Wednesday, September 20, 2006
· Meeting Location: J.W. Flours Restaurant, Las Cruces, NM 88001
· Members Attending:
John Bloom, Alex Burr, Steve Carter, Lynn Ellins, Steve Fischmann, Woodie Jenkins, John Lazaruk, Mike McCamley, and Tamie Smith
Ms Jenkins and Don Kurtz
Members Not Attending:
Jane Asche, Mary Ballard, Phil Banks, Gus Bigelow, Rose Garcia, Ron Gurley, Delores Halls, Jim Kadlecek, Vicki Simons, Vanessa Quiroz and Charles Welch
1. Call to Order: Lynn Ellins called the meeting to order at 11:40 AM.
.2. Approval of August Meeting Minutes:
The August meeting minutes were approved by voice vote.
3. Announcements: Tamie Smith stated that those attending should go to the City of Las Cruces City Hall and visit the open house and the briefing both on the new 23 million dollar City Hall that will be built on the site of the old SO-LO supermarket. There will be a presentation at 6:00 PM. She is trying to get the City Hall designed as a solar building.
Lynn Ellins reported that Rose Garcia had a heart attack. She is currently in a Tucson Arizona hospital and is up and walking around (As reported by Jim Kadlecek.)
A. Board of County Commissioners No Report
B. City Council (Tamie Smith) at the last City Council meeting there were $750,000 of items on the Consent Agenda. One item was $80,000 for a Lobbyist at the Federal level for the City of Las Cruces. There was no public input allowed on these items. Many items would have been taken off the Consent Agenda so the Mayor questioned the Council asking who had anything about any of these items. One councilor was not going to vote for the Agenda because of one item. At that time the Mayor pleaded that the Agenda be passed completely. It passed and the same thing happened at a previous council meeting when the Consent Agenda was worth $ 9.5 million dollars.
Woodie Jenkins briefed those in attendance at the meeting. He asked the City Council to set up a sinking fund for all monies related to an identifiable Real Estate Development. The fund would be for all monies from contract fees to interest to taxes to infrastructure funds. No answer was given at the meeting. He was later called by the secretary of a Counselor and asked to attend a meeting on the setting up of a sinking-fund. No date and / or time for the meeting as of this time. Nothing has been heard since the first call.
C. Board of Education (LCPS Board) No Report. Tamie Smith attended one meeting and a North Valley Association questioned the fact that the LCPS Board wanted a new school. The result of this was the taking of the item in question off the Agenda. It was said that it was a non-issue. The location of the new school was announced and there was no public input. At that time Tamie Smith left the meeting along with many others.
D. NMSU Board of Regents - (John Bloom) See attached two papers; 1. Board of regents meeting September 8, 2006 and 2. A copy of John Blooms letter to the Editor of the LAS CRUCES SUN~NEWS.
John Bloom met the current President of the Board of Regents informally. The Presidents response, when asked about Executive Sessions and Public Input, was; Were working on it. The attached papers tell about the meeting and wont be repeated. The Board of Regents report mentions a Memorial concerning the ACLU case against the Coach of the Football Team (and the President of NMSU and the Board of Regents). Nothing was heard at the meeting about the Open Meetings Act resolution. It was not read nor were there any copies.
E. ETZ Commission No Report Steve Fischmann stated that a Work Session is scheduled for September 27th at 5:30 PM.
F. Planning and Zoning Commission (Lynn Ellins) The report covered the preservation of the Rio Grande riverfront land and bottom land at no cost to the owners and like matters.
5. New Business. County Commissioner D Kent Evans discussed the Public Regulation Committees Public Finance during the primary election that was held during June 2006. This primary election was the first time that Public Financing was used in New Mexico. Below are summarized points that Commissioner Evans and others made to the SNMCC Board of Governors about Public Financing of Elections.
A. The reason it was done (by Commissioner Evens) was that it is hard to get and / or receive donated monies.
B. One of the problems that I had was understanding the rules
- If you use Public Financing you must raise, on your own, $5,000 at $100 a donation.
- You have to collect signatures from your party to qualify. Then you can get any
signatures (regardless of political affiliation) at $5 a signature. All signatures had to
be of registered voters.
C. The first check form the Secretary of States office for $16,000 was received late in the campaign. That lateness hurt a lot.
D. About half of those running did not take Public Money.
E. Someone running could spend the money for anything. You had to be accountable and report expenditures. After reporting your legal expenditures you received another check for up to $32,000 total (taking into account the first check.)
F. You cant loan yourself money then pay it back when you recieve money from the Secretary of States office. Therefore you are probably better without it, considering the lateness of the check. I would have done some things sooner if I had the money. Public Financing takes something away from campaigning as it is.
G. Everyone running for the same office (Primary or General Election), should be on the same playing field. All should take Public Financing or all take donations.
H. Public Financing is pretty fair. Even mileage can go on Public Financing.
I. If I were running again (and all things were the same), I wouldnt take Public Money.
J. It (Public Financing) is a good thing. The key is everyone should be on the same playing field. Everyone has to be the same. (Public Financing should be used for everyone running for the same office, Primary or General Election.)
Guest Don Kurtz, added these comments. (Don Kuntz worked on E Shirley Bacas campaign).
A. There wasnt enough money to properly campaign. There are approximately 200,000 registered voters in a PRC district, spread over several counties, and the money allotted isnt enough for a serious campaign,
B. Non-publicly funded candidates were able to utilize the reporting system to keep their publicly funded opponents from receiving their proper share of money. They did this by not making/reporting major expenditures until the corresponding release of public money would be too late to have an impact on the election
C. The reporting deadlines make it impossible for publicly-funded candidates to receive and utilize their allotment in a timely way. (For example, the June 1 report was reported on June 2, only four days before the primary election.
A Re-Vamp of the reported aspects of Public Financing was then made via discussion
A. A candidate receiving Public Financing should receive adequate and timely money.
B. The reporting in Publicly financed elections, should be modified to make it easier.
C. Public Financing of elections is very complicated and should be smoothed out.
D. All candidates for the same office should be on the same sheet of music. They should all be the same. All should be receiving Public Financing or all should be receiving donations. This applies to all elections.
E. Arizona and California Public Financing laws / rules / regulations should be used as a starting point.
F. A candidate should be able to loan themselves money and then pay back the loaned amount when Public Financing money comes when it is received late.
G. $40,000 looks like it is about the right amount for candidates in the primary (this primary).
Tamie Smith commented that candidates (in this type of primary) could be given a certain amount of money, say $20,000, to begin campaigning. They should then be accountable for that amount, via reports. She then added a Question; Should Common Cause do something about independent or any registered voter voting in the primary (ability to cross-over vote). This matter was discussed. Alex Burr stated that the primary was for members of a party to select a candidate for a position.
6. Old Business None
A. Tamie Smith announced that if youre District / Neighborhood Association (in the City of Las Cruces) was in favor of recycling, remember that Las Cruces has the highest rates for recycled material.
B. Lynn Ellins stated the Election Bureau spent four days and in Rio Rancho learning about the new machines and acquainting themselves with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) machines. No jams were observed during the period they were there. The new Ballots will cause confusion among the voters just because they are new. Demonstrations of the New Ballot will be held at TWEF (The Whole Enchilada Fiesta) and throughout the county. The Bureau of Elections seems to be taking ownership of the election. Mush better morale is apparent in the Bureau of Elections. All election judge positions have been filled with back-ups if they are needed.
8. Next Regular Meeting: October 18, 2006
9. Adjournment: Lynn Ellins adjourned the meeting at 12:52 PM
SNMCC Board Secretary
Date Approved and Signed