Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news

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By Optic Editorial Board

UNNECESSARILY BUREAUCRATIC. During a hearing on an annexation proposal last week, Alex Aragon, the chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, said he would like concerned residents in attendance to get minutes of the meeting.

But a city employee said the residents would have to fill out a form before seeking such information. The employee was just following longstanding policy. But his response seemed both bureaucratic and archaic. It’s 2010, after all. And getting information needn’t be difficult any more. Why not just post the minutes on the city’s website?

These old policies about filling out a form just make it harder for people to oversee the government they pay for.

CAN’T BE DENIED. San Miguel County officials insisted at this week’s hearing on the wind-farm ordinance that the proposal had nothing to do with Chicago-based Invenergy’s interest in wind turbines in the Valley.

But, in fact, the whole drafting process has much to do with the company. Indeed, the County Commission allowed the firm to make an entire presentation on the proposed law, complete with expert witnesses. Moreover, the county started drafting a new wind-farm law in early 2009 precisely because of Invenergy’s interest in the Valley.

Let’s not deny the obvious: This whole process has much to do with Invenergy.

WORTHY LONG-TERM PLAN. Last week, the city Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the City Council approve the annexation of the solid waste transfer station to the city. After that decision, a city official said Las Vegas’ long-term plan is to annex all areas that receive municipal services. While some of those outside the city may object to such an idea, we feel it’s only fair that those benefitting from our city government should become part of the municipality.

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“Our financial records are proprietary at this point.”
— Mathew Martinez, president of the Fiesta Council, denying the Las Vegas Optic’s request to see the group’s books.