JANUARY 31, 2006

Commissioners Butler, McCamley, and Saldaņa-Caviness were physically present and Commissioner Evans was present by phone from Santa Fe.  Commissioner Curry was absent.

 This was the first of the new 'road shows' for the Commission.  It was held in the Hatch High School auditorium in an effort to better communicate with residents of the northern part of the county.  A similar 'road show' will be held in the southern part of the county later this year.

 During public input Paul Dulin of Rincon requested the county's help in constructing a swim training center in the area.  He cited drownings that occur because children don't learn how to swim and have no safe place to learn.

 Nick Carson of Rincon requested upgrading of Kit Carson Road because of dangerous conditions.

 Hatch Mayor Judd Nordyke made a welcoming presentation on Hatch and the surrounding area.  He pointed out that the areas surrounding Hatch are not incorporated and consequently many of their residents use the services provided by Hatch.

 Jim Hayhoe, Hatch's consultant on spaceport affairs, talked about the possibility of extending the county's foreign trade zone to include Hatch's industrial park.  He also discussed the impact of the proposed spaceport on the northern part of the county.  One big challenge is maintaining the unique culture of the area while supporting and benefiting from spaceport activity.

Sue Padilla, Director, Utilities and Environmental Services, presented an update on the Milagro wastewater project.

 Fire Marshal Paul Chavez made a presentation on fire and emergency service infrastructure improvements in the northern part of the county.  He's striving for performance based services where residents can expect certain standards such as specified average response times for emergencies.

 Gary Rutherford made a presentation on the Army Corps of Engineer's Hatch flood control project.  This included a description of the rather involved process for evaluating and accepting potential projects.  The intent is for optimum outcome rather than political whim.

 Mario Jimenez, Supervisor of Elections for the county, discussed changes to election laws and the upcoming elections in Hatch.  One of the changes involves voter ID requirements.

 Discussions with county personnel after the meeting revealed a large amount of effort required

to conduct one of these 'road shows'.  Problems include obtaining a venue, legal requirements for advance notice and for recording of the proceedings, and travel.  However county personnel and residents who attended mostly agreed this was a good precedent and that it should be continued.

Charlie Welch

Southern NM Common Cause