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Opinion

  • Public officials should be held accountable, and that includes Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez.        Before last year’s election, we endorsed his candidacy for mayor, expecting him to be a breath of fresh air at City Hall. We supported his vision of transparency and accountability — and still do.

    But we have come to disagree with how he has tried to carry out that vision. He has brought great instability to city government, and that has high costs for our community.

  • Who around here needs to watch soap operas? Especially these last few months. Just watch what’s going on at City Hall. Nobody is suffering amnesia, as they typically do in soaps. But our community has plenty of other forms of drama — fights between former friends, lost jobs, chaos and lawyers.

  • We all know school board elections are coming up. In the atmosphere of hope that encompasses our country today, we can’t help but feel like we can make a difference. All elections are important, yet school board elections, the decision we make on behalf of the children in our community, typically have overwhelmingly low turnout rates.

  • We want to thank everyone who was part of the recent Cooney Fundraiser Concert at the First Presbyterian Church. What a joyful and heartwarming occasion it was!  Such talent, kindness, and generosity!  We are humbled and grateful and will put the money to very good use as we rebuild and rebound from the fire.

  • I would like to thank all the SAM-FM listeners who contributed to this year’s annual holiday turkey drive.

    This was the seventh year for the turkey drive and again people reached deep down to help their neighbors. Because of your generosity, I was able to get turkeys for the Samaritan House, Victory Home Health, the Soup Kitchen, the Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent de Paul, the I.C. Church and even some for Santa Claus. They were all extremely grateful for the donations and I also thank them for their devoted service to our community all year round.

  • Councilor Morris Madrid, I agree something should have been done about the $1.2 million months ago. Why did you not put the item on the agenda or call a study session or take any positive action?  Are you a victim of the process?

    Councilors take leadership for their community or they add nothing to the process.

    (Mayor) Tony (Marquez) may be the captain, but all councilors are the first mates!

  • SANTA FE — Ever since legislative bodies were created, observers, ranging from philosophers to comedians, have showered us with cynical assessments of these bodies.

    Somehow legislatures and Congress always are the easiest to dislike and demean. Their popularity rating always is lowest. Governors and presidents can charm their way along but legislative bodies have no personality. Constituents often like their own legislator but dislike all the rest.

  • In today’s newspaper, we have yet another story about Gilberto Reyes, who has been in jail for 13 months without his day in court. His trial is set for late February. We don’t know about his guilt or innocence, but we know he hasn’t enjoyed his constitutional right to a speedy trial. It would be nice if the justice system would take care of this matter.

  • Response to Friday’s letter to Eddie Roy Duran of Pecos: The Pecos Independent School District bond election on ... in help our district do necessary repairs, remodels, and purchase equipment as allowed by state law. This important bond will help our bonding capacity when we ask for state monies. Passing the bond will answer legislative questions regarding “How is your community supporting the schools?”

  • Solar, wind provide LV with opportunity

    My brother recently submitted a letter to your paper lamenting the decline of civility and pride in Las Vegas. Anyone who lived there during the ‘40s and ‘50s and sees it now would be hard put to dispute his observations.

  • On Tuesday, voters in San Miguel and Mora counties will go to the polls to elect school board members. We urge people to do their duty.

    In recent years, school boards in New Mexico have lost some of their powers. They don’t have hiring authority other than picking a superintendent. That’s a good thing; we don’t want elected bodies getting into the day-to-day process of hiring new employees.

    At the same time, boards still have much authority over the purse strings. And this is a vitally important responsibility.

  • To the Pecos community:

    As most of you may be aware, the Pecos Independent School District is having a bond election Feb. 3, which, if passed, will increase our property taxes. I would like to stress my opinions why we, as a community, cannot support this bond.

  • UP thumb ... GOOD TURNOUTS. More than 100 people turned out for this week’s school board election forums, sponsored by the Committee for the People and this newspaper. All candidates attended (except one, who has all but bowed out) and all but two of the city’s school board members turned out as well (only Ralph Garcia from West, who isn’t seeking re-election, and Ramon “Swoops” Montaño from East, who is not up for election, were no-shows).

  • At first I resented the corporate executives for pushing the issue as they did. The Optic could best pull out of its slump, I argued, if we merged our newspaper and our website into a dynamic new product. But for reasons I still don’t understand, I was told it wasn’t that simple, that our new Web platform, with all its blemishes, had to stay.

    Meanwhile, the numbers were becoming increasingly clear: We would have to downsize or face a tenuous future.

  • Hindsight is 20-20, as politicians who insist they want to move forward like to say.

    But sometimes it’s important to take a look back to see if some things could have been done better.

    Let’s hope Mayor Tony Marquez and the City Council do just that.

    In June, a City Council majority fired six of 10 department directors then immediately proceeded to hire a new city manager. In other words, the manager, Sharon Caballero, started with less than half of the city’s management team in place.

    Talk about a recipe for problems.

  • Congress and the Administration are touting alternative energy sources to replace power production derived from foreign oil. They want to generate 10 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. energy needs from alternative sources.

    Most of the alternative energy would have to be generated from wind power systems.  If we assume 10 percent of the U.S. energy requirements consists of 100,000 megawatts, and each wind turbine produces approximately 2 to 3 megawatts, it will take about 40,000 wind turbines to produce the 100,000 megawatts.

  • No company should get any special treatment when it comes to city business, especially when it involves a major housing project.

    Last week, the Las Vegas City Council’s agenda stated that the council would be asked to approve an agreement with Santa Fe-based Western Trails Inc. The proposed agreement would have meant the company would build 60 units of rental housing as part of a federal tax credit program. The units would be built on land along Mills Avenue, where the city demolished housing a couple of years ago.

  • The city of Las Vegas recently received some bad news — it lost a $1.2 million state grant for a water project.

    The state Water Trust Board approved the money for the city in 2006, but reversed itself a couple of weeks ago. We can’t blame the board. After all, the city originally wanted to use the money to pipe water for the Storrie Project Water Users Association in exchange for more storage water rights at Storrie Lake.

  • It’s amazing how far Highlands University has come along in the last couple of years. If you question whether that’s the case, look no farther than Highlands’ effort to take over the struggling College of Santa Fe.

    Last week, Highlands and the Santa Fe school signed a letter of intent giving the university a 120-day window to buy the college. Highlands needs the approval of several agencies, but it looks as if  the purchase will happen.

  • Regarding your thumbs up last week: I agree — Less [sic] Montoya should be a great help.

    Perhaps, now we can find the money missing from the city’s safes. An outside source usually works better, as Les owes no allegiance to anyone at the city.

    I look forward to Les’ investigation into restoring citizens’ monies back into city coffers.

    Everyone in town should support Les’ efforts to find the culprits who took our hard-earned city revenues, and probably used those revenues for their own business interests.

    Emilio Aragon