Letters to the editor (08/04/12)

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P&Z commissioners made right decision
Editor:
This letter is in response to a letter to the editor written by Rita M. Padilla-Gutierrez of Jarales about the decision of the Valencia County Planning and Zoning Commission.
On June 27, the commission voted to recommend approval of a zone change request on property located on N.M. 47 in Tomé. The request for a change from C-1 to C-2 was so that the owners of the property could build and operate a landscape supply business.
Please note this property in question is the exact location of the old El Cid Greenhouses that operated there in the ’70s and ’80s, This request is for a similar type of business.
In Rita’s letter, she stated that my report that I had visited the site and my comments “inordinately favored the applicant.” Hmmm.
As commissioners, we are charged with looking at and listening to the facts. The planning and zoning commissioners receive packets a week or so before each of the meetings so that we are acquainted with the property and the request.
I always make an effort to view the site in question to see for myself. I believe that is part of my responsibility, and I have  never been instructed that this is inappropriate.
In this case, I was checking to see if there was noise, smell and the storage of junk on the premises. I reported at the meeting that I viewed the site and that I had found the site clean and neat. I did not hear any noise and I did not smell anything offensive.
In response to my comment, there were shouts from the back of the meeting room demanding that I should have to recuse myself from voting for having visited the site. This shouted demand was completely out of order.
As long as I am a commissioner, I will continue to visit sites in question before the meeting. I believe that is a wise and honest thing to do, especially when there are allegations of zoning violations.
At the meeting of June 27, the commission heard testimony for and against the proposed zone change. We reviewed maps, assessment records and questioned those testifying.
The majority of the comments made were in favor of the zone change. Everyone had an opportunity to speak. No one was denied.
As usual, Commission Chairman (Jim) Lane conducted the meeting with dignity and respect. Our task was to hear the testimony and make a recommendation to the county commission. I believe we did that in an honest, civilized, respectful manner.
The big issue here, I believe, should be honesty, integrity and respect. As a community, we should be kind and understanding of our neighbors. We should all try to get along.
We should have respect for each other’s opinions and needs. Decisions should be made based on the facts, not on who can shout the loudest or sound the angriest with the most allegations of hidden agendas.
I do not believe the Valencia County Planning and Zoning Commission made a mistake. I believe the recommendation was made based on the facts and testimony presented.
The decision to approve the zone change will be up to the county commission, and I am sure it will be based on the facts, not emotions, allegations and fears of hidden agendas.

Joan Artiaga
Belen
Valencia County Planning and Zoning Commissioner

Our nation needs to put God in lives
Editor:
The song about America is very true about the words, “America, America, God shed his Grace on thee.”
The settlers that came to America in the beginning were God-fearing people. They founded the Constitution on the basis of the very first principal of religious freedom because religious freedom was utmost in their minds.
The worship and unintimidated worship of the Lord was utmost on their mind in the founding of our Constitution because of the religious oppression of Europe, of which the colonial people were fleeing from, and so, the whole point of the Revolutionary War was to break off the yoke of the bondages of European ties and their religious oppression so that our American way of life could be a way of free enterprise and of free faith.
This was the very purpose of the entire liberation of the colonies and the very reason God fought in the spirit for the colonies and gave America independence, that the Lord Jesus Christ might become a bastion in this nation, a true bastion to spread around the world.
All of the nations apart of Europe, there has never been a country as bless by God. There has never been a nation with the resources and blessing, both spiritually and materially as the United States, a cosmopolitan, if you will, type of nation of an influx of all races and types of people from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
God has melted them together in this glorious nation, has blessed us, has given us a heritage here.
Our educational institutions are based on atheism, the very doctrine and roots of Marxist Communism itself. Atheism evolution, that’s the backbone of secular eduction out here.
That’s why we have four or five generations of young people now that are just totally alienated from any knowledge of God or of the Bible.
We have religious institutions that have wholly departed from the fundamental truths of the Bible, become modernistic from the pulpits, teaching nothing of the true salvation and experience of God.
Our nation is in the worst moral degradation it has ever been in. All kinds of filth and corruption is going on and justified by the highest court in our land.
According to the Old Testament, the only time that the Israelites repented and returned to God of their fathers was when calamity came upon them.
“If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land,” 2 Chronicles 4:17.

Mike Silva
Belen