Letters to the Editor 3/21/2013

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Co-op conspiracy needs to end
Editor:
There is a conspiracy among a few of the supposed “trustees” on the board of the Socorro Electric Co-op. When people get together on a proposed action and elect to proceed with that action, that is a conspiracy. We don’t often think in positive terms of activities defined as conspiracies. But, then, we don’t often think in positive terms about the Board of the Socorro Electric Co-op. That’s been the case for many years. The situation become volatile when the Albuquerque Journal reported our trustees were outspending every other cooperative in the state. Outspending everybody for dollars going into their own pockets.
For last month’s board meeting, four of the elected trustees determined they would not appear at the meeting and thereby cause a lack of quorum. This means no business can be conducted. Their selected attorney conspired along with them to not appear at the meeting. This is illegal. Violation of the Open Meetings Act. When trustees conduct planning and other co-op business, they are required to do so under the requirements of the Open Meetings Act. Their plan to, as a group, boycott the regularly scheduled board meeting is board business. They maliciously and with forethought violated the law.
Not attending the meeting were Trustees Donald Wolberg, David Wade, Leo Cordova and Prescilla Mauldin. The attorney, paid by the co-op members, is Lorna Wiggins. No doubt, her absence in concert with the missing trustees was planned and none of the absences were announced prior to the meeting. No excuses phoned in nor notice given.
These un-trustees must be recalled by the members and removed from office. They’ve long given every indication they don’t plan to abide by the rules, the law, nor ethical conduct. This conspiracy illustrates that beyond all doubt. Let’s remove them. We will start the petitions to recall them now.
Herbert Myers, Socorro
Tax on packaging would help a lot
Editor:
Here’s an idea:
A voluntary tax that would reduce litter, landfill usage and fossil fuel consumption along with the national debt!
The tax would apply to single use containers.
The USA has spent the last few generations developing an ingrained dependence on single use containers.  Kicking the habit will take time.
Let’s start with a tiny tax on beverage containers.
A penny tax on every beer can, Styrofoam cup and throw-away water bottle will generate huge revenue with no appreciable impact on sales.
Anyone can opt out simply by supplying their own reusable container.
The tax should gradually increase.
A penny a year.
As the price goes up, so does the incentive to opt out.  Free market economics will kick in, favoring companies catering to reusables.
There are obstacles. The immense and influential packaging industry will resist mightily. Styrofoam cup makers will eventually have to retool to make reusable cups.  New infrastructure supplying drinks in reusable containers will be needed.
The tax should not be limited to beverage containers. Paper fast food bags can easily be replaced by reusable cloth bags, just as in grocery stores.  Eventually, shampoo, dog food and many other commodities should be available on a bring-your-own-container basis.
This idea offers a painless and sensible way to bring down the debt while steering us in a sensible direction.
Jim Ruff, Socorro