New mayor, council hears presentation on Resolution Copper, handles housekeeping issues

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Hayden’s new Mayor Charles ‘Chale’ Vega is sworn into office. (Mila Besich-Lira photo)

By Mila Besich Lira

Following the swearing in of new Hayden Mayor Charles “Chale” Vega and new council members Gloria Ruiz and Bobby Smith the council got right to work handling several general housekeeping issues and heard presentations from Resolution Copper, Concerned Citizens and Retired Miners along with Cathy Melvin from Representative Ann Kirkpatrick’s office.

With a six to one vote the council approved Mayor Vega as the Chief Financial Officer for with the authority to request vehicle plate exemptions from MVD. Vega’s new position after approval from the board will also allow him to represent Hayden on the League of Cities and Town’s Resolution Committee and the Central Arizona Governments Regional Council. The Council also voted to appoint Maria Munoz as the Vice-Mayor.

Following each election the Council then designated members to be council contact members for each of the Town’s departments. Mayor Vega will be a the contact for the Senior Center and Administration. Vice Mayor Maria Munoz will be the contact for the Administration, Parks and Recreation and Police Department. Councilmember Enrique Lopez will be the contact for the Fire Department and Senior Center. Councilmember Thomas Lagunas will be the contact for Public Works and Police. Councilmember Gloria Ruiz will be the contact for Library and Magistrate. Councilmember Rhonda Cooper will be the contact for the Parks and Recreation department and Public Works. Councilmember Bobby Smith will be a contact for the Police Department and the Library.

Cathy Melvin gave a brief presentation representing Representative Ann Kirkpatrick. Melvin is the staff representative for Kirkpatrick’s Gila County Constituents. Melvin encouraged the council, staff and residents to contact her regarding anything they may need federal or congressional assistance on.

As part of their ongoing efforts to keep the communities in the region informed Resolution Copper gave a presentation on their mine project east of Superior. They covered the economic benefits explaining that the project will create 3,700 jobs, they also explained some of the environmental concerns that have been brought up by opposition groups. They also explained that they need to complete a federal land exchange before construction for the project can begin.

Following the presentation by the Resolution Copper officials, Roy Chavez of Superior with the Concerned Citizens and Retired Miners Coalition and Rodger Featherstone with the 1872 Mining Law Reform group also gave a presentation on their views regarding the Resolution Copper project. While both of them expressed concern for the environment as well as other socioeconomic and tribal concerns, Chavez asked the Hayden Town Council to stand with the Town of Superior in opposing H.R. 687 which will allow for the federal land exchange to take place. The council took no action following the presentations. Other communities throughout the region have passed resolutions of support for the project. The council did not request staff to place a resolution of support on a future agenda.

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