JULY 26, 2005

 Commissioners Butler, Curry, Evans, McCamley, and Saldaņa-Caviness were present.

 During public input Tom Frye spoke against any summarizing of minutes for meetings.  He was particularly concerned about the summarizing of citizen input and special presentations.

 Two very positive announcements were made during staff input:

 1.    Rita Torres reported that all voting machines are finally functional.  The clerk's office is now conducting introductory demonstrations in various venues and plans to visit every community in the county.

 2.    Jess Williams reported the National Association of Counties named Doņa Ana County 2005 Best of Category for healthcare preservation.  This resulted mostly from the county and city's handling of the Memorial Medical Center transition.

 An official from Satevo, Chihuahua, Mexico made a presentation requesting a sister county relationship with Dona Ana County.  After describing the geography and economy of Satevo he listed various needs including school buses.  Action by Doņa Ana County may be proposed at a future meeting.

 After approving a consent agenda of 7 items for out-of-state travel the commission commenced discussion on a resolution mandating two annual commission meetings in outlying communities and two annual joint meetings with Las Cruces City Council.  There seemed to be agreement that the meetings in outlying communities should be distributed with one in the north part of the county and one in the south part, and that they should be the regular meetings scheduled for the second Tuesdays of September and February.  Not so clear were actual venues and logistics for these meetings.  It was also agreed that the meetings with the city should probably be the last weeks of March and September.  However there were too many questions left unanswered and the item was tabled for more research.

 A resolution offering an alternate retirement benefit plan for county employees who are also Educational Retirement Board retirees was passed by a vote of three to one.  Commissioner Evans recused himself because he is an ERB retiree and Commissioner Butler voted against.  There were concerns about possible conflicts with state rulings.

 Other business included acceptance of a final FY 05/06 county budget and acceptance of a couple of streets for county maintenance.

 During commission input commissioner Saldaņa-Caviness requested that minutes be created and sealed for closed sessions of the commission.

Charlie Welch

Southern NM Common Cause