Letters to the editor (10/17/13)
Request co-op ballots early
I received a postcard in my mailbox Oct. 9 announcing the Socorro Electric Cooperative trustee election for District II. It states that the meeting will be held Saturday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. at the Wellness Center on the Alamo Navajo reservation. It also states that voting member registration begins at 1 p.m. It fails to mention that the business meeting begins at 3 p.m. This is the time when members can propose new bylaws, or amend or repeal existing ones and conduct other member business. The notice states the purpose of the meeting to be “for the election of one trustee for a four-year term” but neglects to mention the business meeting and its purpose.
SEC bylaws demand fair elections and require equal voting rights and equal access in the opportunity to vote. It seems this requirement will be violated. SEC has no written policy on elections but the state election laws serve as a good reference for conducting fair elections. When it comes to voting by mail state law requires 28 days for requesting a ballot to the return of the ballot to the election administrator.
The ballots will not be sent out until Oct. 16, meaning it will be the 17th or 18th at the earliest before a member can receive, complete and return the ballot. As ballots must be in Rio Rancho by Nov. 8, a voting member will have less time to vote by mail than the state law requires.
Questions have been raised about the location of the District II members’ meeting. As the district stretches from Alamo in the far northwestern corner through Magdalena to the west side of the city of Socorro (surrounding and including New Mexico Tech) and up the west side of I-25 to parts of San Acacia, a more central location would seem to be fairer to all 1,966 voting members of the district. It seems obvious that the board majority selected this site in order to discourage attendance and/or voting.
My advice to voters is to call 505-891-6534 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and request your ballot immediately. I also urge you to make the trip to Alamo so you can consider, debate and vote on the proposals that you and other members will be proposing.
District II Trustee
Participate in co-op elections
Lately a very small number of members of the Socorro Electric Cooperative have criticized the co-op and the Board of Trustees in particular. This small group of members has taken it upon themselves to push for extensive revisions to the co-op’s bylaws.
They hope to rein in expenses by trustees, introduce greater transparency to co-op operations and give the general membership an increased say in managing co-op affairs.
What’s wrong with that?
The devil, as they say, is in the details. This small group concentrated their efforts on 31 proposed amendments to the bylaws put forth by members in District V. Due to procedural mistakes, they passed just five of the 31 for consideration at the next annual meeting of the co-op. However, all 31 are riddled with problems — some even violate state law — making it unwise to adopt them.
Despite these problems, the board recognizes the need to improve our bylaws. A member bylaws committee formed by Trustee Prescilla Mauldin of District III has exhaustively reviewed the current bylaws and recommended amendments. Meeting long hours throughout the summer, they also reviewed and got legal advice on all 31 District V propositions and recommended to keep, reject or modify each one. Those the committee approved have been incorporated into revised bylaws that members can review and comment on.
The board would like to present them to the membership for a vote at the annual meeting in 2014 after member consideration at the five district meetings being held in October and November.
None of these changes can happen, though, if co-op members don’t come to meetings, learn about the issues and vote. It’s your co-op. If you support the direction we’re taking, please come to your district meeting and be counted. At the District V meeting in October, 30 less than needed for a quorum registered for the meeting.
As Anne Dorough, the trustee representing District V, told the assembled members at the meeting: “One of the most important things to getting things fixed is participation in the meetings. If we can’t get a quorum, we can’t do anything.”
District 3 Trustee and Board President
Know who you are voting for
Coming soon are the district elections to select trustees to the Socorro Electric Co-op. Members must choose representatives who have not sued them for seeking honesty and transparency in management of the co-op.
Trustees who oppose honesty and transparency are unworthy. Trustees who sue their own members and incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses for the benefit of attorneys are unworthy. Don’t vote for Leroy Anaya. He sued us. Don’t vote for Don Wolberg. He sued us. Don’t vote for Priscilla Mauldin. She sued us. They cost us hundreds of thousands of wasted legal expenses, not to mention their duplicity and loss of fiduciary trust.
Melissa Amaro is a worthy candidate for many reasons. She knows the inner workings of the co-op very well. Vote for Melissa in District III.
Manny Marquez is not worthy. He took your money (for years) and ran. When the going got hot, he left and gave no explanation. Now he wants to return. Charles Wagner is worthy. He’s the only trustee who’s voted consistently to keep the board honest and keep the members uppermost in mind. Vote for Charlie in District II. He’s there for the members.
We have a chance to turn this co-op around and give it back to the members. Let’s attend the district meetings and do just that.
In memorium Jolinda Dallin
Like so many other Socorroans, I was deeply saddened to read in El Defensor Chieftain of Jolinda Dallin’s death. According to the article, last Tuesday morning, Jolinda was driving down Highway 60, most likely going from her home in Magdalena to work at Socorro General Hospital, where she was a physical therapist. Apparently, she lost control of her car and at some point later, it left the road, rolling over several times before coming to a rest on its side. Jolinda was killed in that tragic auto accident.
I knew Jolinda as a dedicated physical therapist who helped many people get free of pain and disabling movement restrictions. As a professional, she was committed to her healing work and always eager to increase her therapeutic skills. As a person, Jolinda impressed me as sincere, caring and generous-hearted. She spoke to me from time to time of her deep faith in God. I could easily see that her faith gave her an inner core of strength that allowed her to do the hard work of being practical in the present, forgiving and accepting of the past, and centered in working toward a better future. She spoke lovingly about her family, appreciating and enjoying each one for their individual selves. I thought she was a wonderful person and felt it was my privilege to know her
Thinking of the many positive qualities Jolinda brought to bear in our lives, I cannot help but remember another beautiful, healing woman who also recently passed away. This other healing woman was Cheryl Murphy, owner/operator of BodyWise Therapy Services. Like Jolinda, Cheryl too offered us her exceptional therapeutic skills as a physical therapist, shared the benefits of her copious knowledge, and lifted our spirits with the warmth of her loving heart.
We are all poorer for the absence of these two healing women among us. Now we have lost both Jolinda Dallin and Cheryl Murphy. In missing them, we cannot help but honor them and appreciate all the many gifts they brought to us. Our community was blessed by these two beautiful healing women, so different from one another, and yet so much the same in their loving, healing effect on our lives. Blessings on you both, dearest ladies. Thank you for being in our lives. We miss you.