By Jack King
After months of planning and years of consideration, the Curry and Roosevelt county United Ways have opted to consolidate.
The board of the Curry County United Way approved a merger with the Roosevelt County United Way at their Monday meeting, a decision board members of the Roosevelt County branch approved by an 8-2 vote in March.
RCUW President Rusty Galloway said his board has been considering the merger, or taking other steps, for its last two campaign years. In contrast to the CCUW, which has a small paid staff, Roosevelt County’s group is completely volunteer. He said a majority of the board’s members felt they needed some “new energy.”
“Basically, some of our board members give their all to the United Way, but others don’t want to join it because they have to give it their all,” he said.
“The advantage is we will be able to use the resources they have. After all, many of the agencies we raise funds for are to a large part serving both communities,” he added.
Officials of both United Ways said the merger will be carried out gradually. Although bookkeeping will be done in Clovis, for the next two years both groups will carry out separate fund drives and the money will be deposited in separate Clovis and Portales banks.
“We want to keep the funds separate so people won’t have the sense there was a takeover — the sense that ‘my money is going elsewhere,’” said Erinn Burch, CCUW’s executive director.
The two boards will begin meeting together in June, she added.
Former Roosevelt County board members Sharon King and Everett Frost voted against the merger in March. King resigned from the board after the vote; Frost resigned shortly thereafter.
At the time, King called the merger a “drastic” measure. She could not be reached Monday and Frost refused to comment.
Curry County board member Ken De Los Santos voted against the merger and board member Bill Russell abstained Monday.
Burch said the rest of the board voted in favor of the merger. The board has 24 members, but Burch said she couldn’t be sure how many attended Monday’s meeting.
De Los Santos said he approves of the merger, but wants the CCUW to hire an additional, part-time, staff person to help handle the increased workload. Russell could not be reached for comment.