Mayor Jesus Ruiz has called a Special Meeting of the Socorro City Council to discuss the pavement issue regarding City Representative Sergio Cox.
This was first reported last Friday in a segment on KTSM.
The controversy has arisen of a small portion of street paving on a street that has only two residents and has no outlet. Representative Cox owns property on the street and failed to disclose his ownership of the property to any of his colleagues when they were voting to approve the projects.
A source in Socorro city government indicates that is a violation of the city charter.
Mr. Cox not only failed to disclose that he owned property on the street, but he also failed to abstain from the vote. Cox voted in favor of his proposed street paving project.
In the interview on KTSM, Cox indicated that the property was his mothers. But according to CAD, the property now belongs to Councilman Cox and has for several years. Cox apparently pays the taxes on that property as well.
So by any definition, the house is his.
Cox also gave a strange answer about why he pushed to have it paved. He said that residents on the street, I presume both of them, have been paying taxes and deserved a rode out of fairness.
But that isn't how road paving projects are typically selected. Its usually based on a formula that takes into account public use, need, and amount of traffic. Over $14,000 of public dollars were used on the project that could've gone to streets that needed improvement that had a higher use of the public.
Although Cox argument is essentially moot when you consider that he had to - at a minimum - disclose that he owned the property. And its likely a conflict of interest for him to have voted on the project as well.
Socorro has had a long history of shenanigans when it comes to local pet projects. A few years ago driveways were installed in parts of Socorro and a forensic audit eventually showed that the council led by then-City Rep Jesse Gandara had installed driveways for constituents that voted regularly.
Council will apparently meet to initiate an investigation of the paving project.