NMAC president pays a visit

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By Carol A. Clark

To better learn the needs of the county, President Mary Ann Sedillo of the New Mexico Association of Counties met with local officials and senior management Tuesday at the Community Building.
Sedillo received the NMAC Soaring Eagle Award at this year’s final board meeting in Socorro Oct. 8 for her service and efforts to improve the quality of life for all New Mexico citizens.
“I’m visiting all 33 counties in the state to learn what your needs are,” Sedillo told the group assembled in council chambers.
Council Vice Chair Sharon Stover serves on both the NMAC board, which has one representative from each county and she also holds a seat on the association’s executive board. The president recently appointed her treasurer as well.
“Stover is  such an asset to our organization and I’m not just saying that because she’s sitting here,” Sedillo said.
Stover commended Sedillo for her visit saying this is the first time in a very long time that a NMAC president has personally gone to every county to learn their needs.
“There are affiliates within the association such as the affiliation of county clerks,” Stover said. “This year in particular, the legislature is dealing with some clerk issues so this is good that the president has paid us a visit. Anytime you have that one on one communication – it’s much better than by e-mail or newsletter.”
Deputy Police Chief Kevin Purtymun brought up a mental illness issue facing the community. He told Sedillo that there is no area facility equipped to help people suffering from mental health issues, so when police respond to these types of calls, their only option is to take the offender to jail.
Sedillo told the group that she will take what she learned from their meeting back to NMAC Executive Director Paul Gutierrez and that the Los Alamos issues will work up through the board to the executive committee.
New Mexico counties began meeting on an annual basis in 1936 to address concerns and collaborate on initiatives. In 1968, NMAC was officially incorporated and has served as a statewide voice for all counties in New Mexico ever since.