ActivePaper Archive Keith concert off the table - Hobbs News Sun, 2015-05-20

Hobbs commission

Keith concert off the table

Before Hobbs commissioners had a chance to get settled in their chairs Mayor Sam Cobb asked for an amendment to Tuesday’s city commission meeting.

Cobb asked for the dismissal of a resolution to approve the transfer of $600,000 from the general fund to pay for a proposed June concert featuring Country Western artist Toby Keith.

“We just determined we didn’t have the broad-base support that we feel like we needed to have in order to bring a project of that scope to the community,” Cobb said after the meeting. “I don’t think the opportunity doesn’t exist for it to occur, but it’s a large project and one that we haven’t done before. These things take time.”

Cobb said the concern that he heard was in regard to the city using funding for a event while the current economy is in flux.

“There is always going to be another opportunity to do that,” Cobb said. “There are going to be some people that will be disappointed, but at the end of the day if we don’t think we have a broad enough support throughout the hospitality industry and the commission and the citizens, I will take it off the agenda and that’s what I did.”

The concert was originally going to be a separate community event to take place on the same day of the opening of Rockwind Community Links, but because of logistics getting the concert on the same day was not an option. When the event was tabled at the May 4 commission meeting, it gave city officials a chance to present a better proposal to the commission.

One that included a venue change to Watson Memorial Football Stadium, while having the ticket pricing between $20-$30 per person, yet keeping the price the same.

“If you go online and look for the normal cost of a Toby Keith concert ticket, you are looking at a minimum of $75 and to get front-row seating you’re talking about anywhere from $150-$300 depending on where the concert is. We feel that $30 is a cheap price to see Toby.”

Evidently not cheap enough.

“I think people saw the $600,000 and that’s probably, unless you’re more closely aligned to it in terms of how all of that works, I think sometimes it makes it difficult for people to understand how that process works,” Cobb said. “It was a big project. (Keith) is a world-class performer. He is one of the top in the recording industry. He can command those kinds of fees and more and when the community is ready, we’ll work on bringing it back, or someone like him.”

The concert resolution was one of four agenda items to not make it through commission.

The commission voted down the final adoption of an amendment to the Hobbs Municipal Code regarding Nepotism, 3-3. While Cobb and Commissioners Crystal Mullins and Jonathan Sena approved the motion, Commissioners Garry Buie, John Boyd and Marshall Newman voted the measure down.

Commission Joe Calderon, who was at the meeting when it started, excused himself to attend the Hobbs Municipal School Board meeting. This resolution would have allowed relatives of commissioners and City Manager J.J. Murphy to work for the city in a seasonal capacity, such as a lifeguard during the summer months.

Another failed resolution was authorizing the approval of a development agreement with CRV Investments LLC., concerning the development of market rate housing located on East Bender and Ranchland.

Buie had questions about the city’s investment and wanted to table the motion to have his questions answered, however Sena already had a motion for approval and needed a second. With a second from Mullins, the measure was voted down 3-3, with Buie, Newman and Boyd voting no and Mullins, Sena and Cobb voting yes. It is unclear when the resolution would return to the commission.

The fourth resolution authorizing approval of a collective bargaining agreement with the Hobbs Police Association was unanimously tabled when the commission learned of new information that came about before the meeting. The resolution is expected to be on the next commission meeting scheduled for June 1.

In other items the commission unanimously approved:

• Amendments to the Hobbs Municipal Code regarding the City of Hobbs’ Procurement Policy.

• Consideration for a water well to be built by Entrench Inc., at the cost of $221,325. The well will be located near Rockwind Community Links and the start of its surrounding walking trail.