By air, by land Route 66 logos will be visible to tourists

Chelle Delaney

On June 27, 1985, Route 66 was officially decommissioned as a federal highway.

In Tucumcari, 23 years later, to the day, members of city’s Lodgers Tax Advisory Board were trying to get Route 66 back on the roads in Tucumcari.

Board members sought and received approval from the Tucumcari City Commission to paint the Route 66 emblem on Route 66 in town, as long as the state’s Department of Transportation OKs the project, too.

The board also asked the city if it could install banners on utility poles along the Mother Road. The banners were used locally at one time to advertise the city’s historic highway, but have not been on display in several years, said Lodgers Tax board member, Tom Even, Jr. City manager John Sutherland said the city could provide assistance.

At its Lodgers Tax Advisory Board meeting earlier this week, the board agreed that it will change out some of the city’s billboards advertising Tucumcari as the “Gateway to New Mexico,” to a slogan or shield that focuses on Route 66.

In other business at the city commission meeting on Thursday, the board met in an executive session regarding an evaluation of Sutherland, the city manager.

The board agreed to give Sutherland a vote of confidence. Four of the commissioners gave Sutherland a yes vote; commissioner Jim Lafferty voted no.
Lafferty said the city’s monthly budget was not presented to the commission at its meetings in a timely manner and that ultimately Sutherland was responsible.