The Curry County Commission on Dec. 7, created two committees charged with studying issues facing the jail and courthouse and presenting recommendations to the commission by March 15.
As of mid-January, eight members of the committees have resigned, primarily complaining about a lack of transparency and steering by the commission after the committees were ordered by commissioners to close their meetings.
The following is a list of members who volunteered to serve as well as biographical information, quotes from information forms they submitted for the committees and any known positions they have taken or connections they may have to the issues.
• Marcy Anaya, courthouse committee — Bank trust officer, Citizens Bank of Clovis. Daughter of Commissioner Bobby Sandoval.
Application: “I would like to see Clovis improve in a way that serves everyone. As a concerned citizen, I have heard both sides of the story regarding security and space in the courthouse… I would like to see both sides work together to resolve the problems.”
• Don Bonner, jail committee — Retired owner of Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Seven Up Bottling Company in Clovis, former ranch owner and city commissioner from 1969-1978. Current member of Clovis Community College’s foundation board. Served in 2004 as treasurer for Paul D. Barnes in county commission election campaign.
Application: “Was asked by Commissioner (Caleb) Chandler.” Bonner said he has been friends with Chandler for most of his life and was interested in the issues surrounding the judicial complex, submitting an application for the courthouse committee when Chandler suggested he get involved. “I just thought some independent thinking and maybe some looks at some new ideas would help come up with some new ideas on the problems… I’m interested in the subject (and) I thought the committees would be a good idea and would be helpful.”
• David Briseno, courthouse committee — Primary healthcare center administrator for La Casa Buena Salude, retired from Clovis Municipal Schools. Briseno has been outspoken in the community regarding civil rights issues and president of the community watchdog group Concerned Citizens of Curry County.
Application: “I believe that as a community we need to address the security issues at the courthouse. I was on the jury panel (though not selected) for the Salas (murder) trial and I can assure you I did not feel safe. Something needs to be done.”
• Mary Hernandez, both committees — Owner of Hernandez Tax Service, previously served as treasurer of the Desert Cruisers, she said she has never held public office or served on a public committee.
Application: “I will work with other community members to: 1. find solutions to the jail issues and the courthouse security with the facilities that we currently have. 2. Plan for future expansion or building of on or both facilities when the funds become available… Work to make sure the citizens of Curry County get a bang for their buck.”
• Richard Rowley II, courthouse committee — Clovis attorney practicing primarily business and real estate law.
Application: “(I) have interest in seeing (the courthouse) upgraded to more current standards and designed for more efficient use… (I) have over 45 years using (the courthouse) on a regular basis.”
• Gloria Wicker, courthouse committee — Retired railroad employee, former city commissioner and active community participant in local government.
Application: “I have for many years (worked to) keep up with the city and county affairs… I think the citizens committees are a great start to solve problems.”
• Sistar Gloria Yancy, both committees — Founder and director of Christian Believers Education, a group aimed at mentoring and aiding in recovery through Christian services. Involved in numerous volunteer efforts at the jail, working with administration to provide educational and spiritual services to inmates.
Application: “I’m interested because I believe I can bring ideas and hope to both committees. However the detention committee is my number one priority.”
• Paul D. Barnes, both committees — Farmer, county commissioner in the early 1990’s when the existing jail was approved and built, ran against and lost to commissioner Caleb Chandler in 2008, during the campaign took the position jail problems would be best solved through staff training and employee screenings, better supervision of inmates and expediting court processes so inmate stays are shorter.
Application: “(I am interested in serving on the committee to) help resolve issues facing our community… Sometimes as a self-employed person we see the big picture.
Resignation: “I feel like a lot of the problem they had passing this bond issue, (in addition to) being so extravagant and expensive, is that I don’t feel like people knew what was going on… The worst thing you can do is try to hide something.”
• Steve Boyd, both committees — Melrose, farmer and rancher, president of Melrose Grain Elevator, former Melrose school board member. In 2009 was appointed to the county’s land use committee by Commissioner Wendell Bostwick.
Application: (I’m interested in serving on this committee) to serve community needs.
Resignation: No statement made
• Henry Bruner, both committees — Air Force retiree, former business owner, prior member of the Eastern Workforce Development Board, worked with the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and supervised the Gold Mentor program for aging adults.
Application: (I am interested in being on the committees) to give back to the community. I feel both of these areas need to be addressed and the problems solved.
Resignation: No statement made
• George Krattiger, both committees — Insurance agent and real estate investor, outspoken supporter of the proposed judicial complex of the opinion that it was the best time economically for such an expensive project because rates and materials would be lower than in the future, the real estate investment company in which he is a partner was a $500 contributor to the Supporters of the Curry County Criminal Justice Complex.
Application: “I am a lifetime resident of Clovis. It is very important to me that we have the infrastructure necessary to support our judicial system with adequate facilities now and in the future.”
Resignation: “I refuse to serve on a committee that, in my opinion, has no reason to close its meetings from the local media.”
• Ben McDaniel, both committees —Owner, McDaniel’s Furniture, second-vice chair of the Curry County Republican Party, made an unsuccessful bid in 2008 for city commission, in 2009 appointed by mayor Gayla Brumfield to serve on Clovis’ Quality of Life Task Force, helped to create and served as chairman of the Supporters of Curry County Criminal Justice Complex and was an outspoken supporter of bond issues to build a new jail and courthouse.
Application: “Both the detention center and courthouse are neighbors to my business. Also as a taxpayer and citizen (I’m) concerned about safety in our community.”
Resignation: “At this time, I feel we need much more transparency than ever before, especially on this matter,” said McDaniel, who worked with an organization that helped with advertising for the bond measures. “I think people are more ticked off about things being kept ‘behind doors’ than just about anything else. I think it is and will be a disaster for the county commission.”
• Dr. James Moss, both committees — Retired physician, served as Clovis mayor from 1986-1996.
Application: I’ve lived in Clovis and Curry County since 1936. I am interested (in) the safety and prosperity of Curry County… I have strong ties to the city and county because I own property in both entities. I have conservative views but also feel I’m progressive.”
Resignation: “The perception of what we were going to try to do there without the media just wasn’t going to be good… I’ve lived here since I was 12 years old. We felt like we knew the population around here fairly well, and we felt like we could get a small bond issue passed, not this grandiose scheme they had. If they weren’t going to let us do it ourselves, there was no reason to serve on the committee.”
• Doug Reid, both committees — Farmer and Rancher, active community participant in county government, outspoken against prior commission plans to address courthouse security by closing all but a side entrance to the building.
Application: “I am interested in the future of the county and as a taxpayer I am concerned about how our taxes are spent… These are very important issues and we need a broad range of experience and expertise to deal with them.”
Resignation: “…Due to the strict guidelines (Commissioner Caleb Chandler) imposed on both the courthouse security and detention center committees I am informing you of my resignation from these committees.”
• Wayland Thomas, jail committee — Retired newspaper publisher.
Application: “There has obviously been mistakes in the past with the design and management of the jail. I think these problems need to be considered so they will not be repeated, however I think the committee should start fresh and consider all possible options, free from as much of the controversy that has surrounded the jail recently.”
Resignation: “I feel we needed freedom to research and make recommendations to the commission on our findings without undue influence from commission oversight… It is imperative that the public understand the problems and possible options for correcting the existing problems.”