PORTALES (KSEL)- The Roosevelt County Commission met today, April 20, where they approved a resolution requesting delegation of authority to local governments during the COVID-19 pandemic and to reopen businesses ordered close using safeguards currently in place.
Commissioners Lee, Grider and Dixon strongly supported the resolution while Commissioner Dennis Lopez abstained and suggested tabling the resolution until the next commission meeting on May 5.
Lopez stated, “I have spent the last week talking to many colleagues and those affected by the ongoing pandemic but learning more about what is happening over in McKinnley County – a county around the same size as us – I had a change of heart. I am not against this resolution and I am not for it.”
Commission Chairman Hunton responded to Lopez’s statement saying, “we are not in the same boat but we are in the same storm. What the state government thinks is the best for the state may not be best for the rural communities of Eastern New Mexico. I want to see the community succeed and we can’t have a successful economy without our citizens. I don’t want this to be all about the money because it’s not.”
Hunton also reported that reviving businesses in the area would not be implemented quickly but a slow process that would utilize safeguards in order to ensure the safety of the community.
The resolution does not give any authority to the county but requests that the governor would reach out/work with the county to help make decisions more locally than blanket decisions.