EPCOG holds special meeting about personnel

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico

The Eastern Plains Council of Governments spent nearly two hours in an executive session Wednesday to discuss personnel matters.

Richard Arguello, interim EPCOG director and chairman of the executive committee, did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday following the meeting.

Committee member Gary Watkins declined to comment on specifics regarding the personnel issue discussed.

An agenda for the special meeting did not disclose further details and upon emerging from executive session, no action was taken.

Public notice was not given for the meeting.

EPCOG staff member Lydia Lucio said public notice for regular committee meetings is given through the newspaper, however, public notice is not given for special meetings like the one held Wednesday.

According to the New Mexico Open Meetings Act, “Any meetings at which the discussion or adoption of any proposed resolution, rule, regulation or formal action occurs and at which a majority or quorum of the body is in attendance, and any closed meetings, shall be held only after reasonable notice to the public.”

Wednesday evening, Watkins said he was not aware public notice was not being given for special meetings.

He said he received an e-mail advising him of the meeting sometime early last week.

“If we’re not doing it right, we need to be doing it. I just took it that they (EPCOG) handled all that,” he said.

Watkins said in the past he has known EPCOG to post meeting notices on the front door of its office at 418 Main Street in Clovis.

EPCOG is a consortium of seven counties in eastern New Mexico and helps local governments with infrastructure planning and economic development. It includes Union, Harding, Quay, Guadalupe, De Baca, Curry, and Roosevelt counties.

The executive committee consists of representation from the seven county governments within EPCOG’s region.

Members in attendance Wednesday were Curry County Commissioner Caleb Chandler, De Baca County Commissioner Pow Carter, Harding County Commissioner Mike Lewis, Watkins, a Portales city councilor and Arguello, a Union County commissioner.