Letters to the Editor


Senior centers are well run
This year I attended the Thanksgiving dinner at the Socorro County Senior Citizens Center. If you attended the meal you were probably impressed by the substantial meal of turkey, ham and all the trimmings. For a $2.00 donation, you couldn’t find a better meal for the same price.
Another senior center is located in Magdalena, about 26 miles to the west, and a third one is located in Veguita, approximately 30 miles north of Socorro. These three centers are managed by Lewis Auerbach, the program director. They are assessed by Socorro County and the Area Agency on Aging, and I am one of seven advisors who attend monthly meetings, overseeing how the centers are being run.
Lunches at all three senior centers are served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Home-bound meals are also prepared and are delivered to seniors who are unable to prepare their own. Between the three centers, a total of 140 meals are delivered each day. Years ago, this was called Meals on Wheels.
Mr. Auerbach and his staff greet the seniors who come to eat each day. It’s not unusual to see him cooking in the kitchen or serving the meals. He and his employees work as a team.
El Defensor Chieftain publishes the weekly menus and monthly menus can be picked up at the individual centers.
Sometimes people give donations of money to the center. The contributions received are spent in may ways. They help to purchase supplies that are needed for the centers, as well as food to be served. They are also used to pay the kitchen staff salaries and to pay for gas and electricity expenses. This year, thanks to generous donors and the honest fiscal management by Mr. Auerbach, the Socorro center was painted and new carpet was installed.
It has come to my attention that some people think some of the donation money isn’t being used properly. If they are 60-years old and visit the center or eat, they can see they are being run correctly. If they would go each day and eat they would know the centers are being run with care and the money is being used properly.
There are other services available for those 60 years and older. If you are a widow or a widower and are 60 years old, you are eligible.
Medical transportation is available Monday through Friday, by appointment, between 8:30 a.m. and noon. You must give 24-hour advanced notice to use this service. Local transportation to the centers is also available.
Other activities — such as dances, socializing, sewing circles, bingo, puzzles and pool — are scheduled by the individual centers. You can contact the centers for more information:
Socorro, 575-835-2119
Magdalena, 575-854-2589
Veguita, 505-861-5720
I personally think Lewis Auerbach is doing a great job with these three centers and should be praised for the hard work he does. I knew the last two directors. I never saw them greet the seniors the way Mr. Auerbach does. In my opinion, he is one of the best directors we have had, and he is an asset to the program.
Betsy Francois

Co-op board is out of control
Here we go again with the Socorro Electric Cooperative board of trustees not wanting to comply with the member’s wishes. But, then again, this is the same board that sued all 10,000 members.
At the meeting on Nov. 23, they read a statement that the board couldn’t function with only five board members.
How would they know? They haven’t even tried. Yet, they are probably right; they can’t function with 10.
They also stated that they couldn’t live with the $15,000 limit per year for the president or the $10,000 for the rest of the board, the argument being that they needed to be able to go to out-of-state meetings to get educated. One board member stated that the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association requires it of all electric utility boards. That is a false statement.
Also, if you have been on the board for more than four years, don’t you think by now you should be educated? And we have three board members who have been on the board over 15 years or more. Are you telling me they aren’t educated enough? They do have courses online and I believe that the co-op has computers, if any of the board members does not have his own.
The next item was term limits. Eight years is not enough time?
The New Mexico Supreme Court assigned a judge to rule on the lawsuit and the bylaws that the member-owners passed. He ruled that the board must follow the Open Meetings Act, and that they comply with the five board-member bylaw that was passed.
This board is out of control. Do they really believe that they are above the law? They seem to believe that even though the members passed these bylaws and have stood fast for four years, they (the board) still know best.
Yes, they were elected but only to represent the members. This is a democracy. The members were given a choice of 11, nine, seven, or five board members. The overwhelming vote was for five. That bylaw was passed in April 2010. And here we are in December of 2011 and the board is still fighting the bylaws and the members.
Charlene West