The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Roosevelt commission approves vendor

Clerk believes redistricting will finish well ahead of deadline

 

Last updated 11/9/2021 at 5:54pm

Kevin Wilson

Roosevelt County Commissioner Rod Savage inspects a provisional ballot during the commission's canvassing board meeting Monday morning. The commission voted to accept the lone provisional ballot, which County Clerk Marndi Park said would not swing any races.

PORTALES - Roosevelt County is admittedly behind on the decennial redistricting required under the U.S. Census process, but county officials don't believe they'll have any issues handling the matter by the Dec. 30 deadline.

By a 3-0 vote, commissioners approved a $14,000 agreement with Research and Polling of Albuquerque. County Clerk Mandi Park said both Research and Polling and New Mexico Demographic Research offered similar packages, with a $9,000 option to give commissioners one plan and a $14,000 option to give three plans to draw the county's five commission districts for the next decade.

Park told commissioners she was a little behind on the process because the county's small population increase led her to believe the current district lines wouldn't need alteration. However, the populations shifted within the districts, and new boundaries are needed to create five districts of approximately equal populations.

Park said the county had worked with Research and Polling in the past, and didn't identify any reasons to end that relationship. She said choosing NMDR could mean a quicker turnaround time because it has fewer clients, but that both vendors should finish work well ahead of the deadline.

Commissioner Shane Lee was absent from the Monday meeting, and Commissioner Rod Savage abstained. Savage believed either vendor would do good work, but noted he was friends with NMDR owner Rod Adair and didn't feel comfortable voting.

In other business during the Monday meeting:

• Commissioners unanimously accepted a canvass of the Nov. 2 general election results. Park told commissioners 823 ballots were cast, with 10 absentee ballots, 202 early in-person ballots and 620 Election Day ballots across five voter convenience centers. The canvassing meeting included one provisional ballot, which Park said was given after a voter mistakenly put his first ballot into the machine without making a single mark. Park said the one vote wouldn't swing any race or ballot question.

Commissioner Dennis Lopez said he thought the vote should count, and other commissioners agreed on what was technically a 3-1 vote.

Commissioner Paul Grider voted against counting the provisional ballot, but after the meeting told The News he misunderstood a part of the conversation and cast the dissenting vote in error.

• The commission approved the New Mexico Counties legislative priorities for 2022. One priority Hamilton mentioned was to create a matching fund to help counties pay for state-mandated construction and renovation of state district courthouses with an initial capital outlay request of $50 to $100 million. "The entire second floor (of the courthouse) is the unfunded mandate," Hamilton said.

• Authorization was given to Hamilton to approve special dispenser's permits when an organization wishes to serve alcohol at an event. Hamilton and County Attorney Randy Knudson said there was no such event on the schedule, but wanted a measure in place in case a request doesn't fit within the commission meeting schedule. Knudson said such requests would go in front of the commission whenever possible, and submitted as ratification requests if a quicker turnaround was necessary.

• Probate Judge Kendall Terry told commissioners the State Bar would send a pair of attorneys to aid in a free probate workshop 10 a.m. Nov. 18. The workshop is being advertised for residents 55 and older, and Terry didn't know how or if that would be enforced. Terry advised residents use the workshop, as he estimates around 60% of residents have no will. Terry also gave a report on probate activities, with 42 probate issues in 2021 handled. Of those, Terry said, five had to be resolved in district court.

• Chair Tina Dixon was selected as the commission representative for the Roosevelt County Economic Development Corporation board. Hamilton currently serves on the board as an ex-officio member, while Dixon will be the first voting member in at least seven years.

• Hamilton told commissioners work would take three to six months on the Bonem House, with $90,000 in state capital outlay money awarded for window, door and HVAC replacements. She said the county would need to find another use for the house, as new state requirements have left no known vendors for mental health treatment. Lopez asked Hamilton to throw out suggestions, as he believed the building was a good asset, and Hamilton said she would once the work was complete.

• Hamilton said county officials were working with NSA Architects on courthouse renovations, and that the biggest issues would probably be with mortar joints. When plans are finished in November, Hamilton said the county would update its Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan if necessary.

• The commission approved a proclamation of Nov. 20 as "Walk to End Alzheimer's" in connection with a walk scheduled 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Curry County Events Center. Dixon thanked Hamilton for the resolution, as the experience of having relatives suffer from Alzheimer's Disease and dementia exposed a lack of support systems.

• The next meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 7.

 
 

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