FEBRUARY 14, 2006

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

 During public input Leon Billstone expressed concern over the number of new housing subdivisions that had recently been approved in the county considering our dwindling water reserves.  This concern was echoed by several others later in the meeting.

 A proclamation supporting the proposed southern New Mexico spaceport was read and unanimously approved although Commissioner Butler in particular expressed concern over availability of water.

 Albert Cox of the Sunland Park Economic Development Alliance made a presentation supporting establishment of a Sunland Park port of entry.  Later in the meeting the commission approved a resolution supporting creation of a port of entry.  Sunland Park mayor Ruben Segura was present and received praise from Commissioner Butler for his leadership.

 Rick Merolla, chairman of the Internal Audit Committee for Doņa Ana County made a presentation on the committee and our new internal auditor Jill Johnson.  Jill also spoke of her desire to serve the county.

 Commissioners individually presented their goals for the county for this year.  Because there were common themes it was agreed that Commissioners Curry and McCamley would meet with staff to craft a concise set of goals to be officially accepted in an upcoming meeting.

 A consent agenda of 11 varied items was approved.

 Rose Garcia, chairperson of the Anthony/Berino Economic Development Corporation, discussed an application for a community development block grant for an industrial park. The grant of $1.9M is expected to eventually induce $25M of private money and result in 250 jobs.  Commissioners approved the grant application along with a resolution in support.

 Commissioner Butler offered and the Commission approved a resolution recognizing the historical significance of Vado which dates back to the Gadsden Purchase.  Mitch Boyer, who's a direct descendant of an original inhabitant of Vado, was present and was recognized by the Commission.

 The largest contingent of people at this meeting consisted of officers from the sheriff's department.  They were concerned about passage of a new collective bargaining agreement between the county and their union, the Communications Workers of America.  The Commission met in closed session to resolve several issues before reconvening in open session to approve the agreement.  Several commissioners expressed reservations about some parts of the contract but eventually they all supported it with the understanding that there will be a chance in November to renegotiate.

 A separate resolution granting a cost of living adjustment to non-represented employees was approved.

Charlie Welch

Southern NM Common Cause