County addresses housekeeping issues, listens
During the Socorro County Commission meeting Tuesday, commissioners heard from a man who is not happy about his experience with the city in his attempt to start a business.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, Tony Romo told the commission he is situating a Web services business in Socorro and he contacted the city of Socorro about it last May by email to start discussions. However, he said attempts to interface with city officials regarding the business have “gone absolutely nowhere.”
“It’s been a big zero,” Romo said. “Why, I don’t know. I don’t think that Web services are a controversial concept.”
Romo explained Web services provide all of the software and servers a business needs to make itself available to customers electronically. The services help a business run its inventory system so people can order things over the Internet.
“It’s kind of a mystery to me what the issue might be in anyone’s mind, at least,” Romo said.
Romo is looking at the area because the Web services business requires land, water and electricity, “and a lot of it.” He noted he is still looking at this area because the Rio Grande Valley is ideal for the project, but will not locate in the city of Socorro due to the city’s lack of response. He said he needs a contact person with county government.
“Somebody I can try to salvage this (with) before I pull up and leave,” Romo said.
District 4 Commissioner Daniel Monette advised Romo to visit with county manager Delilah Walsh about his project.
“We’re all about economic development,” Monette said.
In other business, the commissioners met in executive session for about 40 minutes to discuss personnel appointments. When they emerged, they acknowledged personnel changes in the county, including the retirement of Priscilliano “Shorty” Vaiza, chief deputy at the sheriff’s department. Vaiza’s last day working for the department was Dec. 31.
Commissioners also heard from county clerk Rebecca Vega, who mentioned the Socorro Consolidated Schools Board of Education election is Feb. 5 and at least three commissioners are needed for the canvassing of that election. Vega and the commission set a time of 1 p.m. Feb. 7 for the canvass.
Walsh mentioned toward the end of the meeting gross receipts tax rates have changed for the county by a .0625 implementation, and she expected to have the chart done Tuesday to post on the county’s website. According to the posting, the GRT rates are 7.0625 percent for purchases in the city of Socorro, 6 percent in the county and the industrial park, and 6.9375 percent in the village of Magdalena.
Most of the meeting was spent on housekeeping items for the new year. Under new business, commissioners:
- Recognized the county’s new extension agent, Jessica Smith.
- Appointed the commission chairperson and vice chairperson for the 2013 calendar year. Commissioners unanimously voted to reappoint Monette as chairman and District 1 Commissioner Pauline Jaramillo as vice chairwoman.
- Resolved to follow the Open Meetings Act.
- Commissioners reappointed Marty Greenwood as road superintendent, Fred Hollis as fire marshal and Evangelo Maldonado as jail administrator. The salaries for the positions will remain at current levels.
- Resolved to conduct meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order, with some modifications. According to the resolution, the special rules adopted by the board include that the chairperson may make motions and have the same voting rights as any member of the board. The resolution also states items appearing on meeting agendas “shall be those necessary for the proper consideration and management of county business, as determined by the county manager.” In addition, the county manager shall place any such item requested by a commissioner on the agenda.
- Established holidays and work hours for 2013.
- Established depositories for Socorro County funds and investments, which are First State Bank, Educators Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, all located in Socorro County, and/or the New Mexico State Treasury.
- Established signature authority for all five commissioners for signing county checks.
- Established signature authority for grantee representatives, which Walsh explained are typically her as county manager and the commission chairman.
- Delegated authority to the county manager to enter into contracts and legal settlement agreements for amounts under $10,000.
- Authorized the county manager to disburse per diem and vendor checks.
- Designated the county manager as the custodian of the county’s public records.
- Approved procedures for public participation at county meetings. According to the resolution, anyone is allowed the opportunity to speak on any topic during the public comment portion of the meeting, but they must limit their talk to two minutes and don’t get to speak more than once during a meeting.
- Reappointed Land Use Commission member Keith Banks, whose term expired but who wanted to continue serving. Other members are Holm Bursum IV, Nick Keller and Butch Hammack.
- Reappointed Housing Authority member Jose Vega, whose term expired but who wanted to continue serving. Lonnie Marquez, Marcel Abeyta and Robert Tacker are the other members.
- Appointed Jaramillo as the county’s representative on the South Central Council of Governments Board, with Walsh as the alternate.
- Reappointed Monette to the Regional Planning Organization, with Marty Greenwood, county road superintendent, as alternate.
- Appointed Monette to the New Mexico County Insurance Authority Pool Board, with Walsh as alternate.
- Appointed Walsh, Ricky Padilla and William Armijo to the Socorro County DWI Council. Walsh reminded commissioners the DWI Compliance Office is completely grant funded, and a condition of the grant requires the council to meet to set priorities on where to spend the grant funds.
- Tabled a resolution to appoint someone to the Senior Advisory Board.
- Appointed the Lodgers Tax Advisory Board — Linda Brown, Phoebe Woods, Terry Tadano, Jennifer Gonzales and Steven Rosas.
- Tabled a resolution to appoint fire chiefs.
- Reviewed the 2013 Capital Outlay Report.
- Agreed to be the fiscal agent for Alamo EMS.
- Approved a memorandum of understanding with the American Red Cross for preparing for and responding to disasters.