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County officials took time, listened

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I would like to thank San Miguel County Manager Les Montoya, County Attorney Jesus Lopez, Melinda Gonzales with the Finance Department, Commissioners Ron Ortega (District 1), Marcellino Ortiz (District 2), Arthur Padilla (District 3), David Salazar (District 4) and Nicolas Leger (District 5) — all of whom presided at (last week’s) San Miguel County Commissioners meeting for their time. It was an exceptionally full agenda, the meeting still running when I left at 4:45 p.m., but a great many important issues were covered, including the moratorium on oil/gas drilling using a method called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

I especially appreciate that the commissioners had not only given the time for public input on the moratorium, but invested their own time to travel to other counties where fracking has been done, in order to learn about the potential threat to our water and air, hopefully to draft an enforceable ban (or, at least, restrictive ordinance) on fracking in San Miguel County.

It was, for me, the first time I have seen ranchers and environmentalists on the same side of the table, as well as unity among the culturally diverse residents of this county.  This level of cooperation resulted in passing the extension of the moratorium which, if I understand correctly, is for eight months effective immediately.  

Now we must continue the cooperation among all San Miguel County residents and our county officials to protect San Miguel County from corporate raiders who may offer money or jobs, but will take their oil and gas and leave only a legacy of toxic waste.

On a personal note I would also like to thank the commissioners, as well as Harold Garcia, for remembering the many residents of the Country Acres Subdivision and their ongoing efforts to address our concerns about the roads in this area.

Diana Presser
Las Vegas