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

By Kathleen Stinson
The Staff of The News 

Roosevelt commission votes to increase salaries


Last updated 7/16/2022 at 12:45pm

The Roosevelt County Commission voted 3-2 in favor of increasing the salaries of elected officials by 10 percent at its meeting Tuesday.

The salaries resolution states: “no salary increase shall take effect until the first day of the term of an elected county official who takes office on or after January 1, 2023, nor shall they go into effect until the first day of the term for any elected official who takes office on or after January 1, 2025.”

Commissioners Rodney Savage, Dennis Lopez and Tina Dixon voted in favor of the increase and Commissioners Shane Lee and Paul Grider voted against the resolution.

County Manager Amber Hamilton said later in an interview that any salary increases are determined by statutory limits and “human resources works closely on the salaries proposed to ensure the budget can handle it and to keep the positions market competitive.”

The additional 10 percent “is still below the statutory limit pertaining to their salary,” as stated in the resolution. “ …the appointed Chief Deputy Clerk, Chief Deputy Treasurer, Chief Deputy Assessor, and Chief Deputy Sheriff salaries shall be set at ninety-three percent (93%) of the office’s elected official salary once the new salaries go into effect, and shall remain at ninety-five percent (95%) until effective.”

In other business, Steve Coffin, Melrose Air Force Range manager, presented some background information on the Cannon Air Force training bombing range.

The county manager said the Air Force has requested their help in maintaining the five mile stretch of North Roosevelt Road AV from State Highway 60-84 south to the main entrance of the bombing range until they can access federal dollars from the Department Access Roadway Program, which was awarded in 2019.

She said the road was constructed to withstand travel by farming implements and not for the heavy “50,000-ton and wide loads brought in by rail and trucked to the base.”

Coffin said at the meeting the road surface has deteriorated.

Hamilton said the road has received 10 times the amount of maintenance of other roads and it will not hold up to the heavy use by the Air Force.

Commissioner Lopez said he would like to ask Curry County to help with half of the cost of maintaining the road until the federal dollars become available.

“We do work with neighboring counties -- but this is not a border road,” Hamilton said.

“Things do not work as quickly at the federal level as we do at the local level,” the commissioner said. “Eighteen months is far too long (to wait)” and suggested the county talk to the lead commander at the base.

The matter was not scheduled for a vote at the meeting and no action was taken.

Another item on the agenda was a report by road superintendent Rick Lovato, who said they “struggle to find employees” for the road department and they are short three employees.

Hamilton presented a brief report on the progress in getting the County Fairgrounds ready for this year’s fair.

“It’s looking really good,” she said. All the external repairs have been done, new air conditioning has been installed and new concrete ADA-compliant sidewalks have been constructed. “Lots of work has been done gearing up for the event.”

And finally, the commission appointed Tina Dixon as its designated representative to attend the upcoming Eastern Plains Council of Governments meeting. Dennis Lopez was appointed as the alternate.


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