Commissioners agree on five of six priorities

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Valencia County commissioners agreed to support five of the six legislative priorities put forth by the New Mexico Association of Counties.

The association's board of directors recently approved six priorities they would like the New Mexico Legislature to consider during its upcoming 2013 session.

According to County Manager Bruce Swingle, the association has asked all 33 counties to adopt a resolution supporting its legislative priorities.

Commissioner Ron Gentry asked if they had to support all of the priorities, or if one could be eliminated by the commissioners.

Swingle said the commission could eliminate any of the priorities it didn't agree with.

"One of them is the disclosure of sales data for all real property. I think that's a pretty good infringement on private enterprise," Gentry said. "If I have a business deal with Commissioner Andersen, I don't think necessarily that information should go up on the public block for anyone. 'All real property' is pretty much everything."

Commissioner Georgia Otero-Kirkham pointed out that title companies already provide the sale prices of real estate to county assessors and file the mortgages with the county clerk.

"I think that's enough," Otero-Kirkham said.

Commissioner Mary Andersen said she agreed with Gentry in striking the priority being proposed by the assessors' affiliate.

"And just because we sign a resolution doesn't mean it's going to happen," Andersen. "I think the association feels a consensus of counties will help things get through. I have no problem with removing (that priority)."

Andersen motioned to accept the resolution without the real property sales data disclosure, and Gentry seconded. The motion passed 5-0.

Meadow Lake resident Bob Gostischa said he agreed that the disclosure of all real property sales data was an invasion of privacy.

"Real property is everything. If I sell a used computer, that is real property and that doesn't make any sense," Gostischa said.

The five NMAC legislative priorities supported by the commissioners in the resolution, in no particular order, are expanding the list of fireworks restricted by local governments, decriminalization of minor traffic offenses, authorizing local government royalties for database access and mandating sales of delinquent properties.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.