If at least three county commissioners are not present at the June 26 budget meeting, the 2002-03 Valencia County budget will go to Santa Fe in its present form, without further examination by the commission.
Chairman Al Padilla and Commissioner Alicia Aguilar were the only county commissioners at the budget meeting on Wednesday. Since quorum requires a minimum of three commissioners to be present, Padilla had to reschedule the meeting for 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 26.
The county budget was due in the State Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) on June 10.
County Manager James Fernandez has already filed for two extensions. If there are not enough commissioners present on June 26 to approve the budget, it will be sent to the DFA in its present form.
“If we aren’t prepared to pass a budget, then they (DFA) would impose it on us,” Fernandez said.
“I am disappointed that we didn’t have the necessary people here,” Padilla said. “I can’t speak for them because I don’t know why they’re not here.
“This drags it on,” Padilla said Wednesday. “I hope we have a full quorum. We certainly have that responsibility to the county.”
When asked why commisioners Frank Pando and Helen Baca were absent from the meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, Padilla replied, “They knew about it. It was publicized. Pando knew about it. It’s puzzling to me.”
Aguilar, the only other commissioner present at Wednesday’s meeting, said, “The chair called for another meeting on Wednesday, and I’ll be there.
“We’re talking about a budget for the county operating expenses for next year,” Aguilar said. “This is probably one of the most important meetings that we can have. It is unfortunate that we could not have a quorum.
“I am really concerned about being informed and allowing all to have input,” she said. “I’m talking about department heads and elected officials.”
When telephoned on Wednesday and asked why he was not at the June 19 meeting, Commissioner Gary Daves said, “I had other appointments. I told them yesterday that I couldn’t make it.
“I believe this county is totally passive about putting people back to work,” Daves said. “One thing that we could do is to spread the hours around for those who quit or retire.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, Daves suggested that the hours of those county employees who have left could be distributed to those still working. However, he said, he felt that his suggestion was ignored.
Mary Andersen, Republican commissioner candidate in District 1, was present at both budget meetings this week, while Republican Joan Artiaga, a commissioner candidate in District 3, attended Tuesday’s budget meeting. No other commissioner candidates were in attendance.