The Sandoval County Commission met for the first time this year in their biweekly meeting Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Several things are staying the same with the way the meeting is constructed, but a few things will be different.

The chair and vice chair switched positions this go round with Commissioner Dave Heil taking on the chair position and Commissioner Michael Meek taking on vice chair.

“I would like to thank you, Mr. Chair, for your leadership last year, but I would like to nominate the Vice Chair Commissioner Heil to be the chair for this year,” Commissioner Jay Block said to Meek.

The commissioners voted unanimously for Heil to assume the role of chair.

Commissioner Kathrine Bruch stated that she believed the commission needs continuity to work with the county manager and nominated Meek for the vice chair position.

The Rules of Procedure changed slightly as well.

Block observed a line that stated, “Commissioners shall direct all comments to the Chair and confine their remarks to the question under discussion or debate, avoiding discussions pertaining to personal matters or conflicts in personalities.”

Block believes the last four words encroach on people’s free speech and moved to have that part taken out.

“I mean Commissioner Meek and I could have a disagreement where I say police are better than firefighters or something like that where he finds a conflict in our personalities. So you’re limiting speech in the words of one commissioner over another,” he said.

The commissioners adopted this change to keep conversation free.

The commission also welcomed its new commissioner, Joshua Jones, who was appointed to the role earlier in the week by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The Observer’s Kevin Hendricks wrote about Jones’ first day at the meeting. Read that story here.