By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer
Curry County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution supporting the Constitution of the United States at their meeting Tuesday, with one commissioner unable to attend and vote.
The resolution declares support of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, specifically supporting the First and Second Amendments, which grant freedom of speech and the right to bear arms.
There were only four commissioners present at the meeting.
In a letter read by County Manager Lance Pyle, Commissioner Bobby Sandoval — traveling to Santa Fe Tuesday to defend local project allocations at risk in the Legislature — said he disagreed with the resolution. While he supports the Constitution, he said he does not believe one amendment is more important than another.
Due to his absence, Sandoval was not given a vote.
Commissioner Wendell Bostwick said he believes the First and Second Amendments are “foundational to the Constitution.”
Commissioner Caleb Chandler he and Dan Stoddard, who co-sponsored the resolution, both strongly support the Constitution.
“This resolution calls for support of the entire Constitution,” he said.
Prior to the vote, about half a dozen citizens spoke, mostly in support of the resolution.
“We are here because we are concerned citizens. We understand in our hearts and our minds that many of our rights are being eroded,” Clovis resident Paul Tankersley said.
“Continue to support the Constitution. We understand that you have taken that oath, but so have many in Washington, and they have walked away from that oath.”
Written by former Clovis Mayor David Lansford, the resolution asked commissioners to “wholeheartedly embrace the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights” as well as “unequivocally support the Constitution of the United States of America.”
“What we see happening around us is a centralization of power,” former commissioner Tim Ashley said.
“We’re trying to do this at a grass-roots level and tell congress we’re tired of it.”
Commissioners received a standing ovation after their vote.
The Clovis City Commission passed the resolution during a meeting Sept. 10. The approval was by a 6-2 margin, with commissioners Robert Sandoval and Isidro Garcia opposing.
Sandoval and Garcia expressed disapproval that the resolution singles out the First and Second Amendments for emphasis.