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Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - March 7, 2014

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! A WELL-RUN ELECTION
Yes, there were times when there were long lines at the polls on Tuesday, but overall the city’s switch to voting convenience centers appeared to have worked well, and it saved the city some money. Congratulations to City Clerk Casandra Fresquez and Deputy City Clerk Maire Lopez for running a good election. We also congratulate the eight candidates for opening themselves up to scrutiny by running for public office. Municipal Judge Eddie Trujillo and Councilman David Romero both won re-election. In the Ward 1 race, Councilwoman Tonita Gurule-Giron and businessman Oliver L’Esperance are heading to a runoff  because neither received more than 50 percent of the vote.

THUMBS UP! AN INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE
A flawless rendition of “Grease” by the New Mexico Highlands University  Music Department showcased the musical, choreographic and dramatic talents of the HU Singers last week at Ilfeld Auditorium. Congratulations to the department and players for the professional production!

THUMBS UP! MUSTARD SEED PROGRAM
The Mustard Seed program, sponsored by the First United Presbyterian church, continues to provide startup funds for local non-profits. Countless local organizations have benefitted from the help this church offers.

THUMBS UP! AAUW BOOK SALE
People look forward to the annual book sale sponsored by the local branch of the AAUW. The hard-working women in the group put in countless hours to collect, organize and price books that often sell for a fraction of their original cost. The profits provide scholarships to Highlands for local women.

THUMBS DOWN! A HUGE BILLING ERROR
The City Council last week voted to refund $54,113 to Highlands University after staff realized that the school had been overcharged on its natural gas bills. Highlands and three other city clients were overbilled because of a software glitch.

AND WE QUOTE
“I am so grateful to Las Vegas. They have always been good to me. This is my seventh election, and it speaks for itself. I love what I do, and I love the people of Las Vegas.”
­­— Municipal Judge Eddie Trujillo after he won re-election to another term as judge Tuesday night.