Letters to the editor

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The never-ending great VC hospital debate
Editor:
It is truly nauseating to witness the endless recriminations, comical accusations and truly a keystone cops circus that perennially characterizes  Valencia County Commission meetings.
Instead of accountable, responsible professionals, we are saddled with Moe, Curly and Larry running amok in that asylum (and unfortunately for all of us, at taxpayers’ expense).
No matter what the two remaining professional county commissioners, Mr. Ron Gentry and Mr. Lawrence Romero propose, those two gentlemen will continue to be stymied by that unholy trio of clowns.
At a recent county commission meeting, Commissioner Gentry proposed refunding the about $11.5 million dollars collected by Valencia County for our hospital. But oh no, Commissioners Otero-Kirkham, Anderson and Holliday certainly want no part of any tax refund.
They have our money now, more is coming in, and surely those three mental giants know much better than we the taxpayers do, on how to spend our own hard earned dollars!
“What is the big deal anyway people have asked me?” True, the average tax collected seems to be about $100 per property per year. So that’s only $400-$500 (collected so far) from me, and likely the same amount from each of you.
Not a great amount, but I personally want every penny of my money back! Commissioners Otero-Kirkham and Holliday have continually demonstrated that they have neither the courage, the vision, the technical ability or the desire to see such a worthwhile project as our hospital completed.
Now along with Commissioner Mary Anderson, all three have proven that they are unwilling to even consider returning any of our money! And if it weren’t for the efforts of a very few courageous individuals such as Mr. Ralph de Baca, Mr. Clark Metcalf, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Wood and Alice Torwert among others, that have worked diligently to shed light on the corruption and chicanery that is institutionalized in Valencia County politics, we would all be in far worse shape.
Commission Chairwoman Otero-Kirkham, when not spilling insincere crocodile tears while hiding behind an oversized Kleenex box, whether that is out of shame or embarrassment is not clear, makes such utterly ridiculous statements such as “Valencia Health Commons (VHC) had 5 years,” implying VHC is at fault for the endless hospital delays.
What Otero-Kirkham conveniently neglects to acknowledge is the fact that she, along with the ambulance chaser and Holliday, obstructed, impeded and delayed the hospital at every opportunity.  Astonishing for an elected official to be so untruthful!
Also Otero-Kirkham is the very same commissioner that volunteered to serve as a Valencia County Commission representative to the VHC during its regular board meetings. As easily predicted though, when Otero-Kirkham didn’t get her way, when the other VHC board members were unimpressed with her generally poor understanding of and very rudimentary grasp of the whole hospital issue.
When they refused to be intimidated by her or to be railroaded, Otero-Kirkham pouted and then quickly resigned. So Commissioner Otero-Kirkham don’t cry to the taxpayers of Valencia County about transparency, responsibility or accountability when you can’t even begin to understand such simple, ethical concepts. You really can’t have it both ways!
Ironically, or perhaps by calculated design, Mr. John Lopez, apparently a relative newcomer to Valencia County, certainly a very prolific letter writer with much time on his hands and someone who appears to be a self described expert in some many different areas, jumps into the fray and is suddenly yet another authority on our hospital.
In his recent letter to the New-Bulletin, he claims “14,000 people voted for a hospital and 14,000 are dissatisfied with the proposed location.”  
Wow, this individual certainly has a promising future in Valencia County politics making silly, unsubstantiated claims like that! … His conclusion is nonsense.
His other claim, in the same letter to the News-Bulletin “that a county commissioner was physically assaulted” over the hospital issue, is even more fantasy, pure and simple. And false claims like that are just intended to create more hostility and stir up even more animosity.
I will agree with Mr. Lopez though, that our hospital is a hot topic item. Taxpayers are angry; we are fed up with all the crooked dealings, cronyism, favoritism and endless delays that go on continually in Valencia County.
It’s ridiculous to wait five years for our hospital and still not one single step forward has been taken. And that is primarily because we have a county commission that is impotent, hamstrung and incompetently dominated by three commissioners that instead of focusing on what the taxpayers are demanding see it as just another opportunity for “what’s in it for me.”  
Stay tuned, the next nightmare for Valencia County taxpayers will be the third river crossing. No telling what squealing, grunting and general mayhem will emanate from county commission chambers for that future fiasco.

Rob Bevington
Los Lunas

School officials need to act now
Editor:
As a proud alumna of Belen High School, I was saddened to have attended the Belen girls’ volleyball tournament.
My granddaughter was a member of a visiting team, and to my dismay, the air conditioning was not functioning for the two-day event. I had told her that she would be surprised at what an exceptional facility we have here.  I think I misled her.
I learned from member of the community that for the past two years the part has been so called “on order.” I wonder if the lights at the football field were broken, if repairs would take two years to fix.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been attending the football games for the past few years and have been part of the Eagle frenzy that has existed.
I was also informed at the in-service for the school personnel held at the gym, that huge air conditioners were available for the superintendent and school board members. I am sure they were quite comfortable during that time.  
What about out young athletes who participate, basketball players and wrestlers included? Why are there not sufficient air conditioners to benefit the teams, coaches and spectators?
It was very disappointing to see that other arrangements or cancellations weren’t made. Was the Belen Middle School gym not available?
Hopefully, our elected school board members and the superintendent see that changes need  to be made before one of our children has suffered and then the cost will be astronomical for everyone.
I know schools are struggling, but our children can not pay the ultimate price.

JoAnne Chavez
Belen