Southern New Mexico Common Cause

Draft Minutes of the Governing Board Meeting

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


        Meeting Location: J.W. Flours Restaurant, Las Cruces, NM 88001

         Members Attending:                                                                                                                                                                                 

 Phil Banks, John Bloom, Steve Carter, Delores Halls, Woodie Jenkins, Mike McCamley, Vicki Simons, Tamie Smith and Charles Welch.

           Members Not Attending:

Jane Asche, Mary Ballard, Gus Bigelow, Alex Burr, Mary Ann Digman, Lynn Ellins, Rose Garcia, Ron Gurley, Jim Kadlecek and Vanessa Quiroz.

1.   Call to Order:  Phil Banks called the meeting to order at 11:52 AM.

 2.   Introductions and Agenda Approval/Changes:

Introductions were made or all knew each other. Agenda will include a discussion concerning the joint meeting with the Las Cruces League of Women Voters.  This will take place in the ‘Other Business’ portion of the Agenda, Section 8 and other sections throughout the meeting.  Tamie Smith indicated the subject would concern the City Council and their apparent inability to allow for public input and their dealings with the Public at City Council meetings. It will be placed in section 4F. It was moved and seconded to approve the amended agenda. The motion passed by voice vote.

3.  Approval of April Meeting Minutes:

The minutes of the SNMCC Board Meeting for April 2005 were amended (corrections for spelling). It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes. The motion passed by voice vote.

4.  Projects:

 A.     City Charter – Woodie Jenkins

See Attachment.

 - Last change deliberation will take place at tonight’s meeting at the Benavidez Senior Center.

 - The Committee’s votes will decide which of the final amendments are to be included in the final City Charter that will be sent to the City Council.

 - A Joint Las Cruces LOWC and Common Cause public meeting or forum could / should address the City Charter.

 - Woodie Jenkins will follow up with Chris Little of the LOWV.

 - Common Cause needs to prepare or come-up with something to attract the public.

 B.  MMC Issues: Lynn Ellins et al   No report. 

 C.  County Issues: Charles Welch

       There is a need to separate the Casino issue into two initiatives. First is the agreement between the Jemez Pueblo (the Casino owners) and Dona Ana County that includes $540,000 per year to defray the costs of the County.  It also includes many shortcomings concerning the status of the Casino under different scenarios. The initiative is only in effect if the Casino is approved and in being. And secondly the support of the actual casino and the jobs it will provide if it is approved and is a fact. They are not the same. Both concern entirely different aspects of the issue.

             D.  NMSU Regents – John Bloom

There is a need for an exchange between Common Cause, Jim Kadlecek, and the NMSU Regents on the Regents on the issue of a published complete agenda concerning what will be discussed in any closed or Executive sessions. (Reference the “Open Meetings Act’)

 E.     School Board (LCPS): Phil Banks 

The Las Cruces Public Schools Board (LCPS Bd) appears to be following all the rules of the Open Meetings Act.  They report about Executive Sessions / Work Sessions – They established policy for the Superintendent Martinez, etc.  Recent events have put the LCPS Bd in a very hard position (Recall). Possibly the Superintendent Martinez should have dealt with Principle Ogas differently (i.e. when the student body was not in school or something similar). The LCPS Bd is following the law and rules.

 F. City Council:  Tamie Smith (As Amended)

The following issues were discussed concerning the City Council and their apparent inability to allow for public input and their dealings with the Public at Council meetings.

 The issues;

- There apparently is no accounting for the receipt of ‘Impact Fees.’

- The Convention Center should be decided by a vote of the people.

- The City covering 50% of the cost of Sonoma Ranch building bridge(s) across arroyos.

 The questions;

What is the legality of Public broadcast of any meeting on Comcast Channel 20 in light of the fact that many people do not have cable?

 Can Common Cause take any sort of a stand on any issues like Petition Numbers, Runoff Elections, etc?

 The discussion seemed to conclude that Common Cause dealt with the manner that things are handled process-wise.  We also deal with the issues that all people should have equal input into government and that the rules and laws are followed.  Common Cause does not take a position on any specific issue. 

 (Phil Banks indicated that Alex Burr or Jim Kadlecek could speak to this area in a more informed manner.)

 5.  Monitoring of Public Meetings (w/LOWV)  

Vicki Simons stated that there was a need to get more meetings covered (Common Cause or LOWV members attending). Many meeting are being held without Common Cause or LOWV having any knowledge of how the organization complies with the Law or the rules.

 6.  Website Update:  Alex Burr  No Report

7.  State Update: No Report

 8.  Other Business:

The meting with the Las Cruces League of Women Voters was discussed by those in attendance.  One question offered concerned the inviting of guest speakers like (but not limited to) the “City Manager” to make meetings more interesting and sellable.

 9. Next Regular Meeting:  June 15, 2005

 10. Adjournment:  Phil Banks adjourned the meeting at 12:54 PM

 Respectfully Submitted,

 Michael McCamley

SNMCC Board Secretary


Date Approved and Signed