City council to discuss pledge resolution

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

The Portales City Council may weigh in on a proposed state regulation allowing public school children to opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.

The agenda for Tuesday’s council meeting includes a vote on a resolution to oppose any change in the state Public Education Department codes.

The department is holding a public comment period, and state Rep. Dennis J. Roch, R-District 67, sent out a letter asking local governments and school districts to oppose the change.

Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega Jr. was interested in having the item on the agenda.

“There’s really no reason to change the regulation because that opportunity already exists,” he said, adding people can choose not to say the pledge now if they’re uncomfortable with it.

In other business, the council is set to vote on the re-authorization of a $90,000 state grant.

Interim City Manager Tom Howell said the grant was originally for a fire station on the north side of Portales, but there wasn’t enough money to build the station or enough time to get more money before the grant expired.

The city then asked to use the money for the city pool. Now the Legislature and city council need to approve the change, he said.

The council agenda also includes updates on the renovation of the Yam Theater and the Roosevelt County Economic Development Corporation.