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Nutrition center still seeking director, Stephenson appointed municipal judge

April 20th, 2017 under Top Stories

By JOHN DANIEL GARCIA
johndaniel@bigbendnow.com

Chuck Stephenson

Chuck Stephenson

MARFA – The Marfa City Council has appointed Marfa attorney Chuck Stephenson as the city’s Municipal Judge.

Stephenson, who ran for county attorney last year, replaces outgoing Mayor Dan Dunlap, who was the city court judge since former Justice of the Peace Cinderela Guevara was elected Presidio County Judge in 2014. Guevara was both JP and municipal judge for a time.

Stephenson is on the job but must attend required training before assuming his new duties, according to City Administrator Jim Mustard.

Stephenson, who was the sole applicant for the job, will serve a two-year term, concurrent with mayoral elections, but will automatically be reappointed unless the city council votes otherwise.

“I’m sure he’ll do a good job and he’s already begun to work with the mayor to complete his training,” said Mustard.

The city also hired Sherry Torres as the new municipal clerk following the resignation of former clerk David Jurado. Torres began work on April 10.

Meanwhile, the city is currently seeking a director for the nutrition / senior center, which provides lunch for local senior citizens at the Marfa Activity Center and meals on wheels to homebound Marfa seniors.

Longtime director Vanessa Sanchez has resigned but has agreed to stay on the job until a new director is hired, Mustard said. A new director was hired recently but quit after one day.

There’s also a part-time center employee on the job to help prepare meals.

The lack of a director, Mustard said, may put the program at risk, as the city is under contract as a provider for the Rio Grande Council of Governments, where some of the center’s funding comes from.

“[The program could close] at some point, without a director or employee,” he said. “Without one, we’re not in compliance with our service agreement with [RioCoG] and there will be an issue if we can’t fill the positions.”

The staffing issues and cutbacks in programming have led to a decline in the number of seniors taking part in center activities, according to sources.

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