Clifton overwhelmingly approves Home Rule

Walt Mares Photo/Gila Herald: Jessie Villareal exits the Morenci polling site after he casts his ballot in the Aug. 2 primary election.

Incumbents Dorrell, Lorenzo re-elected 

By Walt Mares

It should come as no surprise if Clifton town councilors let out a big sigh of relief. The critical Proposition 400 – Home Rule – was approved by Clifton voters by a wide margin.

In other council-related matters, two incumbents, Vice-Mayor Laura Dorrell and Councilor Ray Lorenzo were re-elected. Janeene Duncan-Carrillo, a newcomer to local politics, was also elected. There were four candidates running for three council seats. A fourth candidate, Clifton businessman Thomas Shalkowitz, fell short in his bid for a council seat.

Voters overwhelmingly approved Home Rule, which had previously been approved over the past several years. The issue appears on the ballot every four years. Home Rule, known as expenditure limitation, allows municipalities to set their own budgets. Without it, the state is allowed to set budget limitations. In Clifton’s case not having Home Rule would allow the state to cut the town’s budget by more than half.

Clifton Mayor Luis Montoya pointed out the drastic impact it would have on town-provided services and other aspects of local government.

 Home Rule was approved by a 231-79 margin.

Walt Mares Photo/Gila Herald: Campaign signs for two Clifton Town Council candidates asking for votes are side-by-side in the parking area of the Clifton Train Station. Incumbent Ray Lorenzo was re-elected. Businessman Thomas Shalkowitz finished last in the four-candidate race for three council seats. ViceMayor Laura Dorrell, who garnered the most votes, was re-elected. Political newcomer Janeene Duncan-Carrillo was elected in the Aug. 2 election.