Taos Town Issues

By: Bill Whaley
23 February, 2012

Editorial: No Answers

On Tuesday, March 6, The Town of Taos will complete its latest election cycle—mostly a meaningless gesture since the Mayor and his two cuates will still control the council. The real election comes in two years with a potential change in leadership. The sign seizure above neatly captures the problem: Free speech and signs alleging corruption have been two-stepped off the dance floor by the Mayor’s Cowboy in Chief, Willie Morris.

Councilor Silva votes in favor of political wheeler-dealers, who reward him with contracts. Similarly the Mayor votes in favor of projects as a reward for favors received in the past or due to the big stick wielded by his puppet master. Councilor Abeyta goes along for the ride, sticking foot in mouth. Silva as much as confessed to his peccadilloes by calling for an investigation of his own “conflict of interest.” Mama stop me before I sin again. If the Mayor is your friend, the red tape and the regulations disappear—like Jeff’s day-glo signs above, where the town maritals its high-salaried employees to chase down the critic.

According to news reports and the word on the street, micromanagement at town hall by the mayor and his lambes has wrecked employee morale. The former town manager and police chief were described by the Mayor and Rudy as the answer to a decade or two of incompetence. But the highly decorated and well-paid execs have abandoned ship—forced out by mini micro managers.

The Mayor’s private war with a free speech activist has become an embarrassment—indicative of petty-minded envidia ridden politic and turmoil at Town Hall–during the worst economic downturn since Taos was incorporated during the thirties. The Mayor and Council do little more than issue press releases based on a kind of nostalgia for tourists as one business after another closes up shop and the number of Plaza area vacancies increases. The current slide, economically and politically, indicates it will be years—five or ten–before Taos recovers and begins to fill its empty buildings and leadership positions with imaginative enterprises or individuals. Like the Obama administration, the Cordova reign quickly turned its back on constituents and promises.

Obama can blame Republicans and presidential politics while the Mayor, closer to home, can blame the black hole of corruption at the Kit Carson Electric Coop. The Town of Taos and its Mayor are merely a casualty of Coop politics due to one man’s folly—the Command Center snafu. Meanwhile, the Coopsters are throwing around millions of dollars in Broadband money, some for private tree trimming and fire wood programs for patrons, while also  signing up leases in the “kickback for cuates” scheme for equipment storage…everybody knows.

Whistleblower heroes “Que Viva Ray Rael” and “Crazy Jeff Northrup” along with Councilor “Clean Gene” Sanchez are alternately praised or attacked by elected officials for saying what  the community thinks. Que Viva Los Moscos.

P.S. In other news, the request for a citizens grand jury to investigate community corruption is coming to a courtroom near you—again.

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