Since our last publication, I have accumulated notes from seven different City Council meetings. I decided to summarize the major items on those instead of detailing them one by one. This summary will not be as detailed and objective as reports usually are, but will serve to keep League members updated on City Council action which bears on issues of concern to the League.

 There is one new Councilor, Gil Jones, on the City Council, since the November election. He represents District 5, which formerly was served by Wes Strain.

 New housing building continues at a fast pace, with several zoning changes, annexations and subdivision approvals. Recently authorized by City Council was work on one extensive arroyo crossing in the Sonoma Ranch area, using the combined forces of the City and the developer. Other action includes some annexing of ETZ land primarily to enable developers to hook into the city sewer system and avoid having to use septic systems which might endanger City Water wells. It was pointed out at one City Council meeting that there are still at least 1,200 septic systems in use within the current City limits. The Councilors feel that it is important to integrate those areas into the City sewer system as soon as possible.

 A new parks and recreation plan has been submitted by a consulting firm out of Colorado. The plan is based on results of a large array of citizen surveys, focus groups and interviews. The plan reflects the results of this input.  Concerns about the condition of the City swimming pools are a paramount issue in the plan. It also contains many ideas for long range park development, particularly in those areas of the city in which housing is rapidly expanding. Many areas of the plan are general in their concepts, leaving details, and particularly scheduling, up to the City. Prioritizing will be a daunting task for City Council. Some Councilors have spoken in favor of developing more large community parks similar to Young or Apodaca, though they all agree with the plan which suggests that various sizes are necessary to meet all the needs of the community. Meanwhile, planning has already started for refurbishing some of the swimming pools and for starting a new one on the East Mesa.

 There has been an up-date to the City's Long Range Strategic Plan, which was finished and accepted a year ago. The document is available at the Public Library or in the City Clerk's office. Many of the recommendations of a year ago have been implemented or even finished. City administration makes sure that staff considers the strategic plan in their work objectives. This plan is definitely not sitting on a back shelf.

 There were several discussions about the All-Hazards Emergency Operations Plan of the City and County. There will be public dissemination of some parts of it, though other parts will have to stay secret.

Marnie Leverett

LWV of Greater Las Cruces