They say 90 percent of life is just showing up, but records indicate some Taos County commissioners can’t seem to get the “showing up” part down.
According to agenda minutes obtained from the county clerk’s office, commissioner Joe Mike Duran has missed nine of the 27 meetings this year in which voting took place or was supposed to take place. This includes regularly scheduled meetings, special meetings and emergency meetings.
Of the work study sessions, in which no items are voted on, Duran missed six of the eight that took place this year. Work study sessions are meant to give commissioners the opportunity to discuss at length certain issues that they don’t have time to discuss at voting meetings.
One emergency meeting scheduled Sept. 12 was not called to order because a quorum was not reached. Only two of the five commissioners — Gabriel Romero and Tom Blankenhorn — were present.
Duran has missed more meetings than any other commissioner since January. Next is Commissioner Larry Sanchez, who missed seven, one of which he was attending a conference, but has missed only one work study session. The latest meeting Sanchez did not attend was Tuesday’s (Oct. 1).
According to records, Duran missed three meetings in a row during the month of May. He missed two meetings last month in which voting took place. He was the only commissioner who voted against a joint E911 command center with the town last month, and told The Taos News at Tuesday’s meeting he doesn’t like to attend meetings in which he has to deal with the town, especially Mayor Darren Cordova. He prefers leaving those matters to the other commissioners, he said.
“The town is for the town,” Duran said.
Duran also told The Taos News he isn’t concerned with attendance at work study sessions and strives only to attend voting meetings.
Duran can’t run for re-election, but has 15 more months left in office. Duran has been a commissioner since 2007.
Commissioner Dan Barrone has missed one voting meeting and two work study sessions this year. Blankenhorn missed two work study sessions and three regular meetings, one of which he was attending a conference. Romero has missed zero work study sessions and two voting meetings, one of which he was attending a conference
Duran receives a salary of $40,106 for the county, including benefits.
He did not return calls requesting further comment as of press time, and neither did Sanchez.