The Municipal Reporter - November issue

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The Municipal Reporter A Publication Of The New Mexico Municipal League Vol. 2019-11, November 2019

INSIDE THIS ISSUE One on One with Dr. Cynthia Bettison, Board President Meet the Board Legal Issue - Pay Attention

TABLE OF CONTENTS One on One ������������������������� 6 Legal Issues: Pay Attention � 14


P.O. Box 846 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-0846 505.982.5573 505.984.1392 fax PRESIDENT Cynthia Ann Bettison, CMO, Mayor Pro Tem – Silver City PRESIDENT-ELECT Neil Segotta, CMO, Mayor - Raton

Innovation Vouchers Help New Mexico Technology Businesses Thrive ����������������������������������� 16

VICE PRESIDENT Javier Perea, CMO, Mayor – Sunland Park

Net Neutrality Gives Cities Some Flexibility ������������������� 18

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT David Izraelevitz, CMO, Councilor – Los Alamos

Rio Rancho Solar Array Ribbon Cutting ��������������������� 20

PAST PRESIDENTS Richard Cordova, CMO, Mayor – Eagle Nest

Lujan Grisham Administration Unveils New Capital Outlay Dashboard ��������������������������� 21

David Venable, CMO, Mayor – Cloudcroft Linda Calhoun, CMO, Mayor - Red River

Census 2020: Are There Special Districts in Your Hometown? ������������������������� 22 NMML Classifieds ) ������������� 26

TREASURER Mike Miller, Mayor Pro Tem - Portales

DIRECTORS Nora Barraza, CMO, Mayor – Mesilla Cynthia Borrego, Councilor Albuquerque Lori Chatterley, Commissioner – Raton Joseph Eby, CMO, Councilor – Ruidoso Steve Hebbe, Police Chief – Farmington President, New Mexico Association of Chiefs of Police Steve Henderson, CMO, Councilor – Roswell Gordon Hicks, CMO, Mayor Pro Tem – Socorro Aaron Holloman, Attorney – Roswell President, New Mexico Municipal Attorneys Association Mary Homan, Mayor Pro Tem – Los Ranchos de Albuquerque Chair, New Mexico Self Insurers Fund Robert Hudson, Airport Manager – Moriarty President, New Mexico Municipal Airport Managers Association Greggory Hull, CMO, Mayor – Rio Rancho Chair, New Mexico Mayors’ Caucus

Front Cover: Solar array ribbon cutting picture (from left): Sandoval County Commissioner Mike Meek; Rio Rancho City Manager David Campbell; Sandoval County Manager Dianne Maes; Rio Rancho Mayor Greggory Hull; Affordable Solar Chairman and Founder David Hughes; Rio Rancho City Councilor Jennifer Flor; Corrales Village Mayor Pro Tem Jim Fahey; Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block


Tim Keller, Mayor – Albuquerque

Mark Kelly, Compliance Division Manager – Albuquerque President, New Mexico Environmental Quality Association Elise Larsen, Judge – Grants Don Lopez, CMO, Mayor – Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque Fidel Madrid, CMO, Commissioner Clovis Robert Mayes, Manager – Farmington Joe Neeb, Manager - Roswell President, New Mexico City Management Association Georgiana Rael, CMC, Administrator/ Clerk – Red River President, New Mexico Clerks and Finance Officers Association Michael Rael, CMO , Judge – Questa Stella Rael, CZO, CFM, Planner Alamogordo President, New Mexico League of Zoning Officials James Salas, Chief Executive Officer – Dexter President, New Mexico Fire Chiefs Association Dennis Salazar, Councilor – Espanola Stephen Salazar, Judge – Espanola President, New Mexico Municipal Judges Association Margarita Smith, Court Administrator Clovis President-elect, New Mexico Municipal Court Clerks Association Eileen Sullivan, Library Director – Los Alamos President, New Mexico Municipal Librarians Association Jack Torres, CMO, Mayor – Bernalillo Jamie Wall, Clerk-Treasurer – Fort Sumner President, New Mexico Government Finance Officers Association Matt White, CMO, Manager - Jal Editor, William Fulginiti Managing Editor, Tasha Martinez



These photos are from the Municipal Clerks Certification Institute held on October 14-18 in Albuquerque at the Ramada Plaza Hotel. There were a total of 50 who attended – 27 First Year Students (pictured above); 12 Second Year Students, (middle below) and 11 Third Year Graduate Students, (bottom picture).

The Master Municipal Clerk Academy, the Advanced Certification Program was held on October 16-18 in Albuquerque at the Ramada Plaza Hotel. There were a total of 54 who attended, and in addition to Clerks and Deputy Clerks, the Academy is open to any interested municipal officials.




The New Mexico Municipal League Board of Directors met for the first time October 5th at the League offices in Santa Fe. The meeting began with NMML Executive Director, Bill Fulginiti, explaining to the assembled members the composition of the new board based on the amended NMML Bylaws approved at the Annual Business Meeting held during the 2019 Annual Conference in Las Cruces. The Board of Directors now includes the Mayor of Albuquerque, one Director who shall be an elected official selected by the governing body from every municipality with a population that exceeds 50,000 according to the most recent decennial census, and the Presidents of every Subsection that has been approved and authorized by the Board of Directors. During the October board meeting, the Board reviews resolutions approved at the annual business meeting and discusses prioritizing them for upcoming legislative session. Bill Fulginiti set the stage for the discussions by informing the board that the upcoming legislative session will be a 30-day session. 30-day sessions are limited to budgetary matters and the items placed on the Governor’s agenda or “call.” The board determined that eleven of the forty-two approved resolutions were germane to the 2020 Legislative session and grouped them accordingly. The New Mexico Municipal League Board of Directors adopted the following priorities for the League’s Action Program during the 2020 Legislative Session—January 21 through February 20.

Taxation & Revenue

▷▷ Gross Receipts Tax Adjustment Notification to Local Governments; (Resolution 2019-28). Seeks legislation that amends Section 7-1-6.15 to provide for notification if a gross receipts tax adjustment exceeds 20% of the annual monthly distribution over a 36-month period. ▷▷ PERA; (Resolution 2019-29). Supports legislation that will ensure that local governments will share proportionally in solvency solutions that increase the soundness of the municipal general, municipal police and municipal fire Divisions of the PERA Fund. ▷▷ Hold Harmless Gross Receipts Tax Distributions; (Resolution 2019-42). Supports legislation for a continuation of Hold Harmless GRT distributions.

Public Safety

▷▷ EMS Funding; (Resolution 2019-31). Supports an appropriation by the New Mexico State Legislature to the State Fire Marshal to conduct a statewide EMS assessment, in coordination with Department of Health EMS Bureau, using monies currently reverted from the Fire Protection Fund, to the State General Fund. ▷▷ Law Enforcement Protection Fund; (Resolution 2019-35). Supports legislation to distribute all remaining balances in the fund to the appropriate Law Enforcement Agencies. ▷▷ Enhancing Safety in Public Schools; (Resolution 2019-36). Proposes to amend the PERA conditions for retirement to allow retired law enforcement to 
be employed in public schools without penalty to their PERA benefits; fund technology to enhance school safety; 
amend statutes regulating possession



of firearms to address Extreme Risk Protection Orders (Red Flag Laws) for individuals in crisis and to limit their access to firearms, and their ability to obtain them; further increase penalties regarding school shooting threats to a felony; new bullying legislation to include monitoring and follow-up on threats 
made by social media; and provide training through a School Safety Omnibus bill to respond to Active Shooters. 
 ▷▷ Fire Fund; (Resolution 2019-40). Supports legislation that will ensure that funding is appropriated in the best interest of the Fire Protection Fund and its beneficiaries.


▷▷ State Grants for Libraries; (Resolution 2019-6). Endorses the passage of legislation to increase the appropriation to the library division of the Cultural Affairs Department to provide grants-in-aid for local library services and operations. ▷▷ 2020 Bond Issue for Libraries; (Resolution 2019-14). Endorses the passage of a State General Obligation Bond bill for $17 million for funding libraries.

Fees & Funds

▷▷ Court Automation Fee; (Resolution 2019-9). Supports increasing the Municipal Court Automation Fee from $6 to $10, matching the $10 fee currently collected in Magistrate and Metropolitan Courts. ▷▷ State Aviation Fund.;(Resolution 2019-15). Supports removal of the Sunset provision and making the State Aviation funding permanent.

While there are a number of important resolutions that were not considered germane to the upcoming legislative session League staff will include any resolution that may be germane to the Governor’s Call and will work with legislators on any legislation that includes a municipal component. More information about the resolutions listed above is available on the NMML app, the League website, or by contacting League staff. I encourage you to become engaged and participate in the upcoming 2020 Legislative session by working with and voicing your concerns or suggestions for proposed legislation to Board members and the League staff. Please feel free to give us a call, or send an email, or stop by when you are in Santa Fe. Your voice on these matters are important, we are here to listen, and to represent the interests of all of the League’s 106 member municipalities. The 2020 NMML Calendar will be released in the near future. I hope you will be able to join us for Municipal Day on February 7 (the reception will be February 6) at La Fonda. When we work together using our collective voices we are more likely to be heard and to get legislation benefiting municipalities through committees, floor votes, and on to the Governor’s desk for her signature! I cannot say the following enough—thank you for your service to your community! I look forward to continuing to create the future of the League together!



ONE ON ONE With Dr. Cynthia Ann Bettison, Ph.D, R.P.A., CMO, NMML President

A professional archaeologist for nearly 40 years and director & archaeologist of Western New Mexico University Museum—the home of the prestigious NAN Ranch Collection—for 29 years, Dr. Cynthia Ann Bettison has conducted research in the American Southwest, Southern California, Peru, and Nevada. She has published articles in a number of professional journals and presented hundreds of professional papers, lectures, and tours to a wide range of audiences. Her theoretical research interests for the past twenty-five years have focused on the development of prehistoric ethnic group identity formation and interaction in west-central and southwest New Mexico and east-central Arizona (upper Gila River area in particular). She has an enduring research interest in prehistoric Mimbres Mogollon archaeology and pottery, and prehistoric pottery of the Southwest. Bettison has a BA in Anthropology/Biology from


Pitzer College, an MA in Anthropology with specialization in Southwest Archaeology and Geoarchaeology from Eastern New Mexico University; a PhD in Anthropology with specialization in the Archaeology of Arid Environments from University of California, Santa Barbara and she is a Registered Professional Archaeologist (R.P.A.). Cynthia holds a number of certifications including New Mexico Economic Development Institute, NAFTA Institute, Archaeological Law Enforcement (ARPA)/ Archaeological Resources Investigations, Archaeological Damage Assessment, Quality New Mexico Examiner and Editor, and Certified Municipal Official. She is currently the District 1 Councilor and Mayor Pro Tem of the Town of Silver City. She is active as a member and volunteer in a number of local non-profit civic organizations and groups, including the Silver City Rotary Club.


DR. BETTISON TOOK SOME TIME OUT OF HER BUSY SCHEDULE AND ANSWERED SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND HER VISION FOR HER TERM. What influenced you to enter politics? Several town residents approached me about running for the open District 1 Council position. They knew that I was an active volunteer in local, state, and national civic and professional organizations, including the local Rotary Club, Chamber, and Arts Council, the New Mexico Association of Museums, several Society for American Archaeology and Register of Professional Archaeologists standing committees, and that I had served on the Town’s Incentive Review Committee and was serving on the Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Committee. After talking with a number of people, including the Town Manager, and my employer (Western New Mexico University), and attending three months of Council meetings I decided to run for the District 1 Councilor position in March 2009. To be honest, I have never considered the councilor position to be one of politics, but rather a natural extension of the volunteerism—of giving back to my community through public service— that my mother instilled in me as an essential part of being human. My candidacies for office and my service on the council have not been focused or based on a single issue or a list of issues but rather on the promise and commitment that I will do my best to make decisions that benefit the town as a whole rather than any one political stance or thought. What is your favorite aspect of being the Mayor Pro Tem for the Town of Silver City? My favorite aspect of being Mayor Pro Tem is being the District 1 Councilor and serving the residents of my district and the entire town. It is an honor and a privilege to serve my community to the best of my ability, to attend every local event I can, and represent Silver City and its unique needs at both the state and national levels, including the Legislature, NMML events, and the NLC. Giving back to my community as a town councilor feeds my soul and provides me a sense of deep personal fulfillment.

What qualities and characteristics do you feel are essential for someone pursuing public office? The basic qualities and characteristics that I believe are essential include honesty, integrity, transparency, humility, and open-mindedness. I also believe you need a passion for your community, the commitment to fulfill your duties of public office and to serve to the best of your ability, and an inquiring mind and a willingness to seek and listen to advice and varying viewpoints from staff and the public. What has been the toughest lesson you have learned during your career in municipal politics? There are many lessons I have learned, and it is hard to select one as the “toughest.” One of the most difficult lessons I have learned is that criticism of an ordinance you have sponsored or a decision you have made as an elected official may not be based on the merits of the ordinance or decision, but instead may be personal. I have had to learn how to effectively navigate and use both forms of criticism constructively. Tell me about a project of accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your role as Mayor Pro Tem. In 2014 the Council was informed that the town’s landfill would be undergoing the re-permitting process in 2015. The NMED Solid Waste Bureau had informed the landfill that they would be required to control the blowing litter caused by single-use plastic bags to be re-permitted. The estimated cost of the proposed measures was $180,000 annually, which would be passed on to landfill customers. Working with the Town Office of Sustainability and Town staff I sponsored an ordinance to ban the use of single-use carryout plastic bags by retail establishments. After 6 months of educating retailers and the public, the Continued on page 8



ONE ON ONE One on One - Continued from page 7 ban went into effect in January 2015. By November 2015 the ban had significantly reduced litter at the landfill, and within the Town and beyond, and the landfill had been re-permitted without passing costs on to customers. I am proud that by working together, our community and Council embraced a change in habits that resulted in lasting benefits, including beautification through the significant reduction of litter and significant annual cost-savings. How would you describe your community to someone who has never been there? Silver City is a vibrant and beautiful, small, rural southwest New Mexico town nestled in the valley of La Cienga de San Vicente against 3 million acres of forest and wilderness that has attracted people for thousands of years. The community has a deep and rich multicultural prehistory and history evident in its historic downtown MainStreet and dozens of events and festivals, a distinctive Arts and Culture District including thirty plus galleries, artist studios, two museums, and a variety of eclectic shops and restaurants. The best part of Silver City, though, is the wonderful people that live here and how welcoming they are. In your opinion what are the most important issues facing local governments in New Mexico? While each municipality has specific needs and issues to address independently there are overarching commonalities that tie us together. Thus, the health of our municipalities today, and in the future, count on member municipalities working together to educate and inform the Governor, NM Legislators, State agencies, our U.S. Congressional leaders, and elected officials about the importance of these overarching commonalities such as the need to protect municipal revenues while developing creative, sound solutions to broaden them; the need to retain municipal autonomy and communicate the impact of current and proposed legislation and policies that might adversely affect that autonomy; and the importance of creating policy and legislation that are beneficial to New Mexico municipalities.


How do you feel NMML can better equip city leaders to face these issues? NMML does an excellent job in equipping elected leaders and municipal staff with new tools and updated information to serve their communities to the best of the their abilities through a full calendar of professional development opportunities via institutes, workshops, meetings, and conferences. I am particularly grateful that NMML staff plan each individual professional development opportunity in such a way that each attendee, regardless of their length of service in a municipality, will benefit. One of the most critical functions of the NMML is our state-lobbying role for our member municipalities. The inclusive and collaborative nature of our annual cycle of policy and resolutions meetings ensures that each member municipality’s voice is heard in determining the priorities to be addressed by NMML in the upcoming legislative session. What is your most important goal as this year’s NMML President? My most important goal as NMML President is to ensure our elected officials, agencies, and government understand that the foundation of a healthy state are healthy municipalities. I also plan to take the Governor up on her offer to work with state agencies on non-legislative solutions to municipal needs and issues. I look forward to serving our member municipalities to the best of my ability and to continue to create the future of the League together!







Neil Segotta, CMO, is the Mayor for the City of Raton. I have served the City of Raton for the past 8 years. He was born and raised in Raton and the love for the community is what has inspired me to be involved in the shaping of its future. Neil is currently the President-Elect for the New Mexico Municipal League and have enjoyed his time serving the communities of New Mexico through the League. Neil looks forward to continued efforts to bring a sustainable future to our communities by working to change/revise the tax code in our State to better benefit our cities. He also believes our rural communities have been overlooked for far too long. He would like to see initiatives brought forward specifically for economic development in our rural locales. I look for 2020 to bring many changes and challenges for our state and anticipate an exciting time for New Mexico. I look forward to working with you all in the coming year. Thank you for all you do for your communities and your continued support of the League and its efforts.

Mayor Perea, CMO, is a proud graduate of New Mexico State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Javier is a native of Sunland Park and was appointed as the Mayor on August 1st, 2012 while he was only twenty-five years of age. Having no prior political experience, the young Mayor climbed a steep learning curve facing many challenges. At the time of his appointment, the City was plagued with bad publicity, a budget deficit, low employee morale and failing infrastructure. Through, patience, discipline and a strong commitment to improving his community, Mayor Perea successfully turned the City around to one that is now recognized as the safest and fastest growing cities in the State of New Mexico. The City is also recognized as having one of the top financial audits in the State. Mayor Perea continues to address the City’s many challenges and remains focused on strategic management, organization, planning, finance, economic development, transportation and infrastructure.

Michael (Mike) Miller is a lifelong resident of Portales, New Mexico where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Eastern New Mexico University. Mike's ongoing committmentto his community began his lobbying career while doing just that. In 1985, as Fire Chief for the City of Portales Mike served as the Chairman of the New Mexico Department of Health’s Statewide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Advisory Committee. It was during this time that Mike lobbied for legislative resources to meet the needs of local fire and EMS organizations. In addition to his work in City Government Mike also served as County Manager for Roosevelt County for 5 years prior to starting his own consulting business, Professional Directions, in 2002. Mike serves as Mayor Pro Tem on the Portales City Council. Along with being the Treasurer for the League he also sits on the Self-Insurers Board and the Board of Directors for the New Mexico Amigos, the Official Goodwill Ambassadors of the State of New Mexico.






Greggory D. Hull, CMO, has called New Mexico home for more than 25 years, with many of those years spent raising his family in Rio Rancho. He has been married to his wife Carrie for more than 20 years, and is the father of five and grandfather of six. Key Objectives as Mayor has been to reate and foster economic development - diversify the local economy by adding new business and job opportunities which in-turn provides additional revenues to fund municipal government services and needs Maintain and enhance the quality of life for all residents Improve the city's infrastructure (e.g., water-related, roads) Actively involve community members in municipal government Mayor Hull is active in youth and teen ministries for the past 20 years including serving as Sunday School teacher Mayor Hull was appointed by Governor Martinez in May 2017 to serve on the New Mexico Workforce Development Board He also serves on multiple boards and served in 2015/2016 Chairman of the New Mexico Mayor's Caucus (affiliated with the New Mexico Municipal League)

Elise Larsen serve as the Municipal Judge for the City of Grants, and have done so for almost 10 years. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Standing by my side always are my three beautiful daughters. They are my reason for existence and the reason I strive to make our community a better place. Judge Larsen received a Bachelor of Criminal Judge from NMSU and a Master’s of Social Work from New Mexico Highlands University. Along with being a Municipal Judge, Judge Larse is a Licensed Social Worker. "This journey of mine is nowhere close to over. I owe everything I have to God. He has blessed me beyond measure and each day I see His greatness at work". Thank you for this opportunity to serve as Director at Large for the New Mexico Municipal League.

Donald (Don) T. Lopez, CMO, is the Mayor of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque and a long term resident of the Village of Los Ranchos. Don is a registered Professional Engineer (PE), and worked for the State and Federal Government, the US Air Force and is presently a consulting Civil Engineer and Educator, with over 49 years of total engineering and management experience. He has lived most of his life in the Los Ranchos area of the Albuquerque North Valley. He attended New Mexico State University (BSCE), the University of New Mexico (MSCE) and postgraduate study at the University of California at Berkeley. Don retired in 2000 as the Assistant State Engineer of New Mexico and retired in 2000 as a Colonel after 32 years of service in the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve. Don was elected seven times to the position of Trustee and was named Mayor in the early Summer of 2018.





Joseph W. Neeb. Mr. Neeb joined Roswell as City Manager on April 7, 2017. Joe's progressive senior management experience stretches over 20 years. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University and professional certifications from the International City/ County Managers Association and the International Economic Development Corporation. He currently serves as a board trustee on the NM Self Insured Pool and the President of the NM City Management Association.



As President Elect for the NMGFOA Chapter, I had the opportunity to attend the 113th Annual GFOA meeting held in Los Angeles, CA in May, 2019. The conference was held at the massive Los Angeles Convention Center and boasted an all-time high membership of over 20,000. I had the good fortune to stay at the L.A. Grand, a beautiful property about 1.5 miles from the Convention Center, a beautiful walk that included landmarks, high-rise buildings, and cultural treasures. It was truly amazing to meet others from places large and small (I’m pretty sure I was the smallest) and realize we all face the same challenges, we love what we do, and every challenge is just an opportunity waiting for a new perspective. I would greatly encourage anyone who has an opportunity to attend the 114th Annual GFOA Conference in New Orleans to do so!


Bob Hudson was born in 1947 in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and his Masters from the State University of New York, Plattsburgh. He joined the United States Air Force in 1970 where he spent most of his military career as a pilot before having several high level staff jobs and commanding two Air Force Bases. His last assignment saw him as the 86th Airlift Wing Inspector General, Ramstein, Germany. After 28 years, he retired in the rank of Colonel and came to Albuquerque as an administrator with Presbyterian Health Care. In 2013 he officially retired but decided to unretire to run the Moriarty Municipal Airport. For the last four years he has been the President of the New Mexico Airport Manager’s Association. When he is not running his airport, or flying his glider, he is a highly sought after speaker, educating the public on his time as a Nam POW. He has been married for fifty-two years to his high school sweetheart and has two children and four grand children.




Eileen Sullivan, Library Manager of the Los Alamos County Library System since July 2017, has a Masters of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Texas-Austin. A resident of New Mexico since 1987, Eileen has over 30 years of experience working in academic, special, and public libraries as well as experience in the field of telemedicine. Previously she was the Director of the Silver City Public Library in Silver City for seven years. In 2014, she initiated a successful digital literacy training partnership in Grant County, New Mexico. Through her work with rural communities at the UNM Center for Telehealth and as a public librarian, Eileen developed an ongoing interest in broadband accessibility issues and digital inclusion. Other interests include the role of public libraries in workforce and economic development. She was an active member of the Silver City Arts and Cultural District board and developed strong partnerships between the Silver City Public Library and community organizations. Eileen currently serves on the board of the New Mexico Library Foundation.

Steve Hebbe's career began in December 1990 with the Anchorage, Alaska Police Department. he served with APD for 23 years, rising to the rank of Deputy Chief. Hebbe retired in early 2014 to become the Chief of Police for the City of Farmington, where he has been for 5 1/2 years. Some of the things he has focused on are greater transparency with the public, continuing to revise and update our use of force policies and maintain a high level of community involvement. He has been active with the Chiefs Association since coming to New Mexico and have been on the NMML Board for the past four years. During this time, he has worked to ensure law enforcement has a voice before legislation is passed that has unintended consequences. As President, my goal is to increase the visibility of the Association within the Municipal League. Other Chiefs Associations across the country offer classes for future and/or new chiefs, maintain an active web site for job openings across the state and offer services to assist cities in their search for a new chief. We have a lot of experience within the Chiefs Association and we want to better support law enforcement leadership and be a resource for any city looking at bringing in a chief or that are experiencing other law enforcement challenges. Please keep the Chiefs Association in mind for any law enforcement questions and feel free to utilize us!!




PAY ATTENTION By Randy Van Vleck, League General Counsel

P.M. Forni in his book “Choosing Civility : the Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct” identifies what is in his estimation twenty-five “rules” that are “most essential in connecting effectively and happily with others.” Last month I promised to explore a few of those rules. Here is the first installment. I want to reference in advance Professor Forni’s work as the bulk of what follows is based largely on his ideas. The “rules” of civility abound. They are found in every religious text, books on manners and protocol, in Philosophy, self-help manuals and advice columns. There is no shortage of references concerning how we should behave towards others; how we ought to act. I do not have 25 weeks to devote to this series, so I will limit this discussion to a few of my favorite rules.

Rule number 1---Pay Attention

Paying attention is the first step, it is an essential step. Without attention, no meaningful interaction, human or otherwise is possible. When we are with people or are engaged with people, our paramount responsibility is to pay attention. We must divert our


attention away from whatever was occupying our attention and refocus it on something or someone else. This is why every session of the NM Supreme Court begins with the words “Attend the Court.” The clerk wants to make certain that everyone’s full attention is focused on the Court—in short, the clerk wants the audience to pay attention. Compassion, is one of the universal ethical values identified by Rushworth Kidder’s Institute for Global Ethics. We cannot begin to care for the world and exercise compassion until we have first noticed the world. Every act of kindness begins with an act of attention. This is the world in which we should aspire to live, one full of attention and compassion. Alas, we spend far too much of our time not paying attention, particularly when we are in familiar surroundings. Sometimes we even need a special occasion for us to notice familiar territory. It’s as if we were on autopilot. When we relate to the world as if we were on autopilot, we are hardly at our best during encounters with others. We glance by other people and hurry on to our

next encounter. We don’t take time to enjoy or savor our surroundings. We miss out on some of the best things in life. I know. I have been commuting between Albuquerque and Santa Fe for several years and have fallen subject to the “autopilot syndrome.” I miss out on some of the most beautiful landscapes in New Mexico as a result. When we slow down the pace of attention we do justice to life by taking it seriously, we do justice to the presence of others in our lives and we do justice to the things that matter most. Through attention we confer value upon the lives of others. By paying attention, I mean paying full attention. What message is being sent when on of the parties is not paying full attention to the other? Every morning I see a television commercial where the spokesperson is talking to the camera and those in TV land while holding a cell phone. The spokes- person is speaking directly to the camera (and presumably to us). When she finishes talking to us she lifts the phone to her ear and starts talking to whoever was on the other end. We are led to the conclusion that

she was talking to us while placing the other person “on hold.” How do you think the person on the other end of that phone felt? The spokesperson may have been trying to carry on two conversations at one—which is a challenge, or she was subordinating one person to another. Attention is both outward-look and inward-looking. Just as we need to pay attention to the environment we find ourselves in and the people around us, we need to pay attention to ourselves. We need to pay attention to our personal needs and attend to those needs. Paying attention is our first opportunity to make a good first impression. If we pay close and full attention, we are much more likely to have a positive end result. Partial attention leads to misunderstandings or feeling of marginalization. In those cases, the relationship is damaged from the beginning, and based upon the depth of injury, may never recover. Paying attention is the first and vital step towards positive relationships. It demonstrates a willingness to set aside precious time, to tend to or listen to another individual.




By Jason Gibbs for Finance New Mexico (New material added by FNM team after original publication.)

Early-stage science and technology companies in New Mexico occasionally need a little boost, and the state’s Innovation Vouchers program, first launched in 2017, is there to lend a hand. Managed by the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s (EDD) Office of Science and Technology, the program offers competitive grants of small amounts — $2,000 per individual per award — to help a company during critical moments of growth and development. According to Jessica Mraz, communications and marketing specialist for the EDD, Innovation Vouchers build on the state’s history of successful research and development and help to commercialize innovative technologies from the state’s research universities and federal laboratories. Vouchers offset the cost of services offered by approved programs that allow companies to focus on, and achieve, strategic business goals, Mraz said. For example, a company can use an Innovation Voucher for one month’s rent at a state certified incubator, allowing the owner to travel for customer recruitment. “These grants help small start-up companies at a critical stage of growth,” Deputy Cabinet Secretary Jon Clark said in a prepared statement. By the end of last year, 36 companies from Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Doña Ana, Otero and San Juan counties had been awarded Innovation Vouchers. They run the gamut from biotech to software and medical equipment to consulting. One example is Teeniors, a company that


puts tech-savvy teens and young adults in place to help senior citizens learn technology through one-on-one coaching. Teeniors received an Innovation Voucher grant in 2017 and subsequently received $10,000 in follow-on funding via the Experience IT New Mexico

pitch fest. An impact analysis survey conducted on five participating companies by the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership indicates the Innovation Voucher funds resulted in $30,000 in new sales/


revenue; $30,000 in retained sales/revenue; 10 new jobs created; 11 jobs retained; a cost savings of $61,000; and led businesses to make new investments in their facilities, products or employees totaling $246,403. New Mexico MEP, which is on the Innovation Voucher list of approved programs, is a nonprofit organization that helps businesses become more competitive. “Supporting science and technology start-ups in New Mexico is important for the growth of locally-owned small businesses,” said Myrriah Tomar, Ph.D., director of

the Office of Science and Technology. “Support for early stage companies fosters a strong technology ecosystem and a culture of innovation,” she said. Four companies received awards in the latest round of applications that ended in September, 2019. Biodidact – The Community Lab, based in Los Alamos, will use its award to retain NMSU Arrowhead Center experts and increase the competitiveness of its Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant appli-


cation. FidelityEHR, which offers specialized electronic health records for populations with complex needs, will use its award to continue use of the facilities at the Santa Fe Business Incubator. Jet Suit Racing Inc. will use its award at NMSU Arrowhead Center to support R&D and prototype development of its jet-drone hyrbrid Sky Board (click on the photo on this page to view the video) that employs a new thrust capture-generator system. Polarly LLC intends to use the funds toward software development services offered by Dev505 Coworking. Polarly is building a web platform dedicated to connecting casual, high school, college and professional gamers, and it is a recent winner in the UNM Entrepreneurial Challenge. An analysis of applicants indicated there was an average of 10 applications per month. Strong candidates include science or technology companies that use technology in an innovative way. Also, the objectives in the application should enable company growth and provide a reasonable financial request to achieve their proposed accomplishments. For more information, search Innovation Voucher at Companies interested in applying for an Innovation Voucher grant should contact Tomar at (505) 827-0222 or

Finance New Mexico partners with the New Mexico Municipal League on the Grow It! project and other economic development initiatives. To learn more, go to and




You may have seen headlines that a federal court handed a partial victory to advocates for net neutrality recently. But what exactly did the court do, and what does that mean for cities? Net neutrality requires internet service providers to treat all Internet communications the same and not block, speed up or slow down any content. Net neutrality was federal policy until the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2018 order striking it down. The National League of Cities (NLC) and U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) both opposed the order when


it was issued. Numerous states and local governments challenged the legality of the order. In an October decision on Mozilla Corporation v. FCC, the D.C. Circuit upheld most of the FCC’s 2018 order retreating from net neutrality. That means that the federal government will not mandate that internet service providers abide by net neutrality. However, the court struck down the portion of the order preempting states and local governments from adopting their own net neutrality measures.


The technical legal question in the case was whether broadband Internet is a “telecommunications services” under Title II of the Telecommunications Act of 1934 or an “information services” under Title I. In the 2018 order, the FCC classified broadband Internet as the latter. Title II entails common carrier status, while Title I does not. Notably, Title II “declar[es] . . . unlawful” “any . . . charge, practice, classification or regulation that is unjust or unreasonable.” The D.C. Circuit held that classifying broadband Internet access as an “information service” is a “‘a reasonable policy choice for the [Commission] to make.’” The court relied on a 2005 Supreme Court decision, National Cable & Telecommunications Association v. Brand X Internet Services, upholding the FCC’s refusal to classify cable broadband as a “telecommunications service.” The D.C. Circuit likewise upheld the 2018 order’s classification of mobile broadband as a “private” mobile service and not commercial, which is subject to common carrier status. The states and local governments challenging the order didn’t entirely lose the case. The D.C. Circuit described the 2018 order’s Preemption Directive as “invalidat[ing] all state and local laws that the Commission deems to ‘interfere with federal regulatory objectives’ or that involve ‘any aspect of broadband service . . . address[ed]’ in the Order.” The court concluded the Directive exceeded the FCC’s statutory authority. The D.C. Circuit also instructed the FCC to “adequately consider” the 2018 order’s impact on public safety, pole-attachment regulation, and the Lifeline Program. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven states—California, Colorado, Maine,


New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington—have enacted legislation or adopted resolutions regarding net neutrality. The authority of local governments to enact their own net neutrality policies will depend on state policy and whether or not they are preempted by state government. The State and Local Legal Center, NLC and other state and local organizations will continue to monitor this issue. NLC will host a State and Local Legal Center webinar on Friday, December 6 to explain the facts of the case, how it will impact cities, and what avenues are open for local governments to pursue net neutrality for their residents. About the Authors: Angelina Panettieri is the Principal Associate for Technology and Communication at the National League of Cities. Follow her on twitter at @AngelinainDC. Lisa Soronen is the executive director of the State and Local Legal Center, which files Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Big Seven national organizations, including the National League of Cities, representing state and local governments. She is a regular contributor to CitiesSpeak.




By Mayor Greggory Hull City of Rio Rancho

Maintaining Rio Rancho’s high quality of life and implementing sustainable practices have been priorities for my administration. This past September, the City of Rio Rancho and Affordable Solar Installation, Inc. ‘flipped the switch’ on a solar array installed just east of the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant #2. In 2018, the City of Rio Rancho entered into a power purchase agreement with Affordable Solar that will allow the City to purchase solar generated electricity at a reduced rate to partially power the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant #2. Affordable Solar funded, built, and will operate and own the 4,230-panel solar array, which will provide electricity solely to the treatment plant. This project is not only good for the environment, but also for the city’s pocketbook, saving us up to $100,000 on electricity annually. This solar energy project is part of the City’s strategic plan goal to maintain planned public infrastructure to meet current and future efficiency needs.



LUJAN GRISHAM ADMINISTRATION UNVEILS NEW CAPITAL OUTLAY DASHBOARD SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday announced the Department of Finance and Administration’s new capital outlay dashboard, an online tool that will allow the public, local governments and state policymakers to track and analyze local infrastructure projects, a first for New Mexico government. The dashboard, viewable online here, is primarily an accountability measure, the governor said, intended to boost efficiency and ease of access to funding information and status updates about capital projects all across the state. The dashboard includes project data dating back to 2016. “When we make it possible for the people to keep a watchful eye on these projects, we’re taking an important step toward making sure the funding the Legislature appropriates is being put to its intended use — in a timely fashion,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “If we’re not moving money out the door, that’s a problem. “This is a quantum leap forward from the status quo. We have provided for long-overdue infrastructure needs all across this state; I want New Mexicans to


be sure their local governments are putting their tax dollars to work, to be sure my administration is providing support to address problem areas that have lingered from years past.” The existing framework for capital outlay reporting restricted state agencies’ ability to consistently monitor project expenditures to ensure appropriate and timely use of state monies. The dashboard dramatically improves upon that framework, compiling all data in one sortable place, making it possible for state agencies to spot trends and proactively identify issues in need of support. The dashboard — customizable by government entity, type of project, year of expiration and other metrics — includes data visualizations of capital appropriations, including sortable information about project balances and funding sources; searchable details of every statewide capital project dating back to Fiscal Year 2016; and status updates on state agency grant agreements with local governments. The dashboard, to be maintained by the Department of Finance and Administration, will assist state finance staff in project oversight and provide lawmakers and the public easier one-stop access to track the progress of appropriated projects, said Finance and Administration Secretary Olivia Padilla-Jackson. “We are very excited to take the state’s financial reporting into the 21st century,” Padilla-Jackson said. “This online, interactive dashboard is the first of a series that are in development. We are working on future initiatives to enhance visibility and accountability in areas to include the state budget, revenue forecasts and contracts, among other items.”




We know what counties and municipalities are. But what are special districts? Special districts are independent government units created for a limited, specific purpose and, every year, new districts are created and existing ones dissolve. The latest in-depth, encyclopedic count of special districts and all types of local governments in the United States is now available. Released earlier this year, the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 Census of Governments Organization component provides statistics on governments in the United States as of June 2017 and shows changes since the last count in 2012. Tables show counts by government type, state, population-size groups, function and school systems.


Local governments are classified into five types: county, municipal, township, special districts and school districts. County, municipal and township governments are general-purpose governments. The official count for those types of governments has not changed significantly since 2012. Then there are special districts. They typically have a shorter lifespan and higher turnover than general purpose governments, but the difference in their counts was also relatively slim between 2012 and 2017: The 2017 Census of Governments added more than 1,500 special districts and removed roughly 1,260 that are no longer operating.

Why So Many New Special Districts?

So why are states creating special districts these days? In some cases, states create them to provide services to newly- developed geographic areas. In other cases, the special purpose activity or services already exist, but residents expect a higher level of quality. For example, a state may have fire protection services. However, the established governmental structure may not legally allow the fire district to raise enough funds to maintain the desired level of quality services. That’s when a state may choose to create a special district. Most special districts can levy additional



property or sales taxes, and may borrow money to buy or build facilities by issuing bonds. Some districts are only active for a limited time, usually as long as it takes to pay back a debt.

these districts. Most of the metropolitan districts in Colorado are development districts created to provide funding for development projects. ▷▷ In Texas, multifunction districts, called Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs), also showed growth. The 2017 Census of Governments added nearly 200 units to the master list of local governments in Texas. MUDs provide a variety of utility services in areas not included in a municipality. These districts can finance developing infrastructure and housing. MUDs can incur public debts in the form of bonds to finance infrastructure and/or housing, and may dissolve in 15 to 25 years after the debt is paid in full. As in Colorado, developers who see public-private partnerships as business

Multifunctional Districts

Between the 2012 and 2017 census, multifunction districts grew the most. Multifunction districts can collect property taxes and issue tax-exempt bonds. Legislation authorizing multifunction districts was passed in most states across the nation in the 1980s. For example: ▷▷ In Colorado, the 2017 Census of Governments added close to 270 metropolitan districts to the master list of local governments in the state. Metropolitan districts can provide a wide array of services, such as fire protection, street improvements, recreation, mosquito control and television relay services. These districts can collect property taxes and issue public debt. That’s why it’s important to keep track of public funds controlled by Continued on page 25 THE MUNICIPAL REPORTER, NOVEMBER 2019



2020 LEADERSHIP IN COMMUNITY RESILIENCE PROGRAM APPLICATION The National League of Cities is currently accepting applications from member cities to participate in the 2020 Leadership in Community Resilience (LCR) program. The goal of LCR is to improve the capacity of local governments as they identify and achieve their climate resilience and disaster preparedness benchmarks. Since 2017, a total of 25 cities have successfully participated in the program. The resilience concept is being embraced by all sectors of government as a holistic, proactive approach to mitigate risk, improve the reliability and capacity of city services and critical infrastructure, and adapt to changing conditions. City plans and programs designed to increase preparedness in advance of shocks can save lives and reduce recovery costs. These efforts can take many forms including community engagement, reducing resident vulnerability to climate impacts, or capacity building for staff and elected officials. LCR supports city projects by focusing on planning, implementation, and peer-learning among cohort cities. Applicants should be able to achieve substantial completion of their proposed project in one year.

Assistance will be delivered in four ways:


▷▷ $10,000 grant to build local resilience capacity by supporting an implementation project or hosting a mayoral-level engagement event. ▷▷ Technical Assistance from NLC staff (e.g., consultation, accountability, case studies, and best practices). ▷▷ An invitation and travel support to an in-person convening for your mayor and one key staff member (2020 date and location TBD). ▷▷ NLC Staff city visit. At least one NLC staff member will support your project with a site visit. Depending on your city's needs, these visits can be used to facilitate public engagement, leverage support from elected officials, help coordinate key partners, and other related activities. To be considered: ▷▷ Applications must be received by December 20, 2019. ▷▷ Cities will be selected by January 31, 2020. ▷▷ Program begins shortly thereafter, and assistance continues throughout the calendar year ▷▷ Apply here!


SPECIAL DISTRICTS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 opportunities usually drive the creation of multifunction districts.

Development and Water Supply Districts

Financing capital improvement was the leading force behind special district growth in Florida. The 2017 Census of Governments added about 130 new Community Development Districts (CDD). In Florida, CDDs may finance a variety of community development projects, such as new sewage facilities. The 2017 Individual State Descriptions publication provides a comprehensive description of the governmental organization for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Some of these districts are similar to Community Improvement Associations (CIAs) in size and scale of operations. Both are a result of the housing boom from 2003 to 2008. The major difference is that CDDs are considered public government units that enjoy some tax exemptions, although this comes with other regulations and required transparency in governing these districts. The 2017 Census of Governments data also reflect the creation of more water supply districts in New Mexico. Over 150 Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Associations were included as special district governments since the last census. Other states, including California, Arkansas, Missouri and Washington, also added between 10 to 20 water supply districts.

Fire And Emergency Services Districts

Nationally, Emergency Services Districts (ESD) that

provide local fire protection and ambulance services have grown this decade: 150 were created from 2012 to 2017 — 130 of them in Texas. The increase is centered in areas experiencing the fastest population growth in the country since the 2010 Census. Often, ESDs are organized as a funding tool for existing volunteer fire departments. These allow volunteer fire districts to collect additional property and sales taxes to provide service to their expanding communities. It can be challenging to find fire-fighting funding in areas losing population and experiencing declining property values. In Arizona, for example, laws passed in 2013 allow fire districts to consolidate into fire authorities to reduce overhead costs. The 2017 Census of Governments shows 14 new joint fire authorities in Ohio. Some township volunteer fire departments have recently begun to combine personnel, equipment and property tax revenue to become official special district governments. Another way districts can improve emergency response and rescue operations is by creating Emergency Communications (911) Districts to help coordinate resources between municipalities, counties and other local governments. Some states, including Texas, Iowa, and Oregon, have had them since 1985. Others like Washington and Massachusetts have recently introduced laws enabling citizens to create 911 districts.