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Letters to the Editor - June 6, 2014

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East officials owe explanation
In reading the latest news on the Las Vegas City Schools financial woes I am truly surprised. How could the school board, superintendant, and the Public Education Department be blinded by the outrageous amount of $3.46 million dollars of loans to the operational budget over the past several years?
The following is a description of the funds that were borrowed against:
General Obligation Bonds:
Funds are received from property taxes, levied against property that is located within the school district and levied specifically for this purpose.
Debt Service:
The resources of this fund are generated by a tax levy based upon property values. The revenues/resources are used for the payment of long term Debt Principal & interest payments.
The superintendent should have been in full control and knowledge of the operational budget shortfall and kept the school board informed. When the decision was made to make these loans, they should have been presented to the school board immediately informing them of the unforeseen budget shortfall. for approval or discussion. There are many questions that must be addressed to the taxpayers of this community. The Bonds are voted for by the taxpayers and then entrusted to the district officials to proceed with the projects that were voted for.
The governing board of Las Vegas City Schools must monitor all budget activity and take proper action. They need to pay attention to what is happening at the district and the long-term effects the district will now face.
Is there any justification for the over-expenditures in the Operational Budget? Surely there has to be explanations from the school board. How could they not know; they are given reports at their monthly meetings; these reports consist of the cash reports, budget reports, budget transactions. There had to be a red flag warning somewhere.
District officials have failed to inspect expenditures in the operational budget; why haven’t the districts policies and procedures been followed?
What programs have been affected, instructional materials, classroom materials, teacher training, maintenance and repair of buildings, utilities, equipment, transportation, federal programs? Most of all “our students.”
I have a difficult time accepting that we entrusted our elected officials to serve our school district with honesty, and what has happened is not a mistake, but a deliberate move to transfer these funds with intentional misuse over several, not one year, but several years of ignorance.
As a result of the cash shortfall in the operational budget the district is now challenged with unforeseen debt that now jeopardizes not only the future of the school district, but the intentions of what those funds were what those funds were to be used for and most importantly “our students.”
The Las Vegas City Schools Board must take action and come up with solutions not just temporary fixes, give us the taxpayers the truth and not the runaround, and hold those accountable for the intentional misuse of funds. I agree that the Public Education Department should consider removing licenses from the individuals (responsible), and that they may never be licensed in any school or state capacity.
Is there a plan for the taxpayer’s of Las Vegas City Schools district to recoup their taxes voted upon and faithfully paid for with the intentions for the future of our schools and students progress?
Let us do the right thing and bring back pride to Las Vegas City Schools.
Patricia E. Vigil
Las Vegas
Editor’s Note: Patricia Vigil is a former Las Vegas City Schools business manager

Community rights not unconstitutional
Slavery is legal in the United States and women cannot vote if the Constitution as it was ratified in 1789 is still the law of the land.
Fortunately for us, the Constitution is open to change. It can be amended and it is subject to re-interpretation. So today we live in a country that outlaws slavery and women can vote. Two very, very big changes have happened in America since 1789.
So why do some people say a Community Rights Ordinance is unconstitutional? I think they say it because it’s a conversation stopper. End of discussion, it’s all over.
I am deeply disturbed that a fine newspaper like the Las Vegas Optic would propagate such drivel. Stating that community rights are unconstitutional is misrepresentation as defined in The Associated Press Stylebook in the chapter called: Briefing on Media Law. Your statements may pass because they were made editorially. But in spite of editorial license, if you want to print something that asserts Community Rights Ordinances are unconstitutional, then attribute that opinion to whoever said it. Most likely the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association or their henchmen.
I look forward to better thought-out statements in your future editorials.
Joan Irene Krohn
Las Vegas

Disappointed in Optic’s ed board
I was extremely disappointed in the lack of integrity and professionalism that was exhibited by the Optic’s editorial board in the recent “primary picks.”
Its lack of evidence and false reporting by your staff was, to say the least, distasteful. As the top newspaper in the Las Vegas area, the people rely on you for accurate information. I am extremely disappointed on the lack of effort and research that was done.
It is one thing to state your opinion on who you think the best candidates are and it is a totally different issue to support your decisions with false information. It is disheartening to know that I will no longer be able to fully trust what is reported in your newspaper. I am writing to you in hopes that in the future your job is taken more seriously and the adequate amount of research is done before printing.
Melissa Romero
Las Vegas

Mil gracias
This letter is written to thank the people who helped make this year’s Kiwanis Bike Safety Rodeo a success. First we would like to thank the Optic for its coverage of the event at the Wilson Gym Parking lot on the NMHU campus. This publicity helps parents learn about the importance of protecting their children. By helping increase participation in the rodeo it helps more children bike safely.
Since the Kiwanis Bike Safety Rodeo began there has been a significant reduction in head injuries from bike accidents. This year 23 children, ranging in age from 3 to 11, participated and 19 purchased new bike helmets for only $5.
This was made possible by the support of Lacy Houdek and the Safe Kids Coalition and the Kiwanis Club of Las Vegas. Many thanks to Patsy Romero for arranging the use of NMHU facilities and equipment. The Meadow City Bicycle Club was ably represented by Ray Finck, master bike mechanic.
State Farm Insurance also sponsored the event. Rosemarie Montoya and her crew distributed flyers to all of the elementary school students in Las Vegas and surrounding areas and provided snacks and refreshments to the participants and volunteers at the rodeo. Kiwanians and members of the Robertson FFA chapter manned the rodeo stations.
Brice Gibson, FFA adviser, and his young people provided invaluable assistance. They included Aaron Campbell, president, Brandon Goetsch, vice president, Anthony Larrañaga, secretary, Kourtney Archuleta – reporter, Xavier Romero – sentinel and John Solano – chaplain.
Las Vegas is a safer place for the kids because of the volunteering of these people and we send sincere thanks to all of them. We hope to see even more participants next year.
George Sprenger and John Spencer, Co-chairs
Kiwanis Bike Safety Rodeo