Letters to the editor (05/08/14)
RC is not without problems
This letter is in response to Bill Brown’s letter in the April 17 edition of the News-Bulletin.
Finally, the issue of transparency in Rio Communities is addressed. Oddly, responsible oversight officials are not cited in your letter as having certified nor reviewed the transparency of action initiated by elected officials in Rio Communities. The Secretary of State’s office is probably allowing the new community the opportunity to succeed or fail without intervention.
The concern of the disincorporation group have focused on issues which impact residents and which have been initiated arbitrarily without their knowledge and without the opportunity for public input or comment. (The request for capital outlay money and more recently the request for a reimbursable grant were submitted without public notification, opportunity for community input, and without the approval of the council.)
The city council has never conducted a town meeting which would allow residents the opportunity to have concerns answered. A two-minute statement at council meetings may satisfy the letter of the law, but in it, in no way, satisfies intended transparency requirements of the law.
The Planning and Zoning Commission scheduled a public session at the city hall conference room. This session was chaired by the mayor. In attendance were three council members, five planning and zoning members, the bookkeeper and the city clerk. In a room intended for eight to 10 people, this discourages instead of encourages public attendance. It is questionable whether fire officials would allow this crowding if asked.
There is no requirement for a group like ours to have leaders to be transparent. We have consistently operated in the light of day. This is evidenced by articles which have been published by this newspaper, TV interviews, etc. In fact, we have generated opportunities for elected officials to comply with mandated transparency actions and they have declined.
We promoted an open forum, which was attended by about 150 Rio Communities residents and by the editor of this publication. We publicly invited our elected mayor to attend and he did not. As a matter of fact, he did not show the courtesy to decline.
As to motives: We were sold on the concept of a progressive city. Incorporation confused the issue of police protection, fire protection, street repairs, infrastructure maintenance, etc. We were subsequently assured fire protection and police protection would not be impacted.
City officials called this progress. We now have elected officials filling our potholes with sand or with donated cold patch and again we call this progress. What more needs to be said?
If you or anyone wishes information about our activities, motives or are interested in participating with us, our representatives can be contacted by calling Joyce at 977-8321, or Linda at 410-0582, or visit us at our Facebook page at Dis-incorporate Rio Communities.
Again, we thank Mr. Brown for the opportunity to address this issue.
Don’t need, want big-city life
Today I read another article in the paper about how you want to change the community we live in to suit your idea of big-city life.
Who told you the rest of us who thought we were buying into a rural life style with our one-acre lots want to live in the city? Who told you we want big-city lighting, which destroys views of the night sky?
Who told you we want lawns we cannot water because water costs a fortune? Who told you we want to get rid of all of the native habitat for monarchs by destroying all milkweed at a time when habitat is in critical shortage and monarchs are dying off in record numbers?
Who told you we want to get rid of the salt brush, which is critical for bee forage when people are not planting gardens because of water shortages? Who told you none of the rest of us who live here have a right to live the way we want? Who told you the city way is the only way?
Who told you we want higher taxes? Again, who told you we wanted to live in a city?
I bought an acre here more than 25 years ago because Rio Communities is not a city. I bought it so that I could grow things, give my dogs a little extra space and live in peace with my neighbors. I have done so and so have my neighbors.
Why not find a more useful way to proceed than trying to out-gestapo the city of Albuquerque? Why do we have to have dirt flying through the air because the native vegetation is considered “weeds” and folks can’t afford water for lawns? Why do we have to have cement and asphalt? Why are you folks so afraid of nature?
There are plans for building communities that are a bit more enlightened — plans which incorporate a rural or more natural lifestyle and don’t punish all those of us who don’t want to live in a big city.
If you can’t and you want to live in a city, why don’t you all go back to the cities you came from and let someone else take over.
Change can be better
I have a few comments regarding Charles Wilson’s tirade regarding house numbers being changed. Yes, it is a one-time inconvenience to notify multiple businesses, relatives, etc., of a house number change.
However, having house numbers “in sequence” makes a lot of sense for first responders. In the event that the Wilson family would need EMTs, ambulance, etc., and they couldn’t find his house because of inconsistencies in house numbers, he would probably be the first one to complain about the ineffectiveness of the first responders.
In my neighborhood, there is an address 1232 and the next house is 511. If the first responders don’t know of the inconsistency, they would probably go driving down the street after house 511 trying to find 1232 and wasting precious minutes that could have been used to treat the emergency.
Mr. Wilson needs to conform and stop complaining!
Polling centers, great idea
Three cheers for Peggy Carabajal, the Valencia County clerk, for instituting the new convenience polling centers.
With all of the issues facing Valencia County, it is imperative to choose the best candidates to move us forward. We have no excuses to not vote!