By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
Recall petition forms have been taken out against Tucumcari City Commissioners Amy Gutierrez, second district, and Rick Haymaker, first district, according to Angelica Gray, Tucumcari city clerk.
The petition forms were apparently ordered by Gary Southern, who was a candidate for municipal judge in the 2013 general election and who was among the candidates who interviewed with the commission when Haymaker was appointed. Haymaker was sworn in on Thursday.
Southern, however, said he was not acting on his own behalf. Another individual, who he said he will not name, asked him to take out both petitions.
The petition form against Gutierrez was taken out on May 14, Gray said, and the form against Haymaker was taken out on Tuesday.
Gutierrez, who was appointed in late February to fill out the term of Jimmy Sandoval, who was recalled by voters in January, said, “If they are not satisfied with the job I’m doing and can show they are acting in the best interest of the people of Tucumcari, and if they think someone else can do better, they are welcome to try” the recall.
Haymaker, appointed on May 8 to replace Dora Salinas McTigue, who resigned from the commision on March 24, citing family health concerns, said he could not understand why the recall petition had been started.
He has attended one city commmission meeting since his appointment, and said a recall election would be an unnecessary expense.
“The reason I won’t order the 72-ounce steak at the Big Texan (in Amarillo, Texas), is that I don’t want to pay for it if I don’t finish it,” he said, “but here, one guy can take out a petition at no expense to himself and cause a recall election that could cost the city thousands of dollars. If it doesn’t turn out his way, it still costs him nothing.”
Haymaker said he applied for the appointment at the urging of other business owners in the downtown area.
Further, he said, the commission seems ready to act harmoniously, which, he said, will help to attract new business to the city after months of acrimonious city commission meetings that Haymaker said have turned potential investors in the city away.
Haymaker added that he was sworn in Thursday as five days of needed rain began in the city, and he said, he would take that as “a very hopeful sign for Tucumcari.”