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County OKs pay changes, delays investigator decision

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Bernalillo — The Sandoval County Commission unanimously approved an amendment to wage adjustments, funding to help repair communications in the Sandoval County Fire Rescue Department and added roads to the county’s inventory at its meeting Thursday night at the county administration building. 

Employee pay

Commissioners voted to unanimously pass Director of Human Resources Patricia Miller’s request to amend a resolution approved at the last county commission meeting, which adjusted the salaries of employees who do not belong to a union.

The amendment authorizes the county manager to make pay adjustments of 3 percent or less to employees under contract. Any percentage above 3 percent will be brought to the county commission.

With the approval of the amendment, employees under contract, like the county manager, and attorneys within the legal department, can have wages adjusted according to the market value.


Sandoval County Fire Chief Eric Masterson asked commissioners to approve an addendum to the joint powers agreement for the Sandoval County Regional Emergency Communications Center.

The addendum moves funding within the agreement to assist with radio and system maintenance costs. Masterson said the fire department has more modern communications in the Rio Rancho area but coverage gaps in more rural areas of the county.

Road inventory

Public Works Director Mark Hatzenbuhler requested a repeal of a resolution passed in December to allow several roads within the Casas Montanes Subdivision in Placitas to be added to the county road inventory for maintenance.

Those roads were:

• Calle Contento,

• Camino del Carrisito,

• Tierra Antigua,

• Tres Primas and

• Valle Tranquillo.

Investigative position

The Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office request to create an investigative position under the supervision of the Sandoval County Attorney’s Office was postponed until the next meeting.

This position would be created in collaboration with the county attorney’s office, Sheriff Jesse Casaus and Human Resources and the Risk Management Department.

Commissioners expressed concern over a lack of information, such as wage, job description and clarity of possible ethical implications having an “in-house” investigator versus a contract investigator the county currently utilizes.

“If it is something that is needed, the work should have been done the whole time these discussions have been going on,” said Commissioner Michael Meek, District 3. “I am not trying to be critical, but to ask for a position, then say, ‘Oh, how are we going to fit it into this little box?’ is kind of counter-productive.”

More information will be presented to the commissioners at their meeting Feb. 20.