NOVEMBER 9, 2004

 Commissioners Apodaca, Vasquez-Butler, Curry, and Terrazas were physically present, Evans was present by telephone.

 The consent agenda containing 16 items was passed after a discussion of item 6.  This item was for the award of a contract for widening Dripping Springs Road east of Las Cruces.  The initial plan included widening of the road through a private development that Commissioner Curry was involved with.  Curry addressed the issue saying that it was a clerical mistake and that records and public statements had always indicated that the development would pay for the widening within its borders.  It was agreed that the proposed widening contract would be modified to extend the widening east of the project in place of the widening within the project.

 Item 22 of the agenda sought authorization to pursue legal action against the Bureau of Land Management for removal of physical barriers and reopening of public roads in the Robledo Mountains.  BLM had made an administrative decision to close 15 miles of roads in 1998.  Two local off-road clubs want the roads re-opened.  The clubs had tried to sue BLM previously but were rejected on the grounds that they did not have legal standing to do so.  Thus they are asking the county to bring suit with them providing the funding.  One big concern of the commissioners was county liability for the roads but legal counsel said the county would not be liable.  There was considerable discussion from both the commission and public citizens regarding the rights of citizens and the concerns of government including maintenance, environmental, and new services issues.  In the end commissioners Apodaca, Curry, and Evans voted for the authorization and commissioners Vasquez-Butler and Terrazas voted against.

 Also approved were authorization to publish notice of intent to consider adoption of a new Fire Code Ordinance and delegation of authority to the county manager to negotiate and enter into a memorandum of understanding between Doņa Ana County and the City of Las Cruces regarding the Griggs and Walnut Superfund Site.

Charlie Welch

Common Cause