Southern New Mexico Common Cause

Draft Minutes of the Governing Board Meeting

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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

         Members Attending:                                                                                                                                                                                 

 Alex Burr, Steve Carter, Lynn Ellins, Delores Halls, Woodie Jenkins, Jim Kadlecek, Mike McCamley, and Charles Welch.

           Members Not Attending:

 Jane Asche, Mary Ballard, Phil Banks, Gus Bigelow, John Bloom, Mary Ann Digman, Rose Garcia, Ron Gurley,  John Lazaruk, Vanessa Quiroz, Vicki Simons and Tamie Smith.

 Guests; Ramona Jenkins and Stephen Fischmann 

1.   Call to Order:    Lynn Ellins called the meeting to order at 11:40 AM..

 2.   Introductions and Agenda Approval/Changes:

 The agenda, was approved by voice vote.

 Introductions were made or all knew each other.

 3.  Approval of March Meeting Minutes:

 The March meeting minutes, as amended, were approved by voice vote.

 4.  Projects:

A.  MMC - John Lazaruk was not present. Jim Kadlecek reported that John Lazaruk will continue investigating MMC and Lifepoint. Jim Kadlecek also will contact Silvia Sierra and request that she brief the SNMCC Board on the status of the DAC Healthcare Alliance System.

     B. City Council - No Report.

C.  NMSU Regents – No Report given by John Bloom. Jim Kadlecek reported that he and Lynn Ellins talked with the new Chair of the NMSU Regents, Steve Anaya.  The way he plans to operate as the Chair was discussed and he was informed that the Southern New Mexico Common Cause Chapter has been given permission to bring legal action against the NMSU Regents concerning their closed sessions and the manner that they are conducted (Open Meetings Act).  The new chair was informed that a “reasonable” reason for the closed sessions should be published. Steve Anaya agreed that the notice currently given for matters to be discussed in executive session was insufficient and that more detail should be included. The NMSU Regents should ONLY discuss in closed session the subject(s) that they say they will discuss (published). The fact that the closed sessions are always held before the meetings was considered to influence anything brought up in Open Session (appearance of a “conflict with the Open Meetings Act”).  A public input portion should be a part of the NMSU Regents meeting process was talked about. Legal action will be held until we monitor the NMSU Regents to see in the required changes take place.  Steve Anaya said that he would discuss these latter two concerns with his Board. Common Cause (SNMCC) was invited to attend the next NMSU Regents retreat by the new Chair.

       D.  Dona Ana County Board of Commissioners -  Charles Welch reported that the Dona Ana County (DAC) has not put the State Audit on the DAC web page. It was discussed and it should be made available to anyone who wants to read it. A discussion of the issue was then held by Board members in attendance of the question; “How do you know what is going on.”  This discussion was in reference to the Dona Ana County administration. One suggestion was to “follow the money.” Another was to investigate the amount of campaign funds that are donated and by whom. Some or most campaign funding is covered-up or not reported correctly. Another suggestion was to have open records which might require some sort of request.  It was determined that SNMCC will look at the issue of posting the State Audit on our (SNMCC) WEB site. Additionally partisan politics appeared to be present at many County Commission meetings by the Commissioners and those supporting them.

    E.  Las Cruces School Board - No Report.

 F. ETZ Commission - Lynn Ellins reported that no members of the public showed up at the last P&Z meeting. He will continue to monitor and attend committee meetings. He is a member of the P&Z and on the drafting committee to amend the ETZ zoning ordinance.

 5.  New Business

     Annual Meeting / Luncheon = (Lynn Ellins) A report on the Meeting Luncheon will be distributed via email. A short discussion was held about the event.

 6. New Business

             Discussion of projects we might undertake for the remainder of the year.

                         Projects brought up and discussed.

        Public Financing of Candidates

        Ethics Committee Actions (through the Public Financing Issue)

        Voting; (Elections, Fairness, IDs, Paper ballots, etc.)

        Getting, and looking at, the recommendations of the ETHICS Committee of the legislature.

        Election Reform; (Laws and Operation (doing it) are different.)

        Healthcare;  (MMC and the Healthcare Alliance of DAC)

        County Government (Dona Ana County)

-         Land Use Issues as far as process and fairness is concerned

-         Citizens Task Force on the Budget; Ad Hoc or County appointed/ sponsored. (Keep in mind that; “How You Do It” is the answer.)

•   Jim Kadlecek and Woodie Jenkins will submit a proposal at the next meeting

        on how Common Cause (SNMCC) can get involved in shaping the county’s

           budget process.

                        •   Lynn Ellins asked everyone to review the list of suggestions between now and the next meeting and to come up with other suggestions as well.

 7.  Other - None

 8.  Old Business - None

 9. Next Regular Meeting:  June 21, 2006

 10. Adjournment:  Lynn Ellins adjourned the meeting at 1:06 PM

 Respectfully Submitted,


Michael McCamley

SNMCC Board Secretary



Date Approved and Signed