Budget hearings near finish line

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By Jennifer Garcia

The Los Alamos County budget hearings sailed along Thursday night, with discussion focusing on the budgets of various departments.

During that discussion, councilors took a significant amount of time talking about the tennis courts throughout the county and their condition.

The meeting opened with Council Vice Chair Mike Wismer making a motion to approve a 3 percent salary adjustment pool in the FY 2010 Proposed Budget. The motion passed 7-0.

Following the vote, another motion was made, this time by Council Chair Michael Wheeler, to approve a full-time employee that would be assigned to the council for quality initiatives.

Had the motion been approved, $85,000 would have been set aside to implement the idea. However, councilors were not convinced that the FTE was a good idea.

“I want more information before I approve $85,000,” Councilor Sharon Stover said. “I’d like to talk to people from local governments and from Quality New Mexico. I want to know what we’re getting for our money.”

Councilor Vincent Chiravalle said that he found it insulting to hire someone at the cost of $85,000 to judge the performance of the council.

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