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County officials reshuffle councils, commissions

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Several new people have been appointed to county councils and commissions or reassigned to different groups following the Thursday Chaves County Board of Commissioners meeting.

The DWI Planning Council will now have Joann Palomino, a New Mexico Department of Health employee, and Carolyn Hollifield, an “at-large” community member, as voting members. They will serve two-year terms.

The council determines how grant and state funding for DWI prevention efforts are spent and has input on prevention programming activities by contracted providers.

Members leaving the council are farmer Harold Hobson and community volunteer Rita Kane-Doerhoefer. Both of them were named to other county entities instead.

The action, approved 4-1 with Commissioner Dara Dana in opposition, caused some debate. Originally county staff had wanted to appoint three new voting members, but some commissioners said they thought that boosting the council up to 16 voting members could cause decision-making to become “bogged down.”

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Kane-Doerhoefer also asked to stay on the council. She acknowledged that she had submitted a written request to serve on the Roswell-Chaves County Extraterritorial Zoning Commission, but said that she did not expect to have to leave the DWI Planning Council.

She said she considered the DWI Planning Council’s mission an important one and would rather stay with that group than be added to the ETZ group, but four commissioners voted to add her to the ETZ Commission.

The other members of the council are Alice Eppers, New Mexico State Police Cpt. Lance Bateman, Chaves County Detention Center Administrator Clay Corn, Cliff Waide, Chaves County Deputy District Attorney Emily Fry, Roswell Independent School District board member James Edwards, Roswell police officer Joe A. Smith, Judge K.C. Rogers, Margaret Kennard, beverage distributor manager Russ Green and Sheriff Mike Herrington.

In addition to Kane-Doerhoefer, a new member of the ETZ Commission will be Michael C. Lackey. Commissioners also voted to reappoint Royce “Pancho” Maples to the commission, which provides initial hearings for zoning and planning cases involving properties in the ETZ area, generally county property within two miles of the Roswell city limits.

All three members were approved for one-year terms by a unanimous vote of commissioners. They join community volunteer Larry Connolly, lawyer Matthew Bristol and retired educator and local school board member Mona Kirk, appointed by the city of Roswell. The seventh member, restaurateur Neil Roe, up for reappointment in August, is chosen by the other members.

The Chaves County Planning and Zoning Commission, which gives initial hearings to zoning and planning cases for other county properties, had one new member and two returning members appointed for two-year terms.

Harold Hobson is joining the five-member group. He replaces farmer and businessman Jerry Wagner, whose term expired and had indicated that family obligations were prompting him to leave the group. Realtor Melodi Salas and Dale Rogers were reappointed to the commission.

The other members on the commission, with terms expiring in 2020, are Robbie White and water resource engineer Andy Morley.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.