Thursday, December 17, 2009

EDITORIAL: Legislators Have Work Cut Out For Them

By John Severance
Mountain Mail Editor

Where to cut?
That is the question facing state legislators, Senator Howie Morales, Senator David Ulibarri and Representative Don Tripp, who met their constituents in Socorro Tuesday.
I don’t envy them a bit because what is facing them is a formidable task.
In January, the legislators are meeting in Santa Fe and the big question is: how do you deal with a $650 million budget shortfall??
Ulibarri probably summed it best.
“It’s going to be a tough 30-day session,” Ulibarri told the 75 people in attendance in the Socorro City Council Chamber. “It’s going to be a train wreck.”
It is going to be a train wreck because the legislators have to figure out where to cut.
And most of the people in attendance were there to plead their case not to cut their respective programs too badly.
Mayor Ravi Bhasker was on hand to plead the city’s case. Manager Delilah Walsh was there to plead the county’s case. Representatives from the Socorro Soil and Water District, NM GRADS, San Antonio Water Association, San Acacia Water Association, Healthy Family, SCOPE, Food Storehouse and Socorro Mental Health also were on hand.
In one of the lighter moments, Angelo Santomenna stepped to podium and he was all smiles, thanking the legislators for the money that the San Acacia Water Association used for its project.
“Thank you for the money you gave us,” Santomenna said. “I want to thank everybody.”
Santomenna even suggested to the legislators they should come to San Acacia for a photo opportunity.
I am sure the legislators were seriously thinking about it.
None of the legislators made any promises to anybody. And for now, that probably is a good thing because they have a lot to sort through.
“I want to thank Terry (Tadano of the Chamber of Commerce) for putting this together,’ Morales said. “This really helps us prioritize. We have to keep our options open.”
Tripp said: “We are all in this together.”
And Ulibarri said: “We have had some good times but this is a wakeup call. It’s time to get back to basics.”
What’s important is the people of Socorro and Catron counties give as much input as possible to the legislators.
Hopefully that can help them make some informed decisions.
That’s about all we can ask for.
Chamber News
Since we are talking about money, the Chamber recently was awarded a grant for $87,300. Andy Dotson of Raychester Jewelers approached Tadano almost a year a go and asked if the Chamber could assist his business.
Tadano got to work, researching different grants and his work apparently paid off. Tadano decided to buy around $50,000 worth of equipment for the jewelry businesses and then use the remainder of the money to assist the Socorro Farmers market with the
purchase of commercial kitchen equipment.
The City of Socorro, Farmer’s Market and Chamber are partnering to establish a commercial Kitchen for the community.
Deborah Dean also received a McCune grant on behalf of the Farmers market for $10,000 of equipment.
Odds and ends
Be careful out there in cyberspace.
Here is a word of warning from the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.
The New Mexico Attorney General's Office has received reports of a fraudulent H1N1 vaccination opportunity email circulating the country.
The office has confirmed with the Center for Disease Control that the email is bogus and should be ignored and deleted.

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