SEPTEMBER 27, 2005

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

 NM State Police Chief Carlos Maldonado made a presentation on the capabilities of the state police in serving Doņa Ana County. He said that retention and recruitment of officers are problems statewide and nationwide, not just in Doņa Ana County. Loyalty of officers to specific forces is on the decline as money concerns increase.

 Mary Spalding made a presentation on the State Coverage Initiative (SCI) which is a new health insurance program for low-income residents. The plan is to use unspent SCHIP funds for adults. Questioning of Silvia Sierra after the meeting revealed that unspent SCHIP funds are due in part to insufficient publicity about the program and part to fear on the part of some residents.

 Jemez Pueblo Governor Michael Toledo began a presentation on their proposed endowment and employee benefits if they're allowed to build their casino in Anthony. Ruben Smith clarified that there would eventually be a $40M endowment and that distributions from the casino and endowment would start at $0.5M the 1st year and rise to $4M per year in 12 years. A former Pueblo governor then requested a resolution from the commission in support of the casino.

 Stan Fulton then noted that the string attached to the Pueblo's endowment is support of the commission for their casino application. He offered $4M per year starting immediately if the commission would oppose the casino. Interspersed with these offers were statements by residents pleading for the casino and the jobs it would bring on the one hand, and worrying about the possible loss of the racetrack on the other hand. One resident, a Tigua, argued that the land in question was really Tigua land. Since these procedings were all part of a 'presentation' there was no action taken.

 A consent agenda consisting of 9 items dealing mostly with out-of-state travel and grants was passed.

 Payment of Sole Community Provider Supplemental Funding for both hospitals (MMC and Mountain View) was approved. The county provides matching funds to secure federal funds. Obviously 'Sole' is a misnomer here but these transactions are approved by the feds.

 A resolution in support of legislative action limiting the use of 'economic development' as a public use or purpose in connection with the condemnation of private property was passed. This was obviously a result of the recent Supreme Court decision.

 An existing internal audit advisory committee was renamed to be the Doņa Ana County Internal Audit Committee and two private sector members were named to it. After discussion about the ability of an internal auditor to be independent of undue influence, approval was given to create a full-time internal auditor position.

Charlie Welch

Southern NM Common Cause