If the plan is approved, it will then go to the Environmental Protection Agency for review, said PNM spokeswoman Valerie Smith on Tuesday. The EPA would have nearly a year to consider the plan. The new plan, announced in February, will shut down two of the four of San Juan’s power generators, and PNM would build a natural-gas fired plant in the area.
Mayor Ken Miyagishima said the council was compelled to make the decision to raise sales taxes after the New Mexico Legislature voted in March to repeal the state's Hold Harmless Act, which has provided municipalities and county governments with state stipends to compensate for the loss of taxes on food, medicine and some medical services when those taxes were eliminated several years ago. Miyagishima and city administrators emphasized that had the city not raised sales taxes it would have faced at least a 9.5 percent loss in revenues.
To put it in perspective, Assistant City Manager Mark Winson said a 9.5 percent loss would have meant the Las Cruces Police Department, whose $24 million budget is the largest in city government, could have faced a $2 million cut.
Under its rules for the program, the department not only refuses to release the names of the licensed nonprofit dispensaries, but the names of the people associated with the dispensaries, which produce and sell medical marijuana.
Several years ago, the Health Department did provide arrest records for people associated with organizations seeking dispensary licenses but blacked out the names. The records showed arrests and/or convictions for prostitution, drug dealing and other crimes. We don’t know whether any of those with criminal records ended up working in licensed dispensaries.
The resolution was proposed in June by Diné CARE but has not been considered by chapter members, although it is scheduled for the Sept. 22 regular chapter meeting, said Shiprock Chapter president Duane "Chili" Yazzie.
"At that point we should be ready to approve it or not approve it," he said.
In addition to rejecting the purchase, the proposed resolution calls for the tribe to begin the transition toward renewable energy on the reservation.