Christmas Politics: PRC, KCEC, Town of Taos

By: Bill Whaley
24 December, 2015

watch-our-tv-ads-MOD1During the next few days Santa will be keeping an eye on the great Walmart experiment: lighting on the Historic Plaza in downtown Taos. Goodbye Traditional northern New Mexico and Hasta la Vista poquito Farolitos y Luminarias. Hello Saint of Le Plastique and plastic Disney figures. Here comes Santa with a big fat roast pig on New Year’s Eve. Taos celebrates the expanding carbon footprint in this the Century of Climate Change.

Hey, KCEC’s CEO Luis Reyes touched the pulse of the PRC yesterday but they rebuffed his sleight-of-hand attempt to squeeze in a rate increase before the end of the year. Now the CEO claims more than 70 protests of 88 filed don’t fit the “form.” But the PRC waived him off until probably Jan. 6 when the Commissioners will make a decision about Scrooge and the 10 Dark Angels at the Coop. Perhaps the hearing will come during the Trustees’ annual trip to New Orleans.

Luis-RreyesThe busy CEO, El Reyes, recently sought to intervene in the upcoming municipal elections in the Town of Taos. According to “very good” sources, Reyes called up the “Quiet Man,” Meliton Struck, a once and future candidate for council. The illustrious CEO tried to persuade Meli not to run so that Young Andrew Gonzales, Luis’s factotum and alleged $60,000 Coop salary man, could continue as town councilor. By controlling the light switch at Town Hall, Reyes can keep Bellis, Barrone, and Hahn in the dark.

But here’s the problem with Meliton: he makes no promises and thinks for himself. One might disagree with him but he can’t be bribed or intimidated. Damn Meliton.

We don’t know if the honorable Bobby Duran, a Barrone man, will run for council. But Bobby brings a host of scandals, including the Chamisa Verde Affordable Housing bust along in his baggage. The Town has hired, we hear, Batman (Ramon Trujillo) as lobbyist. Batman, the promoter of the Super Walmart project, which even Mayor Duran and Meliton opposed, once stood at opposite ends of the earth from Councilor Hahn. Today, we hear the Town has slyly approved a new Starbucks Coffee emporium, now being erected opposite Walgreen’s on the Fast Food Corporate Paseo.

An independent coffee and espresso seller told us yesterday about the new Starbucks. UnknownCoffee and espresso shops are some of the last local owner-operated businesses in town, representing an infinite variety of opportunity, you might say. Now the Barrone-Bellis-Hahn administration is killing one more entrepreneurial goose, just like the goose of custom in the historic district i.e. squeeze the Plaza shut (gradually).

Norteno culture, landscape, and the arts have been drawing visitors for hundreds of years but now the town fathers would graft Walmart plastique onto the evergreen trees. Very sad, mis amigos. Very sad. We all live in Milwaukee, now, says Flavio.

imagesBetween the promotion of higher electric rates and taxes, GRT, property taxes, etc. you might say the Coop, the Town, the HCH, the County (alas), and the El Prado Water and Sanitation District are anti-local economic development though all for multi-million dollar airports. Our leaders are begging for the corporate dollar and high-income second homer as replacement fodder for the folks who were born here, worked here, lived here or came here with a yen for a different way of life. Now one and all are slowly being driven down the canyon toward Albuquerque by the higher cost of living, diminishing number of jobs, and the policies of tax and spend by elected officials.

Why should we be surprised? The Mayor, who emerged from the forest near Pojoacque,  is not from here and doesn’t even live in the Town of Taos. He looks like Santa Claus but I think he’s somebody else.

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