EUNICE — The Eunice City Council appointed Carlos Herrera, owner of Herrera’s Oilfield Services, LLC, to the council Monday.
Herrera fills a vacancy on the eight-member board, a vacancy created when former Councilor Gonzalo Luna became the city’s assistant director of public works earlier this month.
“Councilman Luna resigned. He’s now a city employee. By law he cannot be a city employee and be on the council,” City Manager Jordan Yutzy explained to the councilors. “So, we have an open vacancy. To fill out the remaining two years of (Luna’s) term, Carlos Herrera has volunteered to step up and finish the term.”
Eunice voters elected Luna to the council in November 2019. He last served on the council during its Sept. 13 meeting.
Luna told the News-Sun Tuesday he lost his previous job when his employer sold the company.
“So, I got this position here (with the city) and I’m going to serve the City of Eunice in this area now,” Luna said.
He added his almost two years of experience on the council proved enjoyable and educational.
“There are some fine people on the council. I thoroughly enjoyed it,” Luna said. “I learned a lot. They’re a diverse group and everybody seems to work well.”
The News-Sun reached out to Herrera for a comment, but had not received a response by press time.
Yutzy told the News-Sun, “I think Carlos is going to be a great asset to the city and the city council. He is a Eunice resident and has been a resident of the city for a long, long time. He’s excited about the changes that are going on in the city for the better and he wants to be a part of it.”
The city manager recounted Herrera’s multiple occasions of recognition for his volunteer work for the city.
“He has actually been recognized several times over the past two years by the city council for his volunteering and donations to the city,” Yutzy said.
“In fact, six months ago, he was given the full plaque for all the work he did during COVID-19 at the lake,” Yutzy continued. “He was the company that came to us after they got the CARES Act money and didn’t want to pay his employees to sit around, so he volunteered them and his equipment. They went and cleared off all the mesquite trees from the golf course and from the lake area.”
According to Dun & Bradstreet’s website, Herrera’s Oilfield Service LLC employes about 30 people.
After the previous election, Herrera had asked city management to consider him if his services were needed.
“He said if we ever had an opening to let him know because he would be interested in it. Then, when the opening came up, we started down our list and came to him and he said ‘I’m ready to go,’” Yutzy said.
Herrera took the oath of office during a virtual meeting of the council Monday, a meeting called primarily for that purpose.
Councilor Erica Jones immediately told Herrera, “We’re excited to have you on board,” to which Herrera responded, “I’m excited to be on board.”
The Eunice city council, which normally meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month except during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, had elected to cancel the second in-person meeting through the end of the year due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the city and a lack of major city issues to discuss.
City Clerk Candy Brito said Tuesday that although the number of COVID-19 cases have decreased significantly, the business to conduct for the remainder of the year remains minimal and the council’s decision to cancel October’s second in-person meeting remains in force. If necessary, the council will conduct a virtual meeting, she said.