Officials reorganize office

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Reorganization was the task of the day at the regular meeting of the Roosevelt County Commission. The board accomplished it quickly, approving budget changes in the sheriff’s office and electing Paul Grider as chairman.

The commission passed without discussion a resolution adjusting the budget for the sheriff’s office by $29,499 to allow newly elected sheriff Darren Hooker to appoint an undersheriff for the remaining six months of the fiscal year. Outgoing sheriff Tom Gossett had elected not to fill the undersheriff’s position.

Mailon Parker, formerly with the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and most recently at the Curry County Sheriff’s Office, has accepted the undersheriff’s position.
Hooker briefly outlined his plans for working with the commissioners and talked about other issues in his department.

“I’ve told everybody day one in the sheriff’s office is going to be about six months long,” Hooker said of his reorganization.

The sheriff told commissioners filling the four deputy positions open in the office was one of his priorities.

Grider, who is beginning his second term as commissioner, succeeds Dennis Lopez as chairman. Lopez has been chairman for the last year.

Grider and incumbent Commissioner Gene Creighton were unopposed in the primary and general elections. Republican Billy Cathey, who replaced Tom Clark, began his tenure Monday as commissioner. Commissioners Lopez and David Sanders, who were not up for election this fall, fill out the board.

“I’m honored to be here,” Cathey said. “Please bear with me, I may ask a lot of questions out of ignorance.”

In other business commissioners:

• The Commission added two days as paid holidays in 2007. It approved a Christmas holiday that will run from Dec. 24-26 (Monday through Wednesday) and Dec. 31 (a Monday) off as well.

• Passed a resolution authorizing joint purchasing and cooperative purchasing by the commission when acting with other governmental bodies, an annual request.

• Passed a resolution authorizing submission of application for DWI program funds from the state, an annual request.

• Heard a report from the county administrator outlining new procedures for re-employment of people on Public Employee Retirement Association benefits. Employee withholding paid by the county will increase from 9 percent to 19 percent on those employees in 2007.

• Gave the county administrator permission to pursue development of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.