Friday, May 13, 2011

Espinoza Offers Solution for Lawmakers Who Want to Go to Hawaii

I just spoke with Santa Fe County Clerk Valerie Espinoza who said she enjoyed my column on the upcoming legislator confab in Hawaii,

Espinoza, who is running for a seat on the Public Regulation Commission next year had a radical idea for lawmakers who really want to go to the Council of State Governments meeting this summer:

Pay your own way.

Espinoza herself was in the same position a few years ago when county officials attended a conference for the National Association of Counties held in Honolulu.

My colleague, Julie Ann Grimm wrote about that for The New Mexican's July 12, 2005 issue:

Santa Fe County Clerk Valerie Espinoza said she considered canceling her trip to the conference when she heard that officials in Bernalillo County and in other states were coming under fire for planning to attend.

But Espinoza found a good compromise, she's paying her own airfare to the five-day event, and is sharing a hotel room with Shirley Hooper-Garcia, deputy county clerk and former secretary of state.

The clerk, who took office about seven months ago, said the conference is an investment in her education and professional development.

"I don't abuse the process or the system or taxpayer dollars. I look forward to discussing important issues that affect our community, " Espinoza said. "It's about advancement, inclusion and research, " she said.