Taos Coop Victories Spark Hope for Change
The overwhelming election to the board of trustees in the May 8th Kit Carson Coop Electric by Luisa Mylet and Peter Adang has given hope to activists in Taos. Now, on Wed. May 16 in Penasco, an energetic band of community members hope to elect Ernesto Gonzales to the board of trustees and send Ambrose Mascarenas or Chris Duran out behind their ill-gotten woodpiles. Up in the Angel Fire—Eagle Nest district, on Friday, May 18, activists support candidate Ron Anderson, hoping he will unseat Jerry Smith or Bruce Jassman—two of CEO Luis Reyes’ rubber stampers from the high country.
The CEO and complaisant trustees have buried the Coop in a mound of debt and the activists are burrowing up to be heard–like Las Tusas in the Constant Gardener’s vegetable patch. Unlike the progressive movement at the Mora-San Miguel Coop, where trustees issued checks to their members for capital credits, the KCEC trustees have spent members’ capital on travel, sweetheart contracts, and diversification. Now, reform minded members, trustees, and employees must worry about Coop insolvency and another round of rate increases due to decisions made by the current mob.
Trustee Francis Cordova of El Prado is seen as one of the biggest political losers in the recent Coop election, along with incumbent trustee Toby Martinez. Cordova, who supported Arroyo Seco resident David Torres in the race against Mylet, supports Floyd Archuleta of Desmontes in the county commission race for the Seco, Hondo, Valdez, Upper Las Colonias, Blueberry Hill, and El Prado areas against Pennie Herrera Wardlow. Commission candidate Tom Blankenhorn ran a tough race during the last go-round against Nick Jaramillo. While Blankenhorn and Archuleta might be considered the favorites, Friction supports the dark horse, Pennie Herrera Wardlow.
Pennie possesses unusual diplomatic skills. She is seen as levelheaded and knowledgeable, loyal to her roots in Valdez and Seco, while also recognizing the benefits of planning. She’s a realtor and animal activist. She believes each neighborhood deserves a shot at self-determination in terms of the county LUDC. Her record of community service to all people is unparalleled and generous. We urge the community to recognize an undervalued resource in the community, local women, like Luisa Mylet, who understand how to present a different point of view regarding community values. It’s time for the women of the community to send a message.
(Even the Taos School board and Superintendent Weston are coming under fire for being anti-woman and anti-local, according to recent actions. Apparently, Weston is bringing in a record number of outsiders at TMS–despite the presence of competent local teachers and principals. The current board voted 3-2 to renew his contract. Board member Stella Gallegos, who voted against renewing the contract, is the single voice representing local family values on a board, where the patriarchs rule.)
It’s time for activists to end the “contracts for cuates” program at the Coop and Town. Vote for even-handed candidates without a record of giving to themselves—like the trustees at the Coop and councilors at the Town. If the Mayor or his buddies, Francis Cordova or the trustees support a candidate, vote for the other guy or woman.
Take back your Coop and your community. End the “Contracts for Cuate” program. Vote for Ernesto Gonzales in Penasco, Ron Anderson in Angel Fire, and Pennie Herrera Wardlow in northern Taos Valley. It’s time.
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