Letters to the Editor (1/30/2013)

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New trustees mean new age for cooperative
Editor:
The newly configured Board of Trustees at the Socorro Electric Cooperative is much improved. Although this comes from attrition and no effort on the part of the board, as we historically know it.
I call upon all honest members to stay alert, aware and active in their co-op’s operations. If we want our cooperative to become above average, even in New Mexico, we will have to demand honest oversight from the board, proper management from Joseph Herrera and above-board audits from an independent accountant.
None of that has been assured under the previous board. Stay involved. There’s hope under new President Luis Aguilar. We’ve fought hard for small gains; it’s no time to relax. These guys enjoy the support of corrupt local and county officials.
There has already been a movement to make irrelevant the annual members’ meeting. They introduced a motion to hold the meeting on a Wednesday night starting at 5 p.m. Preventing as many as possible voting members from attending is their intent. Without a quorum of interested voters, their prayed-for result would be to restore the old rules and board to power. It was a close vote at the meeting on Wednesday night. Luckily, the new board voted to conduct the meeting on Saturday starting at 1 p.m., May 18, 2013. Keep that date firmly in mind.
My great-great-great-grandfather moved to Socorro in 1820, but this is only my eighth year here since retirement. The only “real” annual meeting in my experience was last year when we met at the Macey Center at New Mexico Tech. Large enough, good parking, and plenty of seats for a quorum. Now, the board proposes to return the meeting to the old Finley location. We must not allow that if we hope to accommodate attendance and participation by as many members as possible. Members should feel wanted, respected, and valued. Finley Gym is about the old-guard tactics. No respect.
Speak up, members. Let’s keep the gains we’ve made. The opposition’s greed knows no bounds.
Herbert Myers
Socorro
Ranch disagrees with offensive terms, charges
Editor:
I refer to the two letters published in your Jan. 19 edition concerning the Plains of San Augustin water project. These letters make some points which we very much agree with and others that we emphatically disagree with. Starting with the areas of agreement, the first letter states that “Water belongs to the citizens of New Mexico, and is a resource to be administered carefully for the benefit of New Mexicans.” As Mr. Inman states in the second letter, there is a significant groundwater resource in the basin.
The state, its citizens, farmers and the environment are facing extraordinary challenges and sooner or later, the groundwater resources of the San Augustin Plains will be tapped for the benefit of all citizens of the state. We believe that a private-public partnership of all stakeholders, including the citizens of Catron and Socorro counties, will provide the best value to the citizens of New Mexico. This is why we have proposed and continue to propose that a true dialogue takes place between us and the local community, with the aim of including the latter into the management of the resource and of the benefits of the project.
The area of disagreement is mostly with the offensive terms of the first letter that imply that we are immoral, unethical criminals acting against the citizens of New Mexico. We are respectable, law abiding entrepreneurs including individuals who have owned property in the plains for over 30 years and have committed to work in harmony with New Mexico stakeholders.
Michel Jichlinski
Project Director APR, LLC

Time to stand up for creation of monument
Editor:
Now is the time to create the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico. It has wide backing and no group seems to oppose it. I hope you back it too.
We New Mexicans live in a biologically and geologically rich state and we love it. I am guessing that you recently spent time outdoors doing something you love. That is just who we are. There is a push on right now to give special protection to a particularly beloved area.
The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument would be good for the land and all the life on it, including us! It would ensure that hikers, hunters, rafters, birdwatchers, anglers, riders of horses and bikes, and all the other users can continue to enjoy it in the future. It would be good for the businesses who serve the needs of those of us who use the land. It would protect the archaeological sites of those who came before us. It would be good for those who come after us.
This 250,000-acre landscape in northern New Mexico includes the Rio Grande Gorge, snowcapped peaks, huge stretches of sagebrush plain. It is worthy of special protection and now is the time to make this happen. It is time to speak to everybody who can make this happen. This includes your friends and neighbors and your elected officials. President Obama could make this happen with the stroke of a pen.
John Wilson
Magdalena