Commissioners revise appointment procedures

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Several city comissioners and Mayor Mary Mayfield got into a little verbal sabre rattling over the way candidates for city agency advisory boards are appointed and the use of Robert’s Rules of Order at Thursday night’s City Commission meeting.

Commissioner Jim Lafferty said he knew that a new procedure would take some “control away from you (the Mayor),” but that it seemed more fair to have each of the comissioners have a say in the selection.

Robert’s Rules of Order, orginally drafted the late 1800s, is one of the most used guidelines for parlimentary procedures for conducting orderly meetings and it is used by and referred to at City Commission meetings.

Until last night’s meeting candidates for boards have been presented by Mayor Mayfield and approved by the board without a vote.

Commissioner Chris Maestas has said at several past meetings that he thought that a candidate’s name should be presented to commissioners, who could then vote on that person’s name.

The issue came to a head when the commission was to vote on a proposed amendment to five city ordinances, each covering the appointment of members to the Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board, Library Advisory Board, Museum Board, Recreation Advisory Board and the Senior Citizens Advisory Board.

Mayfield read how the ordinance was to be changed and asked the commissioners if that is what they had intended.
Maestas said he thought the amendment should include language allowing the commissioners to select a nominee from a list of persons — who had written to express interest in serving — who would then be voted on by the commission.

Mayfield said she thought it was difficult to get persons to serve and that another method of selection would be better.
Lafferty proposed an amendment based on Maestas suggestion and Mayfield said she could for vote for it if they would “never bring up Roberts Rules of Order” again.

Lafferty said he wouldn’t be held hostage by such emotion.
In the end, the commission voted on Lafferty’s amendment, with all the commissioners agreeing, except for Jim Witcher who voted no.

Mayor pro tem Chis Apodaca was not present at the meeting.

Regarding Robert’s Rules of Order, Maestas said he was concerned that the proposed items before the commission were put into a motion for a vote and then put up for discussion. Maestas said items should be put up for discussion and then put in the form of a motion for a vote.
In other business before the commission:

l The mayor proclaimed November National Hospice – Pallative Care Month.
l Approval was given to increase the amount by $9,574 to $24,058 from the North Central new Mexico Economic Devleopment District Non-Mtrol Area Agency on Aging for cash in lieu of commodities to the City of Tucumcari.
l Approved a one-time change that allows the of City of Tucumcari personnel working in the water and police departments to carry over more than 80 hours of vacation time into 2007. The change was being requested because the department is down in manpower and employees are not able to take vacation time, said City Manager Richard Primrose.