Published: 12:01 am, Sun. May. 8th, 2016Updated: 12:56 am
TO THE EDITOR:
Hello friend, I write you this note, and one that will follow next Sunday, to solicit your support for me to continue for four more years as your county commissioner. We as a Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) have accomplished much for ALL OF EDDY COUNTY. As I visit some folks in the district, I find that much is not known about what is going on. Some questions I have heard, and/or comments, I have heard are:
Why does North Eddy County only get 7 percent of the county budget?
Answer: We as a BOCC work for all taxpayers in the county. While I have been on the commission, nothing gets done in the Carlsbad area that does not also get done in the Artesia area.(Buy a road grader for each end of the county, for instance). Hope and Loving are not forgotten about, either, as we attend to their infrastructure needs and community cleanup requests, along with collection stations for trash. We don’t get a lot of requests from Loco Hills, but we do manage and operate trash collection for those residents and the oilfield community. NORTH EDDY COUNTY IS BEING WELL PROVIDED FOR, GETTING ITS FAIR SHARE. I can’t give you a percentage, but it is way more than 7 percent.
When a mayor brings his request to the BOCC for services that his community provides, why do they not get 100 percent of what they ask for?
Answer: We provide funding to all communities in the county on public service agreements. We have a budgetary pie that is so big. We allocate funding based on per-capita population in our communities. We feel this is the fairest way to go about it. A few weeks ago, I fought for the continuation of this funding along with other commissioners. We cut money out of our own contingency fund to keep this funding intact.
Why did you vote to support the oilfield audit as proposed by the Assessor’s Office?
Answer: This audit was requested long before I got on the commission. The BOCC has rejected the notion of spending the assessor’s 1-percent money on this audit. The Assessor’s Office then took the matter to the courts. The New Mexico Supreme Court found in favor of the Eddy County Tax Assessor’s Office, thereby clearing the way for the audit to move forward. At our first meeting in April, we voted 5-0 to hire the firm to do the audit at the request of the Assessor’s Office. Our attorney, Cas Tabor, advised that it would be in our best interest to select the low bidder to move on with the audit.
What happens if the BOCC refuses to hire the contractor for the audit? Our attorney advised that we would be interfering with Gemma Ferguson’s directive from the court to move on with the audit, thus going back to court and spending taxpayers’ money for legal expenses. WE HAD NO CHOICE. The auditors are looking at pipeline gathering systems and midstream facilities that are not FERC regulated. Oil and gas wells will not be a part of it, as they are taxed separately. In Gemma’s words, “We will not be looking at the old guys, we will be looking at some of the newer players in our part of the Permian Basin.”
Thank you for reading, and I ask you to also read my follow-up letter next week.
County Commissioner, District 2