SEPTEMBER 13, 2005

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

 There was no initial public input.  There was however a presentation by Greg Henry of the Tortugas Advisory Committee on possible uses for land near Tortugas Mountain.  Major players include NMSU and BLM.  No decisions are imminent.

 A delegation including the mayor from Satevo, Mexico was present for the approval of a resolution and proclamation declaring Dona Ana County's intent to establish a Sister-County Relationship with Satevo.  The mayor addressed us and said among other things that he hopes our relationship will help to keep his citizens in Satevo rather than having them emigrate to the US.

 One item was pulled from the consent agenda leaving 14 that were passed.

 Then came the issue that most attendees, including the media, were waiting for.  Chairman McCamley was asking that a moment of silence replace the public prayer that usually begins the board meetings.  Various views were presented by both other members of the Board and the public.  There was consensus of the Board that any prayers should be non-sectarian and it was finally agreed that the NMSU Interfaith Council should be asked to offer a prayer at each meeting as is done for NMSU functions.  This proposal was passed with commissioners Butler, McCamley, and Saldaņa-Caviness voting for and Curry and Evans against.

 Acceptance by the county of a non-county road for maintenance requires that the petitioners pay for the necessary survey and plat.  One item before this meeting was a request for waiver of the fees for a particular road that the county is accepting.  The petitioners felt that it was not their fault they had been stopped from using an alternate road and had to now use this particular road.  However there was a concern on the Board's part that this case could become a precedent for generally waiving the fees.  The upshot was that the Board approved the waiver in this case with 4 votes for and chairman McCamley against.

Charlie Welch

Southern NM Common Cause