Serna contends she's not involved in RC disincorporation group

........................................................................................................................................................................................

As members of a group continue to get signatures on a petition to call for a special election to disincorporate Rio Communities, one city councilor has made it known she is not participating in the effort.

During the Oct. 22 city council meeting, Las Maravillas resident Mary Wood read a letter to the council during public comments portion of the meeting, claiming two councilors, Mary Lee Serna and Kaylon Northcutt, were participating in the effort. She told the council if they can prove to her that the two councilors hadn't asked for signatures, then she would retract her statement.

During the Nov. 12 council meeting, Serna read a letter to the residents, stating that Wood's letter was slanderous and that she wanted to set the record straight.

"This is who I am," Serna read from her letter. "I am a woman of my word and I stand my ground. The people of this valley, my constituents, elected me because of my honesty and integrity and I will continue to represent the people to the very best of my ability.

"To answer your slanderous comments, I have not seen the petition that is being circulated in our community," she added. "I have not signed the petition and I have not attended any meetings."

Serna said her conversations she had with Randy Van Vleck, an attorney with the New Mexico Municipal League, have not been secret, saying she's spoken with him many times about city business, such as ordinances. She said she had one conversation with him about questions she had about the disincorporation effort.

"You folks talk about transparency," she said. "You should be transparent about the information you have. Who has seen me with a petition? Who has seen me at a meeting? Who is telling you all this trash? Where did you your this information?"

Serna, in her letter, said if people really want to help the community, they should come forward and work with them rather than against them, because the community is becoming divided.

"And this slander," she said, "you have no basis for your statements and they will stop now."

Serna read another letter from Van Vleck, which stated only one conversation between the two has been about the process of disincorporation.

At the end of the meeting, Wood commended Serna for her comments, and Joyce Moss, one of those trying to obtain signatures for the special election, stated that neither Serna nor Northcutt have been involved in the effort.

Dorothy Trujillo, another member of the group, said she's known Serna's family for 25 years and "it wouldn't be right to put them in that kind of position."

After the meeting, Nortcutt refused to comment on the issue.


-- Email the author at cgarcia@news-bulletin.com.