By Christina Calloway
The Local Growth Management Committee is questioning if there’s any further need for the group created to deal with growth and land use issues between area communities and Cannon Air Force Base.
Now that a community partnership known as the P4 has been created to address similar issues, LGMC members questioned at their meeting Tuesday if there was a need for them to exist.
Col. Heather Buono of Cannon, who often represents the base at the meetings, said the decision to disband would be left up to the discretion of the members and the governing bodies they represent.
Buono cautioned members that the P4 group and initiative is new, and as the group develops, she would prefer it to be held accountable.
After nothing came of LGMC’s effort to create a Joint Land Use agreement, Portales Mayor Sharon King felt there wasn’t much left for the group to do.
LGMC member Curry County Commissioner Wendell Bostwick said he feels the group can still serve a purpose through other land use issues and to promote opportunities for economic growth.
“I think it’s important so that we’re informed,” Bostwick said.
Bostwick said one issue that needs to be addressed, which he fears will have a large impact on economic growth, is the threatened listing of the lesser prairie chicken on a federal register of endangered animals.
“I am very concerned about that issue,” Bostwick said. “It’s not a good deal, it’s going to affect our Main Street guys. This is not just something we can let go.”
Bostwick proposed a resolution be drafted opposing the listing and having city and county governing groups adopt the resolution. Through the resolution, he also wants to request Gov. Susana Martinez’s support in their opposition.
Members of the Eastern Plains Council of Governments said they would help in drafting the resolution.
The commission was also asked to financially support annual regional job fairs in Portales and Clovis by Ray Mondragon with EPCOG.
The cost to have one fair in the spring in Clovis and one in the fall in Portales would amount to about $7,000 according to Mondragon.
He asked that each of the governing bodies represented in LGMC fund a portion of the cost, which would go to advertising, set up and signs for the fairs.
The fairs would be open to all people but will target military spouses and retired veterans.
LGMC members said they were fine with requesting money from their legislative groups as long as there is an accounting.
Portales City Manager Doug Redmond was concerned not all groups would approve funding for the fairs.
Mondragon said if he wasn’t able to secure funding from the groups, he’d strengthen his funding efforts again.
Though questions still remained about the group’s need, the group set its next meeting for 9 a.m. on May 14 in Clovis.