The Pied Piper (For Locals Only)

By: Bill Whaley
5 January, 2018

Pass the Pipe

Read the Pied Piper’s 4000-word campaign screed (written by Bellis on behalf of the Hip Hop Mayor) to Town employees in the right hand column on Taos Friction. Call it an “ode to an iHop” or read the Fritz Hahn announcement of his council candidacy in the local advertiser as an “ode to Acequias.” You won’t find a word about “honesty” or “transparency” in either screed.

Bellis plays the tune: Barrone and Hahn play the puppets. Apparently, Bellis learned his lessons from the energizer bunny at KCEC, where the Trustees watch Luis change the light bulbs. When CEO Reyes says jump, the Trustees say, “How High?”

Here’s Hahn’s disingenuous claim and quote in the local Advertiser yesterday. “It’s about balance. The Mayor and I are combining our traditions (acequias), tech (airport spin off businesses) and tourism (accounting for 40% of the Taos economy), to guide Taos to economic and demographic stability.” (Sic)

Hahn uses “we” in reference to the traditional royal way of governing. Neither the Mayor (a lumberjack, work-glove guy) nor Hahn (bookkeeper, hospital worker, union activist) represents the parciante “who is from here” or parciantes in Town whose ditch commissioners or mayordomos haven’t called an acequia meeting in prior decades, except for the Spring Ditch or for those who gathered to protest the Valverde Commons/Autumn Acres project only to be scorned and ignored by the Town.

The parciantes on the Spring Ditch, whether they like it or not, have been treated as marks by the “bait and switch” members of the Abeyta Settlement, including the Town of Taos, regardless of decade and promises, last year or next. (Some of my good friends are parciantes!)

(The Abeyta agreement is more dangerous to parciantes and members of MDCWA than the Indian Camp Dam, which inspired Milagro Beanfield War but that’s another story, waiting to be told.)

And Hahn alludes to “tech,” wow, nerds and geeks “r us” at what airport business park? Did I miss something besides the adjacent junkyards, landfill, used mobile homes, KCEC’s subsidized Propane project, or the defunct and active open-air sewage pits? High tech? Does Fritz get high on Brother Rob’s Herbs?

Hospitality traditions and Tourism? I’m all for tourism but does Fritz count the Mayor’s work at the high school hot dog stand as “black and white” tradition leading to insight about  iHop cuisine? Or do the Mayor and Councilor dine on the delicacies at the Manzanita Market after checking out Maye’s contemporary art next door or drink espresso while watching Taos’s No. 1. Ambassador of the representational Arts, El Zorro at the Plaza Estrada? What? To what does he, Fritz, refer?

As for demographic stability, let’s be honest, the Bellis-Barrone Angloism and focus on “Hombre Economico” is contributing to a traffic jam on the Highway to Albuquerque. Native Taosenos, young and old, are fleeing the community. See the County’s demographic report. Sure a few kids will come back and everyone will come back for Fiesta.

We expect politicians to exaggerate and take credit for “everything,” including the sunrise, sunset, and the turnaround of the national tourist economy or forty years of lobbying by prior governments at the airport.

But during droughts Ernie Blake used to contact Taos Pueblo and schedule a “dance.” Sometimes the old ways are best. We’re just saying life in Taos didn’t start in 2014 or with this morning’s sunset or  this year’s pig roast on New Year’s Eve under the garish green and blue lights, the Mayor’s light show, second only to Tele’s El Prado spectacle.

Long ago (2014), naïve voters, including members of the Chicano Chamber, supported Barrone and Hahn because they were promised  “honest” government  focused on “nuts and bolts” operations. But we got arrogance and scandals: a paid cover-up re: procurement code violations; back door deals with the failed “Smiths” project; construction delays and local liens at the Don Fernando (despite taxpayer giveaways to an out-of-towner); community divisiveness re: “Holiday Inn Express” but no hotel, and not even a shovelful of dirt, despite all the sturm and drang.

Fritz and Barrone also ignored the extraordinary Coop rate increases and the runaway debt, crazy Guzman deal, and then got into bed with the crooks at KCEC, while betting on a dim Coop, which is selling “futures” based on privatizing sunshine.

Though my fellow members at the Chicano Chamber are worn out and kinder than I, this very Bad Chonky will not forget the betrayal.  Like Flavio I follow the funeral processions to the cemeteries where bodies get buried in unremarked graves, due to the “feel good nature” of the advertising culture as exemplified by the local weekly, which is also joined at the hip with the Hip Hop Mayor and gang bangers at the Coop who beat up on their own quite literally. See Virgil’s face. He endorsed you, Fritz. Shame, shame.

Despite the “Hip Hop” Mayor, his garish lights and free eats, or “Flip Fop” Hahn’s conversion to KCEC-style Corporatism, these guys will probably get re-elected because “They re-paved the streets.”

AS George I. Sanchez wrote in the Forgotten People (Albuquerque, 1939): “Too often it appears that these leaders feel that they have discharged their obligations to the New Mexican when they have graded a road in his [town] or when they have hired some of [Manager’s or Mayor’s] friends a
s clerks and laborers at [taxpayer] expense.”

All the rest is as Hillel said about the Bible, “commentary” or better yet, “Bellis blither” as Flavio said about the Town.

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