a very large bill. Wilkins, who asked the Fire Chief if there would be any detriment to delaying the approval by one month, also noted that even though city staff were responsible for negotiations that the governing body was ultimately responsible for the agreement since they had to vote to approve it. Councilors Scott and Clayton echoed Wilkins' concerns noting that they had not yet had time to delve into the document. Councilor Crum, who has been on the city council since 2010, appealed to his fellow conservatives to trust the work of the city staff especially since there is no "fiscal impact" to be had by approving the agreement.
Councilor Crum voted to approve the Fire Union Collective Bargaining Agreement, against the desire of Councilors Wilkins, Scott, and Clayton who wanted more time to review the document. Crum's vote allowed the Mayor the opportunity to break the tie in favor of immediate approval.
Many of Councilor Crum's critics, have lumped Crum in with the three newest city councilors who were elected with the support of the Rio Rancho Tea Party, but ignore the fact that Crum has split the conservative vote in other instances allowing the Mayor to break the tie. The attack on Crum by his critics appear to be a political stunt since Crum's council seat is highly critical for election in 2014. Should he lose his seat, the conservatives will lose the majority vote allowing the Mayor more leverage in what ordinances get passed.
If you live in Rio Rancho's District 5, you may want to keep a close on what Councilor Crum is doing. Your district will be critical in the next election.
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