- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - Roswell officials have decided to put any plans to rename city property after the late California farmworker union leader Cesar Chavez on hold.

On Monday the City Council voted unanimously to indefinitely delay proposals to rename a recreation center or a square block after Chavez, The Roswell Daily Record reported (https://bit.ly/216Rhss ).

“This is something that is too monumental and too important to Roswell’s Hispanic community to just settle,” said City Councilor Elena Velasquez, who has been pushing for the dedication. “Let’s take the time to pause and give our community some time to heal for now.”

The city council has been embattled for more than a year trying to honor Chavez. One committee deadlocked on the naming issue and a different committee voted to recommend naming a proposed new recreation center. Last year, a proposal to rename a street after him failed to gain traction without the support of the Chaves County commission.

“I have seen Roswell go through all sorts of things,” Velasquez said. “And it saddens me today, that after a year, a year mind you, that we were not able to come together on such a simple, simple thing. Hopefully, this does not die here.”

Velasquez said the city needs to work on educating the community before it can turn its attention to naming anything after Chavez. Monday was Velasquez’s last meeting before she retires.

Members of the public who attended Monday’s meeting mostly expressed disappointment that the Chavez issues had been withdrawn. Larry Connolly told the council he felt like they had only “kicked the can down the street.”

“I have to tell you I’m very disappointed you withdrew the items,” Connolly said. “This has been up for a whole year. We should have had a result. If you can’t resolve it, go find some people who can meet privately and come up with a solution that all you can be happy with. I’m very disappointed we can’t have it settled.”


Information from: Roswell Daily Record, https://www.roswell-record.com

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