The Demagogue and The Watcher (TMS)
Recently, The Taos News reported that Councilor Rudy Abeyta said Taos needs a blend of local stores and “corporate America.” Abeyta characterized those who opposed big-box developments as “trust-fund babies” (my bold) who aren’t worried about poor people in the community. “They were given what they’ve got,” he said. “For the poor people it’s hard.” (The Taos News, Nov. 10)
The same Councilor, aka Rudy Walmart, lives in what resident Harold Timber refers to as the “Beverly Hills of Taos,” i.e. the Weimer Foothills. Though concerned about the “poor people,” Rudy voted to bail out Kit Carson Electric Coop’s Command Center to the tune of $50 grand a year and an estimated half million dollars in moving costs for the E911 Center. Opponents consider the KCEC bail-out an unnecessary budget buster and have called for a grand jury investigation of the decision.
When Rudy hasn’t been bailing out the Traveling Trustees at the Coop, he has advocated on behalf of the “Fat Cats” (highly paid administrators) at TMS’s Crab Hall. The latter are seen as the chief factor in the decline of the public schools. Now Rudy has sided with a start-up athletic facility, operated by a crony at a town building for discounted rent, which helped kill a local institution, the Taos Gymnastics Academy.
Rudy never met a corporate project he couldn’t support—Super Walmart, Applebee’s, Walgreen’s, etc. Taos is over-run with Rudy’s beloved objects of desire i.e. Corporate America, a subculture that continues to defraud and/or overcharge the American Citizens including banks, food chains, commercial grocery and retail stores, gas stations, even the inventory sold at family operated businesses. UPS and Fed Ex are expanding as browsing on the Internet turns into purchases from Corporate America–delivered to your door.
Rudy’s like Mitt Romney when it comes to the Big Box: Before he was against it, he was for it; and before he was for it, he was against it.
Demagogues write op-eds against dance hall renovations in the local newspaper, blame the insensitive, and unwelcome newcomers for their problems—even as they, local politicians and their supporters, control elections and public policy. As Flavio says, “Watchalo when the guy in the mirror starts lying to you.”
Here’s little known and long forgotten fact: The tax base in the town, county, and schools relies on gross receipts taxes—an expectation that tourists and newcomers will share in the cost of local infrastructure through purchases. Destructive politicos, like Rudy, should be fired for creating a hostile environment: No tourists, no second homers, no construction industry, no real estate sales, no payrolls, no bond payments, etc.
Rudy supports cronies with side deals and acts like a grumpy old man from the neighborhood with his demagoguery. He gives politicos a bad name. Even as he exploits the newcomer in his role as a realtor, he tries to score points by appealing to prejudice against “trust-funders.” (“Where are you from?”) The demagogue’s mask is meant to divert attention from the left hand–while the right hand signs off on one more “Contract for a Crony.”
(We have reported on the Demagogue’s inappropriate homophobic slurs, caught on recordings, and physical threats made to his septuagenarian colleague in the past.)
Now a realtor and aspiring town council candidate, Pavel Lukes, has joined in the nonsense. The immigrant Czecho suggests Taosenos consider Big Box development for the sake of the “free market.” He apparently missed the dangers of deregulation—subprime mortgages, financial derivatives, and growing financial inequality, all thanks to the “free market.” The word “free” is a euphemism for the word “fixed.” —like the realtor’s 6% or 10% “commission” on sales. The rich get richer in the free (fixed) market.
We would just remind our leaders and their sycophants (including the County Commissioners) that the historic tourist industry predates the Spanish Conquest, Mexican War, American Occupation, Statehood, the Broken Wheel era, and the Hippies. Tourism is the bait that suckers second homers into moving here and spending their dollars on remodeling and construction.
Currently, the Town is under siege by citizens calling for a grand jury to investigate corruption. The county is considering moving their quo warranto lawsuit against the town forward. The Town has little in the way of official paperwork to document forty years of appropriating county property for the sake of grabbing GRT.
We need less demagoguery from Rudy and more clear thinking from Pavel. Both might try and think “imaginatively” or “Outside the Box.” And both might think about closing the paperwork loopholes.
If the town, county, and school board officials had any sense they would try and influence a change at CRAB Hall, the center of Taos subterfuge at TMS. Schools are among the primary criteria for families, both native and newcomer, when it comes to decisions about relocation. The diaspora of Taosenos—families moving to Albuquerque– is gaining momentum. The financial drain and effects on local culture are enormous. It takes a community to fix the schools and care for the kids.
Demagogues need not apply.
By Lorraine Coca-Ruiz
Furlough days are days on which an employee is normally scheduled to work. But due to administrative and union cooperation, now, the teachers at TMS are required to take furlough day(s) off and not be paid. Apparently, the policy was instituted to save money.
Essentially, students are the ones really losing out—no teaching, no contact. It also means that the school district will have a laundry list of excuses for not meeting AYP. (TMS has not met AYP since it started in 2002.) Did the administration ever stop to think how furlough days would damage teaching and learning?
As per NM state statute 220.127.116.11 DEFINITION: “Full school year” means a minimum of 160 instructional days in a school year or 480 instructional days or equivalent number of days in schools or school districts on alternative schedules over multiple school years of full-time or part-time teaching during which the teacher is the teacher of record
The following is a message to all TMS employees from the Super
Subject: Furlough Days
Please forward to all TMS employees. Thanks.
The six furlough days* that represent a 3% reduction in our pay may only be taken at the end of the school year. This has been the case all along, but is even more important now that the District may be in a position to “buy” some of these back. Such an agreement is a function of the meet and confer process and PED permission.
The reason for writing to you about this is that the furlough days will appear on our next pay stubs. Please do not interpret this as encouragement or authorization to utilize these days on an as needed basis.
* The term “furlough day” is not specifically appropriate for use with salaried employees, but has been generally used and understood in our situation.
Sent from my iPad
As per TMS school calendar for the month of May 2012 as amended;
May 17 – Last Day of School
May 18 – Chrysalis HS Graduation
*May 18-25 Furlough Days
May 26 – THS Graduation Day
May 28 – Memorial Day- District Office Closed.
May 29-31 Snow Makeup Days (as needed)
The days our teachers don’t get paid are the days our children don’t get an education.
I’ll be watching.