Taos Flim Flam: twas ever thus!

By: Bill Whaley
6 July, 2018

Town Punts on Locals : Outsources decisions to Outsiders

Having successfully alienated local natives with the “Strong at Heart” gambit, the Town Council, Mayor and Manager are doubling down on more “itinerant professionals” (outsiders) as facilitators in the never ending attempt to resolve existential angst by “revitalizing” the Mainstreet in Taos, a Mainstreet where motels are closed, historic hotels (Taos Inn and Hotel La Fonda) are for sale, shop windows vacant, the decision due, no doubt, to the lack of political courage, for example, wherein the Town Council could not choose a “landscape plan” for the Plaza.

Still we give the Mayor kudos for finally removing the moribund white fir tree, these many months later, even if he hangs on to KCEC’s green electrical sockets that disfigure the Cottonwoods and the interminable signs and posters up and down the paseo that disfigure the view in the town’s assault on natural beauty.

Now comes, and I quote the language, the jargon of the professionals, calculated to further alienate locals whose Tiwa, Spanish, and English bears little familiarity to the following, announced and mailed and endorsed by various “do-gooders” and “community groups” but which agenda remains opaque, a program promoted by those, who vote to deny public broadcasts of their meetings for the citizen who would watch the town manipulate their business.

For what is or are the following terms referring to and why should citizens attend meetings with strangers, discussed in a foreign tongue by “facilitators,” who are going to aid and abet the transformation of the town many of us love, when we are aren’t disgusted by local political chicanery or elected leaders, who hide behind appointed bureaucrats whom none of us know?

To wit: somebody tell me what is a:

A. “Taos MainStreet Accelerator?”
B. “Promotion Point?”
C. “Design Point?”
D. “Economic Vitality Point?”
E. “Organization Point?”

And why should anybody care?

The Mayor and Council demur and seem intimidated by the prospect of merely cleaning up the Plaza, righting the wrongs of various administrations, who have engaged in ad hoc assaults on the Plaza, a curse that could be corrected with some “common sense” i.e. removal of un-historic electro boxes and overhead lines, artificial elevations, Victorian light posts and a mish-mash of benches, bancos, walls, and otherwise obnoxious chain link obstructions?

After all, and typically the local Coop cleans up its unfortunate by-laws, nine years later, by simply deleting members’ designations re:   term limits, while the local news editor (La School Marm) blames the victim-members of same for not showing up, despite their having showed up nine years ago and passing the by-laws that were summarily excised.

Similarly, in the Town, the local populace showed up at charettes and participated rather like a community only to see a reputable study and their hard work shelved, again, several years ago. So now the Town would ask locals to show up and get sucker-punched (again).


Just as the bait-and-switch Trump administration uses bureaucrats to “kidnap” and hold children hostage, while appealing to mean-spirited supporters, so the Town would bureaucratize the language and hold the planning process hostage by “out-sourcing” self-determination to outsiders, despite the presence of a citizenry at once familiar with the “arts of imagination” and conscious of history, who speak the historic languages of the community, whether Tiwa, Spanish, and English but not the “jargon” of elite bureaucrats from Santa Fe?

Meanwhile a local but failing health facility is managed by another outsider who, according to cancer victims, blames the victims for sinning against their own health (not unlike the local victims of the Coop, who are blamed for not participating in their own disenfranchisement by their vecinos).

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you.

Still, there is hope because we have a meritorious example in the community, in a village, organized behind the scenes by the women who tired of the lies told by “good old boys” in El Salto. For the heirs of El Salto de Agua have kicked out the pirates of Christmas Trees, hunting, hiking, and wood permits, stopped the fraudulent trade in forged documents, and can only wonder about the “disappeared dough?”

Oh yes, there has been an upheaval in Arroyo Seco-El Salto, where incompetence has roiled the community center and the parciantes on the historic acequias of Arroyo Seco and Rio Lucero as well as members of the MDWCA, courageous souls, have questioned the deceptive practices of the “Abeyta” flim-flam agents. Up there the natives, grown restless, lanced the boil of corruption because the brave heirs from far and wide journeyed to El Salto de Agua’s annual meeting: they got tired of getting screwed by their neighbors and relatives.

One can only hope that a new generation of Taosenos will rise up and take control of their own town, Taos, a town that has outsourced leadership to “itinerant professionals” (again).

P.S. The story in The Taos News about “El Salto de Agua” didn’t have too many mistakes. One was major: your former local sheriff, Charlie Martinez (not Christopher Martinez) was elected to the board. Course The Taos News has always loved Erminio Martinez and Luis Reyes (KCEC) the way Fox News loves Trump in distinct contrast to what the cognoscenti y la gente believe and know about those who have so much in common with the tweeter.

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