img 7852Grant County Commission presents proclamation for National Correctional Officers Week to Detention Center Administrator Joseph Andazola.

img 7856Commissioners present the National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month proclamation to CASA Program Director Tanya Ortiz and an unidentified individual

img 7860DWI Program Coordinator Daniel Graves receives a certificate of appreciation from County Manager Charlene Webb.

[Editor's Note: This is part 6 of the Grant County Commission first work session of the month held April 9, 2024. It begins the review of the April 11, 2024 regular meeting as well as decisions made at that meeting.]

Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy

County Manager Charlene Webb, at the April 9, 2024 work session, started the review of the April 11, 2024 regular meeting
by talking about the proclamations and presentations that would take place at the regular meeting.

However, at the regular meeting several people had public input.

Jodie Osment (spelling?), a retired Road Department employee, said she retired last year. "I am here today to talk about a Road Department position that was advertised in the Silver City Daily Press. I noticed that the pay range is similar to what Freeport McMoran offers. This advertisement says that a laborer with little to no experience will start out at $16.61 an hour and after the six-month probation would move up to $19.10 an hour. and would max out at $21.50 an hour. Seriously? I retired last March 2023, after 43 1/2 years of service and I was maxed out at $19.28 an hour rate for a position that now four people are doing because my position was never filled."

She said she knew it was not question and answer time, but "what would my old position start out at if it had been advertised? If I had not retired, a laborer would have surpassed my rate of pay. That's wrong. Basically newly hired employees would surpass the veteran employees that have been there 10, 15 and 20 and over 20 years. I think this needs to be looked into."

Next, Ben Dodson, a volunteer fire fighter, recounted what happens at 1 in the morning when his radio goes off. "I would go and three people would show up. It's always the same three people, although it's usually four, but one is out on medical. One, for over a year, has been requesting a document from you all asking for a little bit of liability coverage. The other person has been trying to get his insurance company to provide some insurance. None exists. As for myself, I have assets I put at risk every time I show up. And now, you put out an ordinance, which I will read to you. You should have read it yourself. 'Each person will be held accountable and responsible for their individual actions. No officer or member shall be exempt from these requirements in situations where county property and/or its citizens are at risk.' The state already took qualified immunity from us. We show up, and we have no one backing us. If something goes wrong, I'm hung out to dry. I think one of you has fire experience and another was a police officer. I understand that the county cannot afford a full-time fire department. It's the mathematics. But I have no support from you at all. You've already hired the guy to go out and tell us about this, so I'm guessing you're going to pass this. One other issue, personal information about me that I wouldn't want to get out, got out. No one bothered to tell me that my personal information was sent out. I hold no grudge against the person that accidentally leaked it, but I've gotten no official notification that I might need Lifelock or something to help me out. Someone needs to take fiduciary responsibility or you're going to lose people, those three that always show up. I'm strongly opposed to this ordinance. Your losing firefighters is important to the safety of the community." He ran out of time.

Mick Smith, carrying her daughter, came, in place of someone who was unable to come, to support Give Grandly, of which she for the second year is the coordinator. "I think most of you know about Give Grandly, but for those who don't, it's our local communal fundraiser. It started in 2014 as a state initiative, called Give Grande. We had a group that brought the non-profits together for a fundraiser. It turned out so well that they wanted to do it again and asked the state if they could use the name Give Grande, but the state said No, so they renamed it Give Grandly. In the past 10 years, Give Grandly has raised $1.6 million for our local non-profits, not only for Grant County, but also for participants from Luna, Hidalgo and Catron counties. Last year, we had 62 participants and we raised $236,000. I think it is a testament to our collaboration and working together. This year, we have 65 participating non-profits from three counties. It will take place on May 4 in the downtown Main Street Plaza. It will have activities for all ages. I ask you all to meet the people who run and work hard in the community. Non-profits in this community are a economic force. If you can't make it, we can still take your money online from April 20 to May 20."

With no one else for public speaking at the regular meeting, Webb read the first proclamation, "National Public Safety Tele-communicator Week." No one was present to accept the proclamation, because everyone at the Dispatch Authority was working.

Grant County Manager's Office Executive Assistant Kristi Franco read the second proclamation, "National Correctional Officers Week" May 5-11, 2024.

District 1 Commissioner and Chair Chris Ponce thanked
Detention Center Administrator Joseph Andazola and every correctional officer in the world for the work they do every day.

District 2 Commissioner Eloy Medina thanked Andazola for the data the he gives the commissioners each time he gives his report.

The final proclamation, read by Franco, named the month of April as "National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month."

The CASA Program Director Tanya Ortiz and another individual accepted the proclamation.

Next came presentations. The first one, requested by Ponce, featured Teresa Villa discussing the Cobre Parent Center program at the Cobre Schools.

"We recently had a grand opening for the center," Villa said. "It serves the parents in the Mining District. It has clothing availability and an old-fashioned grocery story, supported by The Commons. We receive donations of clothing and groceries. We also plan to have a center where we can hold classes, such as GED classes and domestic violence classes, anything that will support our families. We invite you to come visit, as we want it for all community members. We accept donations of clothing, all the way from newborn to adult sizes, money, diapers, formula, hygiene items. The family center is located in Bayard right next to Bayard Elementary behind Copper Little League field. We're open 8 a.m. -5 p.m., including in the summer. We hope to get photos of all the kids, not just Cobre, but Silver School kids, too, to make a photo wall.

Medina asked where donations are accepted. Villa said they can be dropped off at the center or "you can contact me. My information is on the Cobre website. I'm also the Title IX coordinator, and I'm the project coordination of the Cobre School District."

District 5 Commissioner Harry Browne thanked her for doing this for the community.

The final presentation recognized Grant County DWI Program Coordinator Daniel Graves with a certificate of appreciation from Webb. She said the recognition was for "going above and beyond with the Teen Maze. You heard his presentation at the Tuesday meeting [Editor's Note: You can read it at ]."

Webb said : "He knocked it out of the park. It was the best I've ever seen. I just wanted to publicly recognize him and his staff for an amazing event."

The next article will begin with the Gila Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees report by Dr. Fred Fox, board chair.

To read the previous articles, please visit; ; ; ; and

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