Letters to the Editor (05/09/2012)


Volunteers made Tea a success


We are exceedingly grateful to each of you who attended the 8th Annual Socorro General Hospital Spring Tea, held at Bodega Ballroom on Sunday, March 18. We enjoyed celebrating the centennial of New Mexico’s statehood with food that was specifically New Mexican. We also celebrated the upcoming installation of a door to access the Healing Garden from the interior of Socorro General Hospital that you have made possible through your generosity. Thanks to the members of the Socorro High School Honor Society who helped us wash dishes, set tables, serve and clean up after the tea. We couldn’t do it without you. We are grateful to the group of six students from Datil and Quemado who entertained us by playing cello, flute, violin, keyboard and harp. You are talented and professional, and we thoroughly enjoyed your music. Thank you to the city of Socorro for placing our flyer in the utility bill mailing. Thanks to the Bodega staff and owners for letting us use your space and for helping in so many ways. Thanks to Dr. Darla Bejnar and to Blake Gerard for representing the hospital so eloquently. Thanks to Joe Daniel Saavedra and his staff at Socorro General Hospital for letting the tea committee cook in your kitchen. Thank you to those who donated so generously to our silent auctions and to those who purchased the auction items. Thank you to the donors of the flowers used to create the floral centerpieces that were our door prizes — Greenleaf Floral, Bambi’s Flowers and Gifts, Smith’s Foods and Mrs. Lauren Finley. We wish to express our thanks to the Spring Tea committee. Every year you amaze us.

Debi Card and Wanda Bassler On behalf of the Spring Tea committee


SEC board not in touch with reality

Dear Editor,

I have to agree with most of your observations, as I believe most people who have followed your reporting would agree also. The exceptions are obviously the majority of the SEC Board and their attorneys. Their arrogance and determination to disregard the law and bylaws has warped their collective grasp of reality. They are still having surprising success in fooling some of the people some of the time, including you, no offence intended. I call attention to your comment describing the members actions during the “New Business” portion of the meeting as “proposals.” Those motions made from the assembly, which were overwhelmingly either rejected or carried, were completed transactions. The motions carried are now the bylaws as amended by action of the members at a meeting having a quorum. Your assumption, that the members will have to “ratify” these changes a second time, is totally incorrect. The language of the New Mexico Electric Cooperative Act [62-15-7] is plain language, which does not require a law degree to comprehend. It is also consistent with the federal requirement of democratic member control. Here is the law: 62-15-7 Bylaws. The original bylaws of a cooperative shall be adopted by its board of trustees. Thereafter bylaws shall be adopted, amended or repealed by the majority of the members present at any regular annual meeting or special meeting called for that purpose, a quorum being present. The bylaws shall set forth the rights and duties of members and trustees and may contain other provisions for the regulation and management of the affairs of the cooperative not inconsistent with this act [62-15-1 to 62-15-32, NMSA 1978] or with its articles of incorporation. As you can see, the members, despite efforts by the chairman and his attorney to interfere and block motions from the floor, were only partially successful. The motions carried are indisputably in effect. This means that the election of trustees in the fall can include voting by mail, and the other measures passed are operative as well.


Charlie Wagner, Trustee Socorro Electric Cooperative, Inc.


Why does SEC need Ms. Latasa?


So Ms. (Eileen) Latasa is mad as hell, huh? She objects to Mr. Wagner having a copy of the executive sessions though he has weathered untold abuse from this board and yet no one is asking the real question — “Why is Ms. Latasa at every executive session?” She is not there as a secretary — the board has that position filled by Mr. Luis Aguilar. This board of trustees has monthly sessions (and presumably all executive sessions) taped. Ms. Latasa then types up an abbreviated version, and the tapes are destroyed. Seems like a great way to edit away any uncomfortable history. Mr. James Cherry attends all monthly board meetings and makes a complete audio and video record (of the meetings), which is available on his blog, www.informedcynic.com. This means there is now a real record of what goes on, no thanks to the board. So we have a tape by the SEC, a board secretary and an independent video for reference. Again I ask, “What is Ms. Latasa doing there?” She attends all regular monthly meetings, all executive sessions and all committee meetings. This adds up to quite a large chunk of overtime for this salaried employee. Is the after the financial windfall or does she imagine that things just can’t function without her? She has positioned herself where several times a year, she joins the board members at national meetings around the country. This is in addition to the questionable tour of four students she will lead to Washington, D.C. Two of these students have direct ties to the SEC board and yet SEC funds will pay their way. The SEC co-op manager has announced the need to hire office help for Ms. Latasa. Perhaps it would be more to the point for her to concentrate on the job she was hired to do and keep her fingers out of other matters. If she does not like the new system at SEC — that is member owners taking control — she can resign and find a more comfortable position elsewhere.

Marie Watkins, San Antonio


Local columnists a humorous read


It was a joy to see another fun column from Cynthia Fowler. I have enjoyed reading articles written by local community members such as Cynthia. I would like to see more of them in your paper. Barbara Dubois has had only one article about books that I can recall since I moved to the area last September. She too has a great sense of humor and I would like to see more articles written by her. Both of these women could write regular articles/columns in the Chieftain. We can use all the humor we can get these days. We have a community rich in people who love life. What about articles about the various arts, bird watching, hiking, photography, geology, seismology and on and one? From their point of view — not just when and where, but who and what and how. On another note, in regards to the letter written about the sign in Magdalena. I whole-heartedly agree with the writer. I firmly believe in freedom of speech, but that sign, because of its size and placement, sends a message to people driving through that the entire town feels the same way. Except for the fact that I have good friends in Magdalena, and I love Mary Mac’s Cafe and the Magdalena Cafe, I wouldn’t be bothered to hang around with a sign like that greeting me.

Sarah Atwell Williams, Lemitar