“In the end”…Taos sings Kumbaya? Really?

By: Bill Whaley
24 August, 2017

“In the end, I’m extremely concerned that all of the negativity, personal attacks and false information being circulated about this project will cause future investors, or maybe even Mr. Batra himself, to take their business elsewhere. I can’t imagine a more damaging message to send at this critical juncture, than Taos being completely unwilling to work with business owners on important projects such as this.” Dan Barrone (Earlier)

“This group of people didn’t go into this meeting with love and concern for Taos but with hate, envy and disrespect. Poor Mr. Batra, an investor in Taos, had to be caught in the middle of someone else’s personal agenda of tainting their public officials.” –Della Barrone (Shortly thereafter)

“It takes everyone working together to make something like this happen. I also want to thank everyone who took the time to voice their opinions and to get involved on this issue. It is an honor to serve you and live among such fine neighbors.” Dan Barrone (Election season is upon us.)

When the Barrone-Bellis enforcer and p.r. maven, Councilor Fritz Hahn wrote an opinion piece a couple weeks ago in the local advertiser about his own elevation to the title of “Mr. Acequia,” and assumed his role as chief apologist for the wonderful Mayor and Manager, I knew election season was upon us. Like Trump Barrone doesn’t think we read what he says from week to week. Now he wants us to sing Kumbaya in his chorus.

The Mayor, Councilor Hahn, and Councilor Cantu are all up for re-election in 2018. The election season began with the promotion of “Strong at Heart.”

Sure enough Hahn, who praised the Mayor in print, echoed those sentiments on Tuesday evening, after the Town concluded a deal with KCEC’s wonderful Energizer Bunny for an obsolete Solar technology deal, wherein the Coop will reap the revenue since they control the grid. As Hahn praised the extraordinary Mr. Luis Reyes, I thought of Reyes’s recent record of retroactive charges or “inadvertent errors” aimed at members.

The Coop has earned its reputation as either the “Hole in the Wall Gang” or in the case of Broadband, Propane, Guzman, the “Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.”

What his failed or failing ventures mean, the Call Center, Command Center, Propane, Internet, Broadband, Guzman Power Purchase Sell Out, and the current Solar Apoplexy, according to the balance sheet is endless debt: only the members suffer, due to increasing electricity charges necessary to pay the Coop’s debt for failed enterprises.

Now the Town aims to help the Coop pay for The “Conspiracy of Incompetence.” Caveat: Reyes has spent an estimated $100,000 fighting my own pro se “formal complaint” about a $10 overcharge (though the PRC staff discovered he was guilty of some $250,000 of admitted “inadvertent errors.”) When the Bunny dislikes living up to a contract or a fair deal, he sends in the sharks.

During the run-up to this week’s decision on the proposed Holiday Inn, developer Batra, bowing to public pressure, suggested the three-story compromise. In meeting after meeting, the Mayor, Manager, and Councilor Hahn expressed support for the four-story edifice. The three musketeers’s sidekicks, P&Z Commissioner Pollard was argumentative in public and Agent Provocateur Pavel Lukes frequently attacked and reprimanded activists and citizens at public meetings and in news reports, referring to them as CAVE people or whatever.

Voters and citizens also protested against the lack of transparency or attempted backroom Hotel deal, a deal confirmed and revealed by the “email scandal.”

Now Barrone wants to sing “Kumbaya” and Pollard leads the pilgrims forward at “Strong at Heart.” Really? The Mayor reminds me of another politician, who attacks the voters, his colleagues, and the public in Phoenix on one night but calls for unity the next night in Reno. Roll the dice, let’s bet double or nothing.

At per annum salaries, more or less, for Reyes of $250,000; Bellis at $100,000; Barrone at $40,000; and Hahn at $30,000 (the best job the latter ever had); the foursome are laughing all the way to the bank. And who knows about the income from side deals, the wish and ego fulfillment i.e. the addiction to political power that appears to be so satisfying.

Mr. Hahn challenged the community to put up or shut up or come up with a good idea in his recent opinion piece. When my colleagues and a myriad of others supported Mr. Hahn’s candidacy for Council, we modestly suggested “honesty,” “nuts and bolts government,” or operating a town efficiently and following the procurement code, while cleaning up a culture of corruption and incompetence were principles enough to sustain the Town.

We thought Fritz had the integrity of an elephant not a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We were warned about Bellis because of his record at the County. Barrone’s work in the community frequently displayed moral weaknesses when public issues were sensitive. But Fritz, Fritz we hardly knew you.

What with short-term public memory loss and the non-existent news cycles, the deceitful get a pass and Los Pendejos—the public i.e. us—eat their Chicos in silence.

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