DECEMBER 14, 2004


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


This meeting was scheduled as usual for 9:00 AM.  Sometime before 8:50 AM the commission chambers were full and closed to the outside.  That left many of us outside trying to hear the proceedings over a loudspeaker permanently set up outside for overflow crowds.  The Sergeant-At-Arms stayed inside the chambers and did not control the overflow crowd making it very difficult to hear the proceedings.  The new chambers are a year away from being usable so it essential that this problem be addressed for the present chambers.


After passing a consent agenda of 26 items the issue of an intergovernmental service agreement between the Jemez Pueblo and Doņa Ana County was presented by county manager Brian Haines.  This agreement is intended to compensate Doņa Ana County for expenses it will incur as a result of the proposed Jemez Pueblo casino since the county cannot collect taxes on their land.  Mr. Haines argued that this agreement was a non-emotional, fiscally prudent step to ensure that the county was properly compensated and that it in no way was even a tacit approval of a casino.  The county has no right of approval anyway because the Pueblo is under the Department of the Interior and the State of New Mexico.


Commissioner Curry objected to a provision that would allow the Pueblo to sell gasoline (untaxed) after 10 years.  The tribal governor responded that they did not intend to sell gasoline but he would not support taking that provision out of the agreement.


Others argued that this agreement would indeed be a tacit endorsement of the proposed casino, that this agreement is premature since the quickest approval of its construction would be 2 years, and that the new commission starting in 2005 will have to deal with any consequences.  A motion to table and let the new commission deal with it failed and the agreement was approved by a 3 to 2 vote.


In other business, Commissioners Evans and Butler moved and seconded a rescission of the county's lawsuit against BLM over use of public lands in the Robledos.  This was not on the agenda for this meeting and it was agreed to place it on the agenda for the next meeting.

Charlie Welch

Common Cause