County Spotlight Several BernCo fire units and fire crews were dispatched to two separate fires in the East Mountain area. Both fires were in residential homes with the causes of the fires still unknown.The Bernalillo County Clerk is conducting schools of instruction for all appointed Presiding Judges and Precinct Board Members for the upcoming February 7, 2017, APS-CNM Election.Commissioner Debbie O’Malley of District 1 was elected chair of the Bernalillo County Commission this evening. Newly-elected Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada of District 2 was elected vice chair. O’Malley and Quezada will serve as chair and vice chair for the 2017 calendar year. The Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners approved spending $1.3 million on a plan to develop and fully fund a Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) Transition Planning and Re-entry Resource Center - using funds from the Bernalillo County behavioral health tax fund.Thanks to voters, Bernalillo County has a more independent, transparent and accountable government as of Jan. 1. The Home Rule Urban County Charter was approved by voters in the fall 2016 general election. It’s like a constitution for Bernalillo County – basic rules for how local government is organized. BernCo Bernie is sponsoring a reading challenge and all elementary school-aged children, kindergarten to fifth grade, are eligible to participate. Young readers are asked to read 10 age-appropriate books between Jan. 4 and Feb. 1 and then send BernCo Bernie a reading log that lists the books read.The Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved the minimum wage cost of living increase from $8.65 per hour, to $8.70 per hour. This annually-calculated wage increase affects employees who work within the unincorporated area of Bernalillo County, outside of the city limits. The Board of Commissioners has approved two additional behavioral health initiatives that will activate essential help for the community: mobile crisis teams and a supportive housing program.For the second year in a row, AFD & BCFD are partnering up on a Smoke Alarm Distribution Project. During this community risk reduction project, AFD and BCFD will distribute two free smoke alarms per household to city and county homeowners until supplies last.