Southern New Mexico Common Cause

Minutes of the Governing Board Meeting

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

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

         Members Attending:                                                                                                                                                                                 

 Mary Ballard, Phil Banks, John Bloom, Alex Burr, Steve Carter, Lynn Ellins, Woodie Jenkins, Jim Kadlecek, Mike McCamley, Vicki Simons, Tamie Smith and Charles Welch

           Members Not Attending:

 Jane Asche, Gus Bigelow, Mary Ann Digman, Rose Garcia, Ron Gurley, Delores Halls and Vanessa Quiroz



Fran Clark (LOWV), Ms Jenkins


 1.   Call to Order:    Lynn Ellins called the meeting to order at 11:42 AM.

 2.   Introductions and Agenda Approval/Changes:

 Introductions were made or all knew each other.  

 Tamie Smith will speak during Other Business, (Number 7 below).

 Vicki Simons spoke at this time due to her probable attendance at another meeting and the time.

 -         The League of Women Voters (LOWV) will sponsor a Las Cruces Voter’s Forum at 6:30 PM, Thursday, October 20, 2005 at the Munson Senior Center. This forum will / should include all the candidates on Las Cruces’ November Ballot.

 -         The Las Cruces LOWV’s has / will receive a grant from the MacNeil – Lehrer Report, Inc. {The News Hour}and will sponsor a forum entitled “We the People” about Healthcare Reform. There will be a televised forum that is scheduled for 7:00 PM, Monday, October 24, 2005 on / at KRWG.  There will be a panel of Local and National Physicians and Healthcare officials. There will be Questions from the live audience and it will be filmed. 

 The meeting Agenda was then approved by voice vote.

 3.  Approval of August Meeting Minutes:

 The August meeting minutes were amended and approved by voice vote

4.  Projects:

A MMC - Jim Kadlecek

Commissioner McCamley asked for a list of questions from Mr Haines for MMC.  A meeting will be held with Mr Haines tomorrow.  

 B.     City Charter – Public Meeting September 15th – Report - Vicki Simons

The meeting went fine. It was televised on the public input channel. Many questions were presented by those in attendance and they were answered by the panel. (The assistant City Attorney was caught giving an incorrect answer to a question.)  Las Cruces was pleased based on the note they sent to the LOWV.  

 C.  NMSU Regents - (Any feedback yet on meeting with Attorney) – Jim Kadlecek

There has been no feedback from the NMSU Attorney and no meeting is planned. SNMCC will write him a letter reminding him of the meeting that was discussed. The last meeting of the Regents was held in Grants, New Mexico.  The business was (as described before) ‘pro-forma’ with no resistance. (This leads one to believe that maybe the issues have been talked over beforehand by the Regents.)   

             D.  Dona Ana County - Charles Welch

The members of the Commission do not make clear statements when they comment. Also the motions that are voted on are not clearly stated nor are they read (and clear) before a vote is taken.  This matter will be brought to the Chair’s attention.

 The chair should assert himself and ask that comments be re-stated until he (and the public} understand what was said.  The Commission is taking up the DAC Law-Enforcement issue (lack of pay and funding for the Sheriff’s Department).  We, SNMCC, will not take a position on the issue of prayer before the Commission meetings.

E.     Las Cruces School Board - Phil Banks

The LCPS board had a closed session last month without reporting what was discussed.  (It was assumed that the Superintendent’s ‘Plan’ was discussed.) The board is putting out a policy or operation concerning public input being limited to three minutes. This public input will be at the end of the meetings. A discussion on this matter was held by the board. It is not clear to SNMCC weather the input should be before, during or at the end of a meeting or anytime there is a thought or comment on an issue raised. Alex Burr brought up the fact that there is a difference between a ‘Public Meeting’ and ‘Public Input’. They are two different things. Jim Kadlecek commented during the discussion that public input was allowed (rather) freely during the Legislative Committee process but not in the actual Legislative Process.  We (SNMCC) will not take a position about this Public Input issue.

 5.   Report on last State Board Meeting - Alex Burr

Public financing for candidates in Albuquerque will be on the ballot there in November. This is a Common Cause-New Mexico issue. It is being looked at as a precedent for all other areas of the United States if it passes. Jim Kadlecek reported that Phil Banks has been nominated to fill the State position of Charles Welch. He also reported that we will formulate a letter to Matt Brix concerning weather Common Cause should take on the issue of the DAC Treasure Kickbacks. SNMCC may ‘back-into’ a possible over-site position for all or many of the elected officials.  Information is needed on this topic.

 6.  Website - Alex Burr.  The Website has been updated and is operating OK.

 7.  Other

Tamie Smith reported that the recognition by the City of Las Cruces of a neighborhood organization will be by written By-Laws and the membership in the organizations. The distance currently required for notice of a development is 200 feet.  Many are left out because of this short, 200 foot distance.

 The City of Las Cruces determined that the petition to delay the opening of Main Street was an Administrative decision and therefore closed the issue without further consideration and an election. There wasn’t any notification to the citizen sponsors of the petition.  The issue boils down to whether the decision concerning the opening or closing of Main Street is an Administrative or Legislative matter.

 Is there an ethical issue here?  Will SNMCC take on the issue (1) of the failure to notify / inform  the sponsors of the petition and (2) the matter of weather it is an Administrative or a Legislative function?

 It was moved and seconded and passed that SNMCC will write a letter to the New Mexico Legislative Committee and the Justice Committee to inform them that the four days of hearings they are holding in Las Cruces were not publized adequately and the place that they were using  was not served public transportation. A letter will also be written by SNMCC to the Mayor of Las Cruces about the discourtesy, planned or not planned, of not notifying the Sponsors of the petition to delay the opening of Main Street of the City’s decision concerning that the petition and any election required was Administrative and therefore the signatures were not even verified.

 8. Next Regular Meeting:  October 19, 2005

 9. Adjournment:  Lynn Ellins adjourned the meeting at 12:54 PM

 Respectfully Submitted,

  Michael McCamley

SNMCC Board Secretary

 Date Approved and Signed