The Las Cruces City Council indefinitely tabled a Resolution to name the soundstage at the south end of Plaza de Las Cruces in honor of longtime City icon Roberto Estrada so that City staff can meet with Estrada’s family to help determine a suitable name for the memorial.
The table of the Resolution was approved by the Council at its Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 meeting at City Hall.
While tabling the Resolution is indefinite, Council members said they don’t want the table to last long. The Resolution will be brought back to City Council for consideration at a future date for adoption.
Roberto Estrada, who passed away August 18, was a Las Cruces philanthropist, Guinness World Record holder, and founder of Roberto’s Mexican Food Restaurant. Estrada’s contributions to the community touched the lives of many southern New Mexico residents.
In 1980, he was approached by the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce to contribute his cooking skills to an event that was then known as Vaquero Days. The event was renamed The Whole Enchilada Fiesta, and it became an ongoing annual event that put Las Cruces on the map.
The fiesta culminated with Estrada, his staff, and volunteers preparing a huge red enchilada. With only two exceptions, Estrada made his signature enchilada every year from 1980 through 2014, when the festival ended.
His world-famous 10.5 feet in diameter enchilada held the Guinness World Record from 2000 to 2010 for the world’s largest flat enchilada. The fiesta had received recognition as one of the top 100 festivals in the U.S. and as one of the three largest events in New Mexico.
Also on Tuesday, the seven-member Council unanimously adopted a Resolution to create a Citizen Ad Hoc Committee to work with Research & Polling, Inc., of Albuquerque, to evaluate City Council redistricting proposals. Results of the 2020 U.S. Census were publicly disclosed on August 12 and the City’s population has grown an estimated 14 percent to more than 111,000.
As a result of the City’s increased population, the Las Cruces City Charter requires that each City Council district “shall contain as nearly as possible substantially the same population based upon the most recent federal census.” Therefore, City Council needs to approve a redistricting proposal.
City Council will create a citizen ad hoc committee to provide public input and assist Research & Polling, Inc. to evaluate the various redistricting proposals that will be submitted. The Resolution will create an Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee consisting of seven Las Cruces residents. Committee members will be appointed as follows: each councilor may appoint one member who is a resident of their district; and the mayor may appoint one City resident.
All Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee meetings will be open to the public and subject to the provisions of the New Mexico Open Meetings Act, including maintaining minutes of all their public meetings with the City Clerk. The Committee also must submit written reports summarizing its activities to City Council.
Additionally during Tuesday’s meeting, City Council adopted an Ordinance, with several amendments, that will address cannabis uses within the City.
The new Ordinance repeals and replaces sections 38-21, 38-31A, 38-32, 38-33C, 38-33G, 38-33I, 38-53, and 38-54 of Chapter 38, Zoning, of the Las Cruces Municipal Code. Details of the amendments made by City Council will be announced shortly on the City’s cannabis website at https://www.las-cruces.org/2506/Cannabis-Information.
In early 2021, the state of New Mexico legalized cannabis for adult recreational use with the passage of House Bill 2, which includes the Cannabis Regulation Act. Until City Council’s approval of the new Ordinance, at Tuesday’s meeting Chapter 38, Zoning, of the Las Cruces Municipal Code had no provisions regulating adult-use cannabis production, manufacturing and consumption.