Learning about government

Aug 25th, 2014

Leadership Las Cruces see ins and outs of city, county, state

2014 Leadership Las Cruces Trip AugustAs part of the July Leadership Las Cruces day, the team set up a tour of local and state government entities.

State Reps. Terry McMillan and Bill McCamley were part of the morning panel session during which the class engaged in a fluid question-and-answer session concerning the state legislature. The discussion included bills, committee assignment, elections and some of the unforeseen challenges each face at the legislature.

The second session of the day was held at City Hall. Assistant City Manager Brian Denmark and Utilities Director Jorge Garcia presented to the class. Denmark gave an overview of the city structure, budgets and the city’s 20-year strategy plan. Garcia discussed the city’s utility department. He touched on how and when rates are changed, who the utility department delivers service to, utility board and future growth plans.

The class then traveled to the Doña Ana County Government Center where Jess Williams presented on all things county. He discussed services the county provides that the common resident probably isn’t aware of. He also talked about the difficulties the county faces in terms of budgets and the sheer size of Doña Ana County, which creates a large service area.

The final two hours were dedicated to the Las Cruces Fire Department as well as the Las Cruces Police Department. The class heard from Las Cruces Fire Chief Travis Brown and Las Cruces Police Chief Jaime Montoya and toured both facilities. Similar to the previous presentations, participants learned and discussed budgets, service areas and future plans for both departments.