SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO COMMON CAUSE (SNMCC)
MINUTES OF THE October 16, 2002 GOVERNING BOARD MEETING
Meeting location: J.W. Flours, Catering and Bakery, 1030 El Paseo, Las Cruces, NM
Attending: Galen Ballard, Gus F. Bigelow, Paul Borunda, Rose Garcia, Dave Hall, Shirley Hall, Dolores M. Halls, Jim Kadlecek, Lee Kershner, Bob Lowe, Bibi Momsen, Sue Torres Van Frank, Charlie Welch.
Dr. Jim Kadlecek, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 12:05 PM.
The minutes of the SNMCC Board Meeting of September 18, 2002 were unanimously approved upon motion by G. Bigelow.
Report on Board terms of office - Gus Bigelow gave a report on the SNMCC Governing Board terms of office. Mr. Bigelow explained how he distributed the terms of office among the Governing Board members. The terms of office need to be staggered so all terms do not expire at the same time. In order to eliminate bias, he used a table of random numbers to assign terms to Governing Board members. He read aloud the expiration date of each members term and will e-mail the list to members upon Board approval. Upon motion by C. Welch, the Governing Board terms of office were unanimously approved.
Establishment of Protocol for Examination of New Issues On the State and National levels, as new issues become evident, a list of approved issues is established. The National Chairperson has encouraged local Common Cause groups to take up local issues. If SNMCC decides to examine an unusual issue we would be asked to send the issue to National for approval. It is important that SNMCC have a protocol for the examination of new issues. As a reminder, potential new issues should be brought to the membership. A committee should be established to study the issue and to bring a recommendation to the membership for further action.
Report from the State Board Meeting held on September 18, 2002 - Rose Garcia, Alex Burr, Gus Bigelow, and Jim Kadlecek are our state representatives to Common Cause/New Mexico. They stated that SNMCC is beginning to have a statewide presence and that they have invited the Common Cause/New Mexico Board to have a meeting here. They also observed the debate on Free AirTime.
City Expenditure of Federal Funds: J. Kadlecek. The committee received information on the Home Disclosure Act. Las Cruces has the highest percentage of loan denials in the country. 74% of the loans are denied or withdrawn. The committee submitted a list of questions to City staff and will follow-up next week for their reply. Irregularities may indicate the possibility of a Fair Housing lawsuit. More volunteers are needed for this committee.
Conflicts of interest / Codes of Ethics: J. Kadlecek. A brief discussion of the outcome of the Mattiace hearing. Jim mentioned that he had written a column for the newspaper on codes of ethics and suggested that perhaps we needed to form an ethics study committee to note, and bring to SNMCC, recommendations for action. Upon motion by G. Bigelow, it was unanimously decided to form an Ethics Study Committee.
Home Rule Charter: J. Kadlecek is working to find interested groups to join a citizens action committee to study the Charter and put changes on the ballot if indicated. He met with an NMSU class and professor. Rose Garcia suggested that perhaps UNM Law School might be interested in this project. Mr. Kadlecek reiterated a time line for this project to get underway. By November 2002 we should announce the formation of the citizens action committee, find partner groups (League of Women Voters?), find a knowledgeable speaker, and have a first meeting. All proposed changes to the Charter need to be determined by the citizens committee by September 2003 in order to get them on the ballot. Volunteers are needed for this committee.
Campaign Finance Reform Support: No report was given.
Monitoring Public Meetings: C. Welch observed the County Commissioners Meeting for the first time. He will report more fully to SNMCC in the future as he becomes more familiar with the meetings procedures and issues. Volunteers are needed to monitor other public meetings.
Other/ New Business: None.
The next meeting of the SNMCC Governing Board is November 20, 2002 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM. The location will be at J.W. Flours, 1030 El Paseo, Las Cruces.
Chairperson J. Kadlecek adjourned the meeting at 1:00 PM upon motion by G. Bigelow.
Susan Torres Van Frank