Issue arose over movement to place issue on March ballot



FARMINGTON — Aztec city attorney Larry Thrower has determined that the City Commission cannot place Sunday alcohol sales on the March election ballot.

Aztec resident Jacqueline Fallon asked the commission about the potential Sunday alcohol sales during its meeting Tuesday evening, which was streamed live online on the city's YouTube channel.

The commission had planned to vote on whether to place Sunday alcohol sales on the ballot during a meeting earlier this month. Thrower asked to have it removed from that agenda so he would have time to evaluate if the City Commission legally could place it on the ballot. Thrower said his opinion was sought late in the process, which is why it was removed from the agenda after being placed there.

Thrower said he consulted with the New Mexico Municipal League, the New Mexico Bureau of Alcohol and Gaming, and the New Mexico Attorney General's Office.

Thrower said residents must petition to have a special election to vote on whether restaurants can sell alcohol on Sundays. While liquor cannot be purchased at restaurants on Sundays, stores are permitted to sell alcohol.


Fallon told the commission she plans on starting a petition.

According to information provided by the AG's Office, the petition must be filed with the New Mexico secretary of state. The special election must take place within 60 days of the petition being verified unless that is within 42 days of a general, municipal, school bond election or bond election.

Aztec had received information from the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office that made commissioners believe the law had changed and would allow the issue to be placed on the March ballot, according to Thrower. 

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.


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