City denies DWI Task Force request

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

The fate of the Quay County DWI program got tossed back to Quay County by the Tucumcari City Commission on Thursday night.

“We’ve done more than enough, they should go back to the county,” said Commissioner Chris Maestas.

The DWI program is a much needed entity, said Commissioner Jim Lafferty. However, Lafferty said, “What I struggle with is that the city has a lot on its plate … I feel the county has dropped the ball.”

“The time has come, (and) the city has to take care of the city’s business,” said Mayor Mary Mayfield.

Members of the DWI Task Force, the advisory group to the DWI program, had asked the City Commission on Thursday night to consider becoming its fiscal agent.

The task force went to the city after the Quay County Commission said at its Jan. 19 meeting that it took too many man hours for county staff to work on the program’s finances and voted to no longer be the program’s fiscal agent, effective July 1.

Interim Quay County Manager Wayne Cunningham estimated that it took county staff approximately 50-60 man hours per month to provide financial administration.

The task force had asked the county to provide documentation of the man hours. In a letter to the task force, Cunningham said that: “I and my staff have other commitments and County business demands to drop everything to prepare the ‘documentation’ you request in the time frame you a have set out. … As I informed the Commissioners, it was my best estimate of the time that is devoted to the administration of the DWI program.”

In a memo to the task force, Noreen Hendrickson, DWI program coordinator, said, “50 to 60 hours per month is an unreasonable estimate of the oversight and support required.”

The county has been the DWI program’s fiscal agent since 1993, Hendrickson said.

The program is required to have a city or county government be its fiscal agent to provide financial oversight.
Mayor pro tem Antonio Apodaca said the city’s financial office is overwhelmed and understaffed, and the county needs to provide the needed services for citizens in the county.

Following their discussion, a resolution to decline the DWI’s Task Force request – with an amendment to write a letter to the Quay County Commission — was passed unanimously by commissioners.

Commissioner Jim Witcher put forth the amendment calling for the city to write a letter asking the county commission to reconsider its decision and, again, become the DWI program’s fiscal agent.