OMA is the law
The New Mexico Open Meetings Act and the Inspection of Public Records Act were passed in 1978 in recognition of the fact that a representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate.
It is declared to be public policy of this state that “all persons are entitled to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government, and the official acts of those officers and employees who represent them,” including the Los Lunas Board of Education.
LLBE members must be aware under the state’s Open Meetings Act, there are specific guidelines concerning closure of a public meeting and while litigation is one of those reasons, the possibility of a lawsuit, does not qualify as one of the exceptions listed in the Act. Criminal penalties may be assessed to any person violating any of the provisions of Act and a fine can be levied for each offence.
The Open Meetings Act was enacted for the benefit of all New Mexicans to ensure that the policies, records, votes, actions and deliberations be open to the public. Any attempt to engage in a public decision-making process without including the public as outlined in the state’s guidelines is a violation of the law and just as important, the public’s trust.
As an advocate for transparency in government, the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government’s mission is to defend the public’s right to know and to educate citizens and government agencies about their rights and responsibilities under New Mexico’s open-meetings and open-records laws.
Should you have questions about the Open Meetings Act or the Inspection of Public Records Act, please consider contacting FOG at 505-764-3750 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, a copy of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Compliance Guide on both laws is available at NMAG.gov.
Melanie J. Majors
NMFOG Executive Director
(Editor’s Note: Melanie J. Majors is a former reporter, television producer and a long-time resident of Valencia County.)
Freedom of speech
Regarding John Lopez’s recent rant about Nancy Pelosi. I’ll tell ya, I couldn’t even finish reading his rude diatribe, filled with absolute vitriol against a woman politician, chock full of innuendos and mean-spirited insults aimed directly at her for her supposed vanity, lust for power, and deceit.
Talk about burning someone at the stake! Wasn’t sure why the paper even published it because it really violates the sense of decency that we used to have. Apparently that has gone right out the window and won’t be back anytime soon.
Contrast that with my 30 days of Facebook jail imposed upon me today for violating the community standards for spelling out a lesser cuss word. Mr. Lopez can spew some hate but I can’t spell out a cuss word that by the way was not aimed at anyone. Freedom of speech is alive and well, isn’t it?
Trump’s speech was lies
The letter from John Lopez (in the May 14 edition of the VCNB)shows why much of America is falling apart. He says that he is ‘angry and ashamed’ because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore up a copy of Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech.
First off, it was a copy, for god’s sakes. Second, the atrocious speech was full of abject lies and tearing it up was entirely appropriate.
But the third element here is that Lopez thinks that such an action is worthy of an almost 600 word complaint.
There are more important matters in the world. But do not expect to see a complaint in these pages from any Republican nor any fellow-traveling Independent about the (111,000) Americans that have been killed so far by the (COVID-19 pandemic) ...
Republicans and Independents bother with trivia while Americans are dying, including here in New Mexico and Valencia County. That truly shows you what they are made of.
It will never be the same
I have always loved hiking both Los Lunas Hill and Tomé Hill, but in these days of COVID-19, these hikes are even more fundamental to my good health (both of body and mind).
I love heading out into the landscape of Los Lunas Hill and to feel removed from crowds, cars and signs of development. The Facebook plant has certainly been an eye sore to process ... looking more like a prison than anything else.
However, now it is major construction of homes and apartments that is underway right up the base of the hill. Today, as I observed, this clearing of yet more land, destroying trails that allowed for one of several loops, I felt very sad. One of our best escapes is being diminished.
I know that the mighty dollar will nearly always win out over preserving peaceful habitats for wildlife and open space for hikers, walkers and runners, but today it really hit me that one of my favorite aspects of living in Los Lunas is changing forever. What a pity.
We are eternally grateful
The members of Secundino Baldonado American Legion Post 81, in Belen, have had the honor of hosting the Memorial Day Heroes Celebration at Jarales, on Memorial Day, for the past seven years.
This year was unlike any in the past, due to the COVID-19, but similar to all of them in important ways.
The food, music and soft drinks were absent, but a few proud veterans were there paying homage to those heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice serving their country.
To those heroes and their families, rest assured, we will never forget their sacrifice.
My heart felt thanks to all who attended and to the Amor Flower Shop for donating the beautiful wreath.
To all who currently serve in the military, our eternal thanks.
American Legion Post 81, Belen