Gross receipts taxes pass throughout area

By Michelle Seeber

Tuesday proved a good night for supporters of gross-receipts tax hikes.
Like Clovis, voters in Melrose and Texico said OK to proposals aimed at funding water issues.
In Melrose, voters overwhelmingly (61-9) approved a 1/16th of a percent gross-receipts tax. Texico’s proposed quarter-percent tax hike also got the majority (55-24).
Both communities sought the gross-receipts taxes for acquiring, treating, storing and distributing water.
In other Tuesday elections:
• In Portales, City Councilman Mike Miller added another four years to a resume filled with experience in city and county government.
The incumbent scored roughly 75 percent of the vote for the Ward D city council position, defeating Eddie Hiner in the city’s only contested race on Tuesday night. Miller scored 165 votes to Hiner’s 56.
“It’s a nice thing to know there was a choice and we prevailed this time … I’ll work hard to validate the confidence the 165 people have in me and try to do a good job here,” Miller said.
Hiner, a Portales native and owner of Berkeley and Arizona Apartments, wouldn’t comment on the election in detail but noted his opposition to the Ute Water Project may have been a factor.
“I think I’m the only one who has ever come out against it,” Hiner said. “If it was a viable project they could have got it done 40 years ago.”
• In Texico, voters elected Jerry Bradley and Sharon Askew to the Texico City Council.
The two were picked from four candidates.
Bradley, who garnered 58 votes, was surprised.
“We don’t campaign around here,” he said. “Everybody knows each other. I’m glad I won it, and I appreciate the votes. They need some fresh ideas up there, and I can provide that.”
Askew got 41 votes, was happy and surprised.
“It was a close one,” she said.
She defeated contender Nathan Tharp by only two votes.
“I’d like to get our streets fixed, bring a few more stores into the city,” Askew said. “We’ve got a lot of buildings to condemn, and that’s what I plan to do. Condemn buildings.”
• In Melrose, there was no race.
Voters selected two council members — Hoyt Clifton and Tuck Monk — from two candidates.
• Fort Sumner voters chose Selestino Lovato and Michael Mack as their council members.
Lovato, who drew 171 votes, said he campaigned over the phone.
“I just had knee surgery, so I did very little going door to door,” he said.
He wants to see the street on which he lives get paved, along with other streets in Fort Sumner.
As an advocate for senior citizens, the 71-year-old retiree also wants the rest home reopened, along with the hospital. Both closed in recent years.
“I’d like to see some businesses come in here so people can get a job,” he said.
Incumbent Mack, 57, said he would continue working on economic development, jobs, parks, streets, sidewalks and community development.

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Regional election results:
(winners in bold)
Melrose:
Village councilor (top two win)
Robert Hoyt Clifton: 61
Tuck N. Monk: 56

Fort Sumner:
Village councilor (top two win)
Beverly C. Brown: 95
Selestino Joe Lovato: 171
Michael R. Mack: 111

Texico:
City councilor (top two win)
Nathan L. Tharp: 39
Jerry Bradley: 58
Sharon Askew: 41
Max L. Carter: 20

Portales:
City Councilor
Ward A, Alfred Bachicha: 44
Ward B, Gary Watkins: 32
Ward C, D.K. Shafer: 60
Ward D, Mike Miller: 165
Ward D, Eddy Hiner: 56