The Board of County Commissioners is the governing body of a county. Its duties, by state law, are both legislative and executive.
The Board's responsibility is the overall management of the County government operations.
A County Manager is appointed by the Board and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the County. The County Manager supervises the work of appointed department heads and appoints non-elected department heads, with Board approval. The Board also appoints members of necessary boards and committees for projects and programs.
The Board, (which can be directed by an elected or appointed official) determines all department budgets. It sets the tax rate for all taxing entities of the County. It oversees county property purchases, sales, and construction and awards bids for services and supplies.
The current Board of Commissioners supports an open door policy which encourages public comment, suggestions, inquiries and attendance at all Board meetings. Minutes are taken and typed by the County Clerk at all meetings, public hearings, and bids.
The Board of County Commissioners is given the power to control budget, levy taxes, and enact ordinances. It can analyze and settling all accounts of receipts and expenses. It also provides for the issuance of bond financing for public buildings, roads, utilities, hospitals, and libraries. It carries out election, planning and zoning, and health and safety functions.
Commissioners must conduct all official actions during open public meetings. Official business is noted on agendas and publicized before action can be taken.
County Commissioner Board meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month at 9:00 am in the County Commission Chambers at the County Courthouse, 300 Shakespeare St.
Agendas for the meetings are posted at the courthouse and on this web site.
Requirements to be a County Commissioner
- Must be a United States Citizen
- Must be at least eighteen years of age
- Must be a registered voter
- Elected at large from the county
Duties and other requirements to serve as commissioner are located in the New Mexico Statutes 1978, Article 38, 4-38-1 through 4-38-42
Hidalgo County Commissioners
Commissioner Richard Chaires
Mr. Chaires was born in Silver City, NM and raised in Hidalgo County. He graduated from NMSU in 1982 with a BS on Accounting. He then settled into self-employment with Farmer’s Insurance.
This is Richard's second year of a four year term as county Commissioner. Mr. Chaires has two sons—Joseph (23), who is in the Coast Guard and stationed in San Diego, and Robert, (20) who is studying architecture at UNM in Albuquerque.
Commissioner Ed "Bim" Kerr
Ed "Bim" Kerr is a lifelong resident of Hidalgo County. He grew up on a ranch/farm operation and attended Lordsburg Schools. After earning a B.S. Degree from NMSU in 1974 (he and Lindy were married a week after graduation), Bim worked for Iowa Beef Packers. He then worked on a ranch in Bibo, NM, and a short time later moved back home to start farming on his own. Bim went to work for Phelps Dodge and soon decided to become a teacher. He returrned to college and became certified to teach high school math and science. He taught at both Lordsburg and Animas High Schools and somewhere in that 22 years, earned his Masters Degree in Administration from WNMU.
In 1996, Bim and his wife Lindy bought a cattle ranch. Bim retired from teaching and now enjoys being a full-time rancher. Bim and Lindy have progeny which includes four sons, their wives, and five grandchildren.
Bim has a deep bond with the history and culture of the county and is passionate about preserving human and natural resources of Hidalgo County as it grows and develops through the 21st century. He enjoys the challenge of serving as Hidalgo County Commissioner and is motivated by an earnest desire to see the bootheel area prosper.
Chairwoman Darr Shannon
Ms. Shannon was born in Lordsburg during the devastating drought of the 1950's with family roots in the area dating back to 1890. She grew up on a ranch north of Lordsburg, New Mexico. After graduating from Lordsburg High School in 1970, she attended NMSU and ENMU, but the pull of ranching brought her home.
She is passionate about her position as County Commissioner and responsiblity to protect private property rights of county citizens. She works to conserve county taxpayers' hard-earned money and strives to be responsible and accountable in everthing she does, including mistakes. Her goal is to keep unfair politics out of government.