Eddy County Commission expected to approve redistricting plan

Carlsbad Current-Argus (NM) - Monday, September 5, 2011
Author: From the Current-Argus

By Stella Davis 

Current-Argus Staff Writer 

CARLSBAD - The Eddy County Commission is expected to approve a redistricting plan when it meets today in regular session. The commission has reviewed three plans thus far, and with some modification, is leaning toward Plan B redistricting. 

The commission has held two public meetings - one in Carlsbad and the other in Artesia - to give residents an opportunity to review the plans. 

At the Aug. 24 meeting in Carlsbad, the commission immediately discarded Plan C, because it would put two commissioners in one district and leave another district without representation. 

With some tweaking, the commission said Plan B is the most preferable. 

The commission directed a representative from Polling and Research Inc. - the company that has assisted the city of Carlsbad as well as the state with their redistricting plans - to take the suggested changes for Plan B and redraw the map and have it ready by today's commission meeting. 

Following the morning session, the commission will reconvene at 2 p.m. at the Pecos River Village Conference Center to meet with Fish and Wildlife Service representatives to discuss the proposed endangered species listing for the dunes sagebrush lizard. 

The commission recently passed a resolution against the listing of the lizard and sent it to the federal agency. 

According to Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., and County Commissioner Lewis Derrick, who are actively speaking out against the proposed listing, the species is already protected by Candidate Conservation Agreements in Eddy County. Listing the species, they say, would cause potential loss of jobs in the oil and gas industry, and the ranching community would also be impacted. 

Other items on the agenda include: 

n A public hearing on a proposed county ordinance granting a non-exclusive franchise to New Mexico Gas Co. 

n Updates from community service groups. 

n Property damage release for the Eddy County Courthouse basement due to payment by a company that accidentally caused flooding of the basement offices for the sheriff's department. 

n Revenue report. 

n Report on the upcoming city of Carlsbad and county co-sponsored household hazardous waste event. 

n Request to replace a patrol unit in the sheriff's department. 

n Request for evidence and training technician officer. 

n Travel requests. 

The commission will also go into a closed meeting to discuss limited personnel matter, threatened or pending litigation and real property.