BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The immediate future of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities is expected to be decided Friday when the board meets virtually.
At the April meeting of the board, RCLC chair Santa Fe County Commissioner Henry Roybal established three committees to discuss budget, policy and the contract for executive director services. Reports from the budget and policy committees were heard at the May 15 meeting, however, there was no report on the executive director’s contract committee because committee chair Taos City Councilor Darien Fernandez was not present. Current executive director Eric Vasquez stated that members of this committee should have received a Doodle poll about setting up discussions and that he and Fernandez had “already had initial conversations”.
As of Tuesday when the agenda for Friday’s meeting was published, the contract committee had reportedly only held a preliminary meeting and details of how the contract would look when a request for proposals was issued for executive director services in the new fiscal year. The committee selected by Chair Roybal, is comprised of Roybal, Fernandez, Los Alamos County Councilor David Izraelevitz, Rio County Commission Chair Leo Jaramillo and Espanola Mayor Javier Sanchez. Having the five-member committee convene would actually constitute a quorum of the board.
At the May 15 RCLC meeting Izraelevitz, who serves as the board treasurer, presented the three options for the budget that were determined by the budget committee.
The first option assumes that the DOE grant is not expected to be received for the next fiscal year and the board maintains a full-time executive director.
“This would take the RCLC from a cash balance of $157,000 to about $60,000 and then with the monthly burn rate – a deficit between income and expenditures – we would have about seven months left of cash reserves for the organization. That would be a difficult situation to be in without additional income,” Izraelevitz said.
He said for the second option, assuming the RCLC has the $100,000 in restricted DOE funding, plus the member revenues, and maintains a full-time executive director at the same cost as this year, it would give the organization a little bit of extra money at the end of the year in total cash balance.
Izraelevitz said the committee considered the last option where there is no DOE funding and what would be the prudent budget.
“It turns out that reducing the executive director’s services to 50 percent would again pretty much maintain the cash balance from year to year. That would be sufficient for the foreseeable future – if we budget for 50 percent of the executive director services we would be at a constant cash balance,” he said.
Izraelevitz said the recommendation of the committee was that the board hold an additional meeting in June to decide among the three options.
“Hopefully we will have some resolution both on whether hopefully we will have the current year DOE grant, that would certainly help our cash balance and then a prognostication as to whether we will have the grant in coming years, to help make the decision among the three options,” he said.
As of Tuesday, there was no indication that DOE is releasing the grant monies. Vasquez has reported to the board that additional data requested by DOE contracting was submitted May 15.
The following is the information released to the public on how to attend Friday’s meeting:
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/7487396057, Meeting ID: 748 739 6057
Zoom dial in: (748) 739 6057, Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ab9QKihTg5
Conference Call dial in: (605) 313-5545, Access Code: 606547#