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Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news - August 3, 2012

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! OPEN GOVERNMENT VICTORY. The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled last week that citizens do indeed have a right to access public records being kept by an independent contractor on behalf of local or state governmental entities. The court issued the decision in a case involving the city of Truth or Consequences and a nonprofit corporation that operated a public access cable channel for the community.
The ruling further protects the public’s right to know in this age in which privatization of public services is becoming increasingly common.

THUMBS DOWN! TRICKLE-DOWN PUNISHMENT. Following the discovery that the state Finance Authority had produced a fake audit of its own finances, local governments may suffer the consequences through no fault of their own. The authority’s governing board appears to be moving forward with a plan to limit a loan program that finances sewer, road and other infrastructure projects by  city, county and other local governments.
The result will likely be a delay in low-cost loans over the next several months. In other words, when a state agency misbehaves, the consequences inevitably make their way down to entities with even fewer resources.

THUMBS UP! NOT A ROWDY RALLY. Despite rumors that there would be trouble at this year’s Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally, Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño said there were no major incidents at the three-day event. Of course, an increased police presence probably had something to do with that, but it’s also to the organizers’ credit that another rally was pulled off with few hitches — and that violence is generally not a part of the experience.
Good job to all who made it happen — including those who protected and served the community throughout the weekend.

THUMBS U P! TAX-FREE WEEKEND. We’ve always appreciated the tax free weekend as a way for parents to save in their back-to-school expenditures. This year’s starts today and runs through Sunday. Take advantage if you’re able.

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AND WE QUOTE

“We gave them a proposal and they gave us a million dollar contract. That’s how we got started.”
— Felicia Ortiz, a 1996 Robertson High School graduate and part owner of Cluster Construction Consulting Firm in Las Vegas, Nev., on the company’s first big break, a bid on work for a Canadian company.