Southern New Mexico Common Cause

Draft Minutes of the Governing Board Meeting

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

        Meeting Location: A Taste of Home Restaurant, Las Cruces, NM 88001

         Members Attending: (11)


      Phil Banks, John Bloom, Alex Burr, Steve Carter, Lynn Ellins, Steve Fischmann, Woodie Jenkins, Jim Kadlecek, John Lazaruk, Mike McCamley and Tamie Smith.


      Members Not Attending: (7)


      Mary Ballard, Gus Bigelow, Dolores Halls, Rose Garcia, Ron Gurley, Vicki Simons and Charles Welch.



      Mrs Jenkins

1.    Call to Order: Lynn Ellins called the meeting to order at 11:47 AM.

 2.   Approval of July Meeting Minutes:

 The July 2007 meeting minutes were approved as amended by voice vote.

3.  Announcements:  (Steve Fischmann) There will be a Conservationist Voter Registration at the Fischmann residence from 5:30 until 7:30, Friday August 17, 2007. (Tamie Smith) There will be meeting next Monday August 20, 2007 on the purchase / exchange of land by the City of Las Cruces at the City Council chambers. The Land is to be sold and then leased back.

4.    Projects:

A.     Board of County Commissioners – (Lynn Ellins) The Board passed an instruction to the DAC Fire Marshall to rewrite the Fireworks law to coincide with the City of Las Cruces and the State of New Mexico. They basically gave the go-ahead for the “Safe and Sane” Fireworks Law. They also sold (closed session) the old County Building and two other buildings (close by) to a California businessman for $1.5 million dollars.

 B.     City Council (LAS CRUCES) – (Tamie Smith) All the City Council meetings are Televised. There was a good presentation on affordable housing at the meeting.

 C.     Board of Education (LCPS) – (Phil Banks) The LCPS Board meetings are also Televised. The LCPS Board retreat was on August 2, 2007. Their first meeting after the summer was on August 7, 2007. The meeting (August 7th) they passed a change to align the procedures with the “Open Meetings Act” because they were found to be in violation of the Act earlier.

 D.    NMSU Board of Regents (John Bloom) The explanation given for the “Other” in the Minutes of the Regents was that “Other” meant that the Public had a place in the procedures where they could have input. (Laura Conniff, Board Chair, told Bloom informally that the entry of "Other" in the regents' agendas included provision for public input. Thus, at the special meeting of July 23, Bloom was allowed to speak and called for revision of the regents' manual to open the way for real public participation.). The next Regents meeting is in Albuquerque in September. In late October they meet in Las Cruces [NMSU]. (Lynn Ellins) The Regents, two weeks in advance necessary for the public to speak, disallows anything that comes up during the two week period and the time prior to the Regents meeting. They are out-of-step [disallowing the public to speak even if the word “Other” means that they can speak with a TWO-WEEK before the meeting limit] with the procedures of many University Regents. (Jim Kadlecek) We [SNMCC] should go public in writing (for publication) with our position on public input during the Regents meetings. Public discussion should be directed at the lack of public input during the Regents meetings.

It was Moved, Seconded and Passed by voice vote for Jim Kadlecek to write up a piece about public input at the Regents meeting.

 5.   Old Business

A.     Report on Executive Director Search. (Lynn Ellins) The Executive Director selected by the Common Cause New Mexico Governing Board refused the position. A new search is underway. The new search has yet to select a new Executive Director.

         Budget Project - Progress Report and how to make this an official SNMCC Project – (Jim Kadlecek) The DAC Budget and the New Mexico state constitution and other documents have been, in general, reviewed. The next step is to meet with the Dona Ana county Financial Officer.

         If the Financial Officer is not available, we will try to meet with the County Manager.

        Then we will meet with the DAC Commissioners.

        The committee looked at many award winning budgets [from out-of-state and in-state]. Among them the one from Los Almos [city and county] was excellent and was used for guidance.

        Currently the DAC Commissioners get the budget for only 2 – 4 weeks before they move to vote to approve or disapprove it.

        The DAC goals state that, as much as possible, the goals should be quantified to match the “measures.”

        Then both Steve Fischmann and Lynn Ellins made comments on the [DAC] budget process.

        The budget project was discussed and it is an official project of SNMCC.

        The DAC Commissioners have said that they want to improve the budget process. HOW it should be accomplished: is going to be a problem.

Then a discussion in sued with Woodie Jenkins, Tamie Smith and Jim Kadlecek making comments. The county [DAC] is growing and all that comes with that. Pay is a big, hard thing to coordinate. Over-building is occurring. Money is what people are after in growth. How about the future!

 B.     Nomination of New Officers – (Lynn Ellins)Those nominated were Steve Carter [Chairman], Woodie Jenkins [Vice Chairman] and Mike McCamley [Secretary]. It was moved. Seconded and passed by the majority to accept all the nominees. (voice vote)

C.     Candidate Forum – (Alex Burr) The League of Women Voters is holding a Candidate [Las Cruces City Council] Forum on Tuesday, October 9, 2007. If we are asked, will we [SNMCC] cosponsor [use our name] for that event. It was moved, seconded and passed by voice vote to accept cosponsor ship with the LOWV for the Candidate [Las Cruces City Council] Forum without cost.

 D.    Annual Luncheon - (Lynn Ellins and Tamie Smith) Tamie Smith mentioned that we need to plan and assign work better / sooner for the Annual Luncheon. Lynn Ellins said that will be done.

 E.     Fireworks – (Tamie Smith) During any process the people or organization holding the process [meeting] should not treat all Vendors in the same manner.

6.   Old Business - None

 7.   Other – None

 8.   Next Regular Meeting – September 19, 2007

9.   Adjournment - Lynn Ellins adjourned the meeting at 12:57 PM


Respectfully Submitted,


Michael McCamley

SNMCC Board Secretary



Date Approved and Signed