Roswell Police Chief Al Solis made a special appearance at the City Council meeting Thursday night to thank councilors for the “opportunity to serve.”
“I want to thank everybody for serving the city,” Solis told the council. “I’ve enjoyed it. It’s quite a job and quite a challenge. You have a good department and good people.”
Solis, who was hired January 2011, announced his retirement late last month. His last day will be Aug. 31.
One accomplishment Solis told City Councilors he was most proud of is the drug task force, he said. Working the federal agencies “have been very helpful,” Solis said.
“Have we (made) progress? Yes, we have,” he said.
Solis talked to the council about some of the future projects he would like to see Roswell Police pursue.
Someday, Solis said he would like to see walking patrols downtown and bicycle patrols, especially in the downtown area. The patrols would allow officers to connect with business owners, visitors and the local community.
“I would like to have seen some sub-stationed down there,” Solis said.
At the end of Solis’ presentation, he asked if he could shake each council members’ hand. As he made his way around, the audience stood in appreciation and clapped.
“We just want to thank you for your hard work and dedication, and for the things you have accomplished,” said Mayor Del Jurney. “You’ve done a great job. You’ve made us proud and we thank you.”
Councilor Savino Sanchez Jr. said he appreciated Solis’ honesty.
“I thank you for being who you are,” Sanchez said, and then wished the best for a complete restoration of his health.
Solis was diagnosed with cancer, but it is contained.
“I have no complaints,” Solis said. “The good Lord’s been good to me.”
In other action Thursday, City Council approved all Lodgers Tax requests, including: a request for the eighth-annual Jazz Festival in October for $2,500; the Historical Society for Southeastern New Mexico’s public awareness marketing for $2,500; the Eastern New Mexico State Fair for $12,000; the 24th annual New Mexico Championship Ranch Rodeo in August for $2,500; Roswell’s Mud, Sweat and Tears in September for $3,000; and the Christmas Fantasy art show for $1,000.
The only somewhat disputed event was the Mud, Sweat and Tears mud run that is proposed for Noon Optimist Park. The run is a new event that is being marketed to a younger crowd that is attracted to the trendy sport of running in mud. Unfortunately, organizers did not realize it is scheduled for the same weekend as the Chile Cheese Festival. Despite some opposition from Councilor Dusty Huckabee, funding was approved unanimously.
Also, the Roswell Fire Department reported nine new recruits were hired recently, following a recruitment process. The new hires will start training Sept. 6.
Councilors were expected to rule on an appeal of a Planning Commission decision about a 16-unit apartment complex, proposed by Jim and Jennifer Campbell. Councilors were still listening to public input at press time.