Southern New Mexico Common Cause

Minutes of the Governing Board Meeting

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Issue Updates

A. City Expenditures of Federal Funds – J. Kadlecek

Common Cause has shown an interest in how the city spends federal funds. Chris and Jim met with city staff in order to collect information on how the city spends these funds. The city had not allowed for adequate public input in the funding process. The city has now begun gaining public input for future expenditures as well as requesting citizen input on the 3 year plan. Common Cause’s presence has been noticed and we will continue to follow up with this to ensure public notification and participation.

B. Conflict of Interest/Code of Ethics

The Attorney General recently had a training session for city officials, unfortunately not everyone was required to attend. The issue of concern was the rolling quorums, especially since the City Council has been using rolling quorums to handle city business. This Mayor has violated the Open Meetings Act by requiring that members sign a letter prior to the actual vote.

Another concern is that the Mayor has limited public input during City Council meetings to three minutes, per individual, at the end of the meetings.

Common Cause will work on establishing a training sessions for all board and commission members, since no training is currently available to them. This would work best as a collaboration between organizations and the NMSU faculty in order to encourage good government.

C. Home Rule Charter – J. Kadlecek

The City Council and the Mayor have been informed of our intentions to review and suggest revisions to the current city charter. Other organizations have also been contacted to participate in the committee. Publicity will be created to encourage citizens to participate as well.

D. Monitoring of Public Meetings – J. Asche

This has been working to encourage good government at the local levels for the past few months, now a new schedule is needed for January through April.

C. Welch – attend County Commission meetings and Paul Curry has been encouraging public input prior to every vote, causing some confusion for incumbents.

J. Asche commented on drafting a letter on behalf of Common Cause commending Mr. Curry for his actions to keep the public involved.

Common Cause currently monitors the following organizations:

We will continue to monitor the Board of Regents meetings when they are in Las Cruces, due to their closed door policy. But, the Housing Authority meetings are not a major concern and we can focus our time on other meetings.

E. State Common Cause Meeting – G. Bigelow

There was a good discussion of issues that National Common Cause wishes to pursue for the upcoming year.

Others issues of concern are:

On another note, Nationals suggested CCNM not get an allocation, but after lobbying we managed to get $5,000, which is less than the $23,000 budget that we had. Unfortunately, Nationals is in a tough financial situation. Fewer than half of the states now have an active Common Cause.

New Business

A. Fundraising – J. Kadlecek

We wish to pay the intern, as well as pay for incidentals, correspondences, ads, etc. We will look into fundraising issues such as letter to the membership and grants. If we create a letter asking members to donate money to this fund we can have checks written to Common Cause and they will funnel to money to SNMCC.

We can also create an account with Rose Garcia’s Rito Medina Policy Center in order to raise funds or we can set up an account with Nationals. The only concern would be that all fundraising follow guidelines for the 501c3 or 501c4 organization.


Respectfully submitted by,

Vanessa Quiroz