Attorney says he won’t file for injunction against sign prior to election

Sharna Johnson

An attorney who has challenged the city of Clovis for a “Save me” sign hung from Hotel Clovis and election brochures says he won’t file for a court injunction prior to the election.

Eric Dixon, who said he works for the High Plains Patriots and their treasurer Kim Runyan, said Monday he is awaiting response to an information request he submitted to the city and with less than 24 hours until the election, doesn’t see the benefit of filing for an injunction.

Dixon said he received a response from City Attorney David Richards on Monday morning that acknowledges the city paid for brochures regarding the special election being held for an Affordable Housing Ordinance.

In the letter, Richards states the city is within its legal rights to produce and distribute printed material “to inform the public regarding election issues.”

He further stated in the letter the brochures are available on request from the city manager’s office in City Hall but during early voting — which ended Friday — were not allowed in the main lobby or areas where voting was taking place and that the city “has not made any expenditures advocating passage of the Affordable Housing Referendum.”

Dixon said he has asked the city to provide the amount spent on the pamphlet “and any amounts spent promoting the election.”

Once those figures have been provided, Dixon said he will decide whether or not to file a lawsuit to seek taxpayer reimbursement of the money spent.

Dixon also said as of Monday there seemed no point in filing for a court injunction to force the city to remove the hotel sign or to end distribution of the brochures prior to the election.

“I don’t know whether we could find a judge that quickly,” he said.

Richards said he is in the process of obtaining the brochure costs to satisfy Dixon’s information request.

Supporters of the ordinance have said the sign on the hotel was approved by Taos developer Stephen Crozier, who plans to convert the hotel into an affordable housing community.

Patriots president Tim Ashley has said Runyan engaged an attorney as an individual and the Patriots’ board has not taken a formal vote to join in legal action.

After the city commission approved the Affordable Housing Ordinance, the High Plains Patriots collected the required petition signatures to force the issue to a referendum vote Tuesday.