Bad communication is called culprit

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By David Giuliani

The Mora County Commission canceled a meeting at the last minute on Thursday. One commissioner called it the result of a “lack of communication.”

About 25 people showed up for the meeting, including state Rep. Thomas Garcia, D-Ocate, and Pablo Sedillo, a representative of U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.

Also driving to the meeting was the county attorney, who drove from Santa Fe, presumably at the county’s cost. Other county employees were present.

Commissioner Laudente Quintana said the commissioners suffered a “lack of communication.” He said he had been at the doctor’s and that there was a good chance he wouldn’t make it.

But he was well enough to go. On the way to the scheduled meeting from his Wagon Mound home, Quintana said he found out it had been canceled. Chairman Peter Martinez was tending to his sick mother, so Maes, thinking that Quintana wouldn’t show up, canceled the meeting, Quintana said.  

The commission had planned to hear from Shell, a company interested in oil and gas development in Mora County. It was also expected to discuss the county manager vacancy.

Mora County has been with a manager since John Garcia resigned suddenly in September.

The county has been advertising the vacancy recently and was scheduled to hold interviews with candidates last week. Quintana said county staff had told him that two had applied for the position.

Quintana said he expects the county to hire a manager soon.

Chairman Martinez has been acting as the county manager since Garcia’s departure.

Paula Garcia, the Democratic candidate for District 1 commissioner, said the county has dedicated, experienced employees. But she said the county needs better leadership.

“That’s one of the reasons I ran for county commissioner,” said Garcia, who faces Republican Antonio Pino in the November general election.

Garcia, who showed up for Thursday’s meeting, said she and others didn’t get information about why it was canceled. She noted that Shell’s representatives weren’t there.

“They must have had notice that it was canceled,” she said.

John Olivas, who is running unopposed as a Democrat in the November general election for the District 2 commission seat, said county government has been chaotic. He said there has been a lack of communication from the commissioners.

“No one can get the commissioners on the phone,” he said. “These guys aren’t available to give answers.”

Martinez and Maes couldn’t be reached for comment.