City votes to remove unused vehicles

Mike Linn

The Portales City Council on Tuesday voted to tow roughly 50 unregistered and inoperable vehicles from a Portales man’s property.
On May 1, District Judge Stephen Quinn ruled that Jim Brumfield had violated a city code prohibiting unregistered vehicles on property and gave city officials the power to seize such vehicles from his land.
Brumfield, who resides at 516 N. Laredo, has often ignored requests from city officials to remove abandoned vehicles and noxious weeds from his property for almost five years, according to city code-enforcement officer Donna Rutherford.
“For five years I feel like I’ve been fair and the city has been patient with Mr. Brumfield,” Rutherford said. “This is just a battle; there are other areas in the city in the same situation.”
Brumfield did not attend the meeting and could not be reached for comment.
Rutherford said a city contractor will remove the vehicles within the next three weeks unless Brumfield does it himself.
City officials say the problem occurred five years ago when Brumfield’s land — along with its vast array of unregistered vehicles — was annexed into city limits.
Brumfield has been selling less than five vehicles a year, which according to state law safeguards him from operating a business, Rutherford said.
City officials also noted that Brumfield has been given ample time to complete the task, but has often had excuses for not moving the vehicles.
“There is never enough time to get it done for Mr. Brumfield,” city attorney Stephen Doerr said.
“This gentleman has had ample time — years,” Portales Police Chief Jeff Gill added.
City officials cited a desire for a clean community as reasons for their decision.
“I think this is something we need to proceed with to keep our community clean,” Councilman Ron Jackson said.