OCTOBER 26, 2005

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

 Jorge Granados, Senior Director, Infrastructure and Public Works, made a presentation on the road project selection process for the Local Government Road Fund (LGRF).  The 5 districts in the county have different needs in terms of roads and there's a real question of how to most equitably distribute the funding.  For example, districts 1 and 2 together have about ū of the unpaved road mileage in the county but other districts have problems with existing paved roads.  Mr. Granados will come back to the commission at a later meeting with an actionable proposal.

 The Groundworks Subcommittee of the Open Space and Trail Network, a regional organization, made a presentation on establishment of a Groundworks Trust in Doņa Ana County.  The Trust would be independent of government but would work with businesses, government, and other local entities to accomplish local environmental projects such as parks and trails.  Groundworks El Paso already exists and they would like to see a Groundworks Doņa Ana.  It would have connections with the national movement Groundworks USA.

 A presentation was made by the Las Cruces Metropolitan Planning Organization about forming a South Central Regional Transit District to develop a regional transit system.  Already Williamsburg in Sierra County and several communities in Doņa Ana County are on board and Deming and Alamogordo are possibilities.  Besides coordinating the system the district could likely attract external funding.

 A consent agenda consisting of 14 items dealing with grants, bid awards, personnel travel, and agreements with other agencies was passed.

 An item regarding the incorporation of Chaparral was debated but in the end it was agreed that the Commission's only function is to determine whether the petitioners for incorporation had met the statutory requirements for a census to be conducted.  The Commission accepted their petition and map and authorized the census.

 A resolution creating new precincts and designating polling places was approved.

 The contentious issue at this meeting was the approval of matching funds to secure additional sole community provider funds and distribute these funds to MMC and Mountain View.  Extra funding is available because of recalculations by the state and the fact that some communities chose to not participate.  The problem was not that the county must pony up matching funds to obtain this money but rather that there is no requirement for the hospitals to show that the extra funding provides extra services to the community.  The CEOs of both hospitals addressed the commission regarding the quality of care they provide and their general accountability to the community but neither would commit to documenting exactly what the extra funding would buy.  Commissioners Butler, Evans, and Saldana-Caviness voted to obtain the extra funding and Chairman McCamley voted against.

Charlie Welch

Southern NM Common Cause