Aztec City Commission may choose to put Sunday alcohol sales on the March election ballot

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FARMINGTON — The issue of calling a March vote on Sunday alcohol sales was stricken from Aztec City Commission agenda at the start of its meeting Tuesday night at the request of the city attorney due to legal concerns.

City Attorney Larry Thrower asked that item be removed while he evaluates whether the commission has authority to place Sunday alcohol sales on the March ballot. In the past, a petition from residents was required for Sunday alcohol sales to be placed on a ballot.

"I would like to have a firm legal opinion on that before the council takes action," Thrower said.

He anticipates that the commission will vote on the issue during the next meeting.

Aztec resident Victor Snover said he was disappointed because he had known the city commission was intending on voting on that issue for three weeks.  

"We are just now finding out on the day of the meeting that there's suddenly a legal concern," Snover said.

He expressed concern that the issue could be postponed until it is too late for it to be placed on the ballot.

"It always seems to be something that is holding us into the 19th century in Aztec, New Mexico," he said.

Mayor Sally Burbridge said the discussion about Sunday alcohol sales began weeks ago, however the commission chose to place it on the agenda last week.

"Even though it had been talked about, we don't set agendas months in advance," she said.

City Commission meetings are streamed online and posted to the city's YouTube page.

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

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