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Sunland Park Is Without A Mayor – Again

Javier Perea is no longer mayor of Sunland Park less than a week after taking office.

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King ruled that the city violated the Open Meetings Act on April 18 because not everyone was allowed inside for the meeting. It was at that meeting that Perea was appointed mayor.

The act states that any decisions made by a governing body while in violation of the law are considered invalid.

In response, Perea officially relinquished his title on Friday in a written statement. He said it’s the best thing for the people of Sunland Park.

“I strongly support the council rectifying this particular situation, but it is another hump in the road,” Perea told ABC-7.

In the statement, Perea expressed hopes of the city council ensuring the next council meeting will finally accommodate every resident who wants to get in.

City council will now have to have another meeting to appoint a new mayor and choose a location that can accommodate everyone. The council will have to go through all the items on the original agenda and vote again.

Mayor Pro-Tem Isabel Santos said this time around she’d like to check into the background of each candidate for mayor.

“We need to check all the information because I don’t want to have another mistake,” Santos said.

Perea said he will reapply for the position and hopes to be reappointed.

“What the city council decides, I’m going to go with it. If they decide to appoint somebody else I can accept that fact. It’s their vote,” Perea said.

The attorney general’s office said city council has until May 4 to either respond to the ruling or take action to correct the violation.

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