Commission approves contracting

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Department heads in Curry County can become contracted employees with benefits under a new personnel policy.

The policy passed Tuesday at the County Commissioners meeting in a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Frank Blackburn opposed the new policy.

“My thinking of a contracted employee has always been one that’s hired to do certain things and is not an employee of a company but is self-employed,” he said. “And they don’t take benefits.”

County Manager Dick Smith said the policy will give the county the flexibility it needs to hire qualified personnel.

In other business at the meeting:

Mounted Patrol Capt. Rusty Barnes asked county commissioners if the patrol could be excluded from signing a lease agreement for its annual rodeo.

Barnes said the mounted patrol has never had to sign a lease agreement to use the Curry County Fairgrounds in the past, and signed the most recent lease agreement under duress.

“All we wanted to be done was to be excluded, period, so we can continue on to operate just as we have for the last 36 years,” he said.

Commissioners approved the use of a $27,000 Department of Justice grant to buy five in-car digital cameras for county and city squad cars.

City grant coordinator Sandy Chancey said departments will probably use leftover money on training equipment.

Commissioners awarded Anchor Point Group, LLC, a contract to create a community wildfire protection plan. The county will use a $30,000 grant from the state’s energy, mineral and natural resources department to pay the company, said County Finance Director Mark Lansford.

Clovis MainStreet representatives presented the non-profit’s plans to turn Hotel Clovis into a community for senior citizens or affordable housing.

MainStreet vice president Lisa Dunagan asked the commission for a resolution of support for the project.

Chairman Albin Smith said the commission would put the resolution on an agenda item in the next meeting. Commissioner Tim Ashley favored submitting a letter of support to the group.