During the Grant County Commission meeting of Sept. 24, 2013, commissioners heard reports from county officials.
Detention Center Administrator Mike Carrillo gave a report covering from mid-August into September.
"Our amended policies and procedures have been reviewed by Manny Romero, who inspected them and did an assessment," Carrillo said. "The New Mexico Corrections Department will take his letter of recommendation and a team will look over the documents. They will send them back for revisions or acceptance."
Although the department has filled two part-time positions, it still has two vacancies. "We lost two detention officers, with both leaving under great terms. They were excellent and will be hard to replace."
Medical staff began working at the jail last week, with two staff members.
"They are working out well," Carrillo said. "I anticipate that you will see a decrease in medical costs and medical transports. We are now a non-narcotic facility. We thank you for providing medical staff."
Training continues for detention center staff, with five of the personnel going to Doña Ana County facilities to shadow how they work with their special response team. "They showed us how to do it right."
"I did a presentation to a legislative committee on how we planned to reduce recidivism and integrate inmates back into society," he said.
Detention statistics show more than 75 inmates a day, with 73 males and 13 females being the highs for the month. Carrillo said 22 have been sentenced, with 79 not yet sentenced. The jail had 84 probation/warrants inmates, and a total of 21,200 hours of incarceration."
Gila Regional Medical Center Interim Chief Executive Officer Brian Cunningham presented updates to the commissioners.
"We have filled the leadership positions with internal talent, who hit the ground running," Cunningham said. "We have our board meeting this week. The turnaround is happening quickly, truly due to team efforts."
He updated the issue of the 67 employees who were cut to half hours and pay. "We addressed each one from a demand point of view. More than half are back to full-time."
"New this month, we have been affiliated with the Planetree consulting vendor for patient-centered care for the past eight years," Cunningham said. "Yes, we learned a lot. Now it's time for Gila Regional to take full responsibility for our Gila Regional approach to patient-centered care. We are in the process of creating our own tool. It does not minimize our focus on patient-centered care."
He said the hospital is also involved in the high-value financial turnaround. "We are looking for efficiencies in the emergency room and in the surgery center, with patient centered-care and high quality always at the forefront."
"We are also looking at finance," Cunningham continued. "Everything has to be billed and coded correctly. It's highly complex. David Otero, our chief operations officer, began immediately with the highest-level caregivers to make the revenue cycle as efficient as possible. It's a major part of our financial turnaround."
GRMC Chief Financial Officer Beth Allred was in Santa Fe the day of the commissioners' meeting, dealing with sole community provider funding.
"We still don't know what will happen in January. Our approach is not to have any assumptions budgeted after January, planning that we can work without a dime from the state. We are confident we will be in positive financial territory at the end of the fiscal year. We have full support from our board, the County Commission, our committees and above all our caregivers."
Commissioner Ron Hall said he was glad to see the hospital would not be dependent on sole community provider funding.
"What are your days of cash?" Commission Chairman Brett Kasten asked.
"We are stable the past couple of months, ranging from 104 to 106 to 108 days of cash," Cunningham said.
Deputy Treasurer Alfred Sedillo reported that property owners can begin to call the office about their tax bills, which will be sent out the end of October or first of November.
"As the chairman of the Mobile Home Committee of the (New Mexico Association of Counties) Treasurers' Affiliate, I thank you for passing the ordinance," Sedillo said, "so we can hopefully stop the illegal moving of manufactured homes and keep them on the tax rolls."
He said an auction on delinquent manufactured homes would be held locally, and others statewide are looking at doing the same.
"There are some issues that we are working hard on to close loopholes," Sedillo said. "We have manufactured homes that are 10 years delinquent in tax payments. It's not fair to homeowners of real property, who have only three years to pay delinquent taxes before their homes are put up for auction."
Assessor Mary Guthrie said she and her deputy, Eric Morales, were getting the tax rates and amounts to the Treasurer's Office. "We also have a new employee, Jason Quimby."
Clerk Robert Zamarripa reported that he received a court order to issue same-sex marriage licenses and began to do so.
County Manager Jon Paul Saari introduced his new executive assistant working at the front desk—Denisha Lucero. "She is doing good work and fitting in well."
He asked Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce Director Scott Terry to speak.
"I've been in the job almost two months," Terry said. "We have a great board and we are rebuilding the Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce. We hope to do a great job of bringing in new businesses and people, while supporting the great businesses we already have here. I appreciate your support. Please share with me your ideas."
Saari said an Oct. 4 public hearing on a road improvement district would be preceded at 8:30 by a special meeting to proclaim Pro Bono Day and Hispanic Month, as well as a discussion on an eco-watershed plan that Commissioner Gabriel Ramos has proposed.
"That's the same morning as the Western New Mexico University Foundation fundraiser at 8 a.m.," Saari said. "We cannot move the 9 a.m. meeting, because it has been noticed for a month. Maybe they will let us be late to the fundraiser golf tournament. I was focused on getting the fair barn certification of occupancy, which we did."
Hall asked people to attend the fair and support the area's youths. "I'm proud of the new barn. The fair is from Thursday morning through Sunday this week. Grant County was blessed not to have more floods, except for the incident in Santa Clara. We need to help Catron County with its recovery."
Kasten said he went on a trip with the Grant Soil and Water Conservation District with the cabinet secretaries of the Environment Department and the Department of Agriculture, as well as representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, looking at watershed restoration projects. "They brought back springs and waterfowl habitat. A lot of it was paid for by Freeport McMoRan to keep waterfowl off the tailings ponds."
"I couldn't be prouder of the 200 volunteers who put together the entire infrastructure into the new barn," Kasten said. "We're ready to have the fair."
The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be the special meeting and public hearing, beginning at 8:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 4, at the Grant County Administration Center.