Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news - March 9, 2012

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! DECISIONS MADE, RUNOFF BOUND. Some people seem frustrated with the fact that two of the three municipal races haven’t been decided yet, thanks to the new runoff system in place. But it’s the only way to select our next mayor and Ward 3 councilor by majority votes. We think it will be worth the wait.

Let’s remember that runoffs improve the election process (for one thing, they reduce the power of incumbency) by creating true majorities. Yes, it will cost more, but no one said fair elections were cheap. If money is the central objection to runoffs, then the overall objective is being overlooked.

THUMBS DOWN! DISMAL TURNOUT. A turnout of only 2,540 voters demonstrates how a lot of people don’t care enough to do their civic duty.

We’d be inclined to declare that “apathy rules the day” but of course it doesn’t. It never does. “Don’t care” may have gotten the most votes on Tuesday, but those who did care ruled the day. Nobody ever gets elected by the nonvoters.

THUMBS DOWN! AND YOU THINK WE’VE GOT DRAMA. Sunland Park voters elected a mayor who’s actually been barred from City Hall. And Clovis elected a former mayor who called President Obama an illegitimate president and “the carnal manifestation of evil.” Compared to these New Mexico municipalities, Las Vegas had a fairly boring election.

Come to think of it, maybe that’s why the turnout was so low here. Maybe we needed a lap-dance scandal like the one in Sunland Park, or a “whack job” like Clovis’ mayor-elect. It seems the thrill is gone when it comes to Las Vegas elections.

THUMBS UP! TOURNAMENT ACTION. Of course, municipal elections weren’t the only competitions taking place around the state this week, as state tournament play got under way. Some excellent basketball is taking place right now. Noteworthy at the moment are the Robertson boys and the Mora girls — both teams made it to the Pit in Albuquerque, playing today at 9:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. respectively. Add to the mix the Wagon Mound boys, who made it to their second straight Final Four in Class B action, and our area has some strong contenders going into the final stretch this year.

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“I’m so excited! ... I’m proud of our community — that we’re above all this negativity. We’re going to shout out a joyful noise for our community.”
— Vince Howell, councilor-elect in Ward 2.