Letters to the Editor

RC city manager is a cause for concern


At the Jan. 28 Rio Communities City Council meeting, Leisa Haynes, the city manager, now on paid administrative leave, handed out a document touting her “achievements.”

On it was the following, “Mayor Mark Gwinn told me to fire the fire chief twice. Three days later he went to the hospital and has never been out. The Council didn’t back this decision.”

On Oct. 12, 2019, after my dad (Mayor Gwinn) was hospitalized, Mayor Pro Tem Peggy Gutjahr asked whether he could have visitors. I told her to please tell everyone to wait until his heart had stabilized. A few days later, Ms. Haynes showed up at the hospital anyway.

On the morning of Oct. 20, I was informed Ms. Haynes was telling people my dad was “fine and just needed to get home.” She also decided that same week to terminate the fire chief without approval from the City Council.

On Oct. 30, I went to talk to Ms. Haynes. I told her what I had heard and wanted to make sure she understood the severity of my dad’s condition. She said Peggy Gutjahr told her he wasn’t supposed to have visitors, but said, “I decided he’s my friend and I don’t care what they say, I’m going to see him.” She said this after knowing him six months.

Concerned by what I viewed as a childish response, I replied that I was the one who gave that order, and asked her politely to go through the mayor pro-tem for updates on his condition. I also told Ms. Haynes that I knew what she did with the fire chief and I hoped nobody there would take advantage of my dad while he was in the hospital. I didn’t want anyone to throw him under the bus. Ms. Hayes assured me that nobody would do that because “everybody thinks a lot of him.” I continued, and told Ms. Haynes I’ve known Mayor Pro-Tem Gutjahr since I was a teenager. We don’t always agree on every political issue, but I trust her and would be giving all of my dad’s health updates to her.

I am disappointed, but knowing what I know about Ms. Haynes’ character, not surprised she chose to blame her action regarding the fire chief on my dad. Being an outsider, maybe she doesn’t realize that him asking her to do something in the manner she did, bypassing the City Council, violates the organizational structure he helped implement to guard against people exactly like her.

I don’t know why Ms. Haynes was put on administrative leave, but I would hope the next time the council meets, they will also take into consideration her complete disrespect and disregard for the health and reputation of their mayor.

Tina Dziuk


Good for you, Nancy


Good for you, Nancy Pelosi! The media has endlessly re-played video of the speaker of the House ripping up her transcript of the president’s speech following the 2020 State of the Union address.

Finally, someone has graphically, publicly objected to the President’s endless falsehoods. According to fact checkers, POTUS’s carefully crafted, spectacle-heavy speech contained false statements about everything from Social Security to oil and gas production.

But that’s par for the course for the former TV game-show host. When recently checked, Trump’s running total of falsehoods averaged about 14.8 per day, or more than 16,500 lies so far as president.

I don’t know about you, but I grew up with parents who gave me what-for if they caught me in a lie. Not Trump. Instead of what-for, his very wealthy father gave him $140 million to set up as a businessman. Even with that nest egg, trouble started early. If you look up “Veracity of Statements by Donald Trump” in Wikipedia.com, you’ll find a detailed account of a long lifetime of lies.

Dr. Robert Prentice, a professor of business law at the University of Texas (hardly a hotbed of liberalism) reviewed the findings of nonpartisan fact checkers regarding the 2016 Clinton vs Trump election. ‘Here’s the problem: ... whereas Clinton lies as much as the average politician, President Donald Trump’s lying is “off the charts.” No prominent politician in memory bests Trump for spouting spectacular, egregious, easily disproved lies ... Every fact checker — Kessler, Factcheck.org, Snopes.com, PolitiFact — finds a level of mendacity unequaled by any politician ever scrutinized.’

Speaker Pelosi’s action (“He shredded the truth so I shredded his speech.”) was particularly welcome after watching the Senate’s spineless Republicans, many of whom admitted publicly that the President was guilty of both Articles of Impeachment, vote to put Trump above the rule of law. And stupidly vote to destroy their own power to keep despots in check.

Laura F. Sanchez

Los Lunas

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