Rio Arriba County Commission Highlights

County Commission Meeting

Rio Arriba County Commission Highlights

Tierra Amarilla – The Rio Arriba County Commission met Thursday for their regularly scheduled meeting in Tierra Amarilla. Steve Kopleman and Sharon Stover from the New Mexico Association of Counties presented on their legislative priorities and services they can provide to counties.  Dr. Lana Landrum, PHD and Louise Sanchez were also on hand to talk with Commissioners about their CRAFT Communities Reinforcement and Family Training.  Landrum talked extensively about the positive-reinforcement style model used in their program to teach family members the necessary tools to address family members addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Affordable Housing
County Commissioners unanimously voted to proceed with the affordable housing ordinance and allow County staff to begin preliminary discussions with New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority about the feasibility of the project and hold town halls throughout the community to ensure public input is considered before any further actions are taken.  Earlier this week, Commissioners entered into a lively discussion with the Española School Board about the possibility of developing a state of the art affordable housing complex that would primarily be paid for by federal monies. The County’s Economic Development Director, Chris Madrid noted that this ordinance “does not obligate citizens or the Commission to anything.  This just allows us to support affordable housing in the future, if we choose.”  After having the greatest amount of concerns regarding the proposal outlined in Monday’s joint meeting, Commissioner Alex Naranjo was the first to urge the Commission Thursday to support the endeavor. All Commissioners agreed that community involvement would be essential if this program were to move forward and that education would be key if the County hoped to get residents support.  Health and Human Services Director, Lauren Reichelt noted that staff was giving the Commission, “the tools to ensure it is done correctly and attractively.  This program is key to strengthening our economy and growing our communities.”

Polling Locations
Despite approving the overall resolution addressing polling places designation for the 2016 elections, Commissioner Naranjo and Barney Trujillo objected to changes made to the Ranchitos and Fairview locations and requested staff undo changes made to move voters from those polling locations. County staff, Michelle Jordan explained that the changes were because the facilities lacked the stable internet connection needed to operate the voting machines. Trujillo pointed out that millions of dollars had recently been invested in renovations for Fairview and Naranjo rejected the premise as a reason to potentially disrupt residents’ right to vote. Jordan agreed to address the concerns of the Commissioners and make the appropriate changes.