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Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Oct. 18, 2013

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! DEDICATED COUNTY ROAD CREWS
We’re grateful for the rains Las Vegas and San Miguel County got between July and September, but the heavy rains created headaches for county road crews who have been putting in long hours trying to fix the resulting damage to roads. To all those workers who have been having to put in lots of overtime, we thank you.

THUMBS UP! A BARREL OF LAUGHS
Picture Las Vegas Councilman Joey Herrera prancing around on stage dressed in a wig and minidress and lip-syncing Tina Turner’s “Rolling on the River.” If that doesn’t make you laugh, imagine San Miguel County Commissioner Ron Ortega on stage relaying the drama that unfolded after an ad with his photo appeared in the Optic’s obituary page.  It was part of the “Politics as Unusual” variety show, a fundraiser held Saturday to raise money for Ilfeld Auditorium. Everyone who participated did a great job.

THUMBS DOWN! MORE FALLOUT FROM SHUTDOWN
Because Congress wasn’t able to get its act together and pass a budget by Sept. 30, many states have been forced to dip into their own coffers to cover federal expenses and prevent even more furloughs. In New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration stopped the furlough of several dozen civilian workers for the National Guard on Monday by agreeing to cover their salaries. Fortunately the shutdown ended Thursday. Still, the state of affairs in Washington, D.C., is unacceptable.

THUMBS UP! A GOOD DECISION
District Judge Abigail Aragon made the right ruling in rejecting the argument that residents in San Miguel County have a constitutional right to home rule. New Mexico law is pretty clear that the only county in the state allowed to have a home rule form of government is Los Alamos. If advocates for home rule want to change that, they need to lobby the Legislature, not the courts. Lee Einer, the activist who brought the lawsuit in the first place says he will appeal Aragon’s ruling, so this issue isn’t over with yet.

AND WE QUOTE
“We know there’s damage to roads. We’re working on it. Be patient.”
— San Miguel County Commissioner Ron Garcia on the road damage caused by heavy rains from July through September.