‘CORE successfully gridlocked Edgewood’
It has been a difficult and tedious task attempting to keep sanity, logic and lawfulness as parts of our Town’s governance over the last thirteen years. Now, it has become impossible. Caused by councilors, whose coordinated efforts and probably compromised intentions, have derailed progress on many Town operations and projects. Since taking office, neither Councilor Jaramillo nor Abraham can credit themselves with accomplishing anything other than obstruction of the Town’s business. The question I have asked myself is – Why? The full answer is intriguing and complex. Part of the answer is water. Part of the answer is money. The easy answer is EPCOR.
Under Mayor Brad Hill the council decided to explore the possibilities of purchasing the water utility. That exploration moved forward under the new administration. Because a foreign corporate interest owns our water and the service for many of our homes, the town has challenges and obstacles which most other communities do not have.
The most direct obstacle is to economic development. A municipally owned water utility can use the provision of service or the extension of service as an economic development tool thru the Local Economic Development Act, or LEDA. LEDA allows the Town to enter contracts which bring businesses in to better the economy for the community thru various incentives. It’s no secret that the interest of a privately owned utility is for its shareholders to profit. Bettering the local community will never be a priority. A private company charges for new development, making industry and commerce more expensive for any business wanting to locate here.
The other challenge is to improve the service and quality of the water in our community. According to EPCOR, “This cannot be done without a major rate increase.” However, if the utility were owned by the municipality, it would qualify for both State and Federal funding, much of it in the form of grants, which cost ratepayers nothing and would allow improvement of the water quality and the infrastructure.
Edgewood has been poised to move forward on many projects but has been held back by burdensome and continual Inspection of Public Records Act requests from two councilors and from a group known as “CORE” (aka EPCOR). This strategy tied up town staff and took them off the tasks of furthering Town business. These tactics, along with burdensome lawsuits, have wrapped the town in controversy and rancor. Combined with the propaganda, false narratives, and scare tactics employed on social media, at their meetings, and elsewhere, CORE mobilized voters to make changes to the government with an underlying desire to thwart progress by the Town. Perhaps all in their self-interest to control the corporate directions of the water company with the hope to add to their pocketbooks?
CORE, with the assistance it received from Councilors Jaramillo and Abraham, have successfully gridlocked our Town government and stopped any progress on road improvements, trail construction, recreational area improvements, and public events. Together, they caused the wrongful removal of the Mayor from his elected office and have inspired three of the best, most productive, and gifted people the Town has ever employed to seek employment elsewhere.
Now, due to the desire to “wait and leave the hiring of a clerk treasurer up to the new government” the Governing Body is again at a stalemate, but now our Town is left without the ability to pay bills or even conduct meetings legally. “Councilor” Abraham whose membership on the Governing Body has been in question for over two years is now facing allegations of acts which constitute felony conspiracy and fraud. Yet, she and Councilor Jaramillo claim to believe their own charade and that the continuing obstruction is in the interest of our Town.
I swore an oath to uphold the Constitutions of the U.S. The State of New Mexico, and all laws and ordinances of the Nation, the State and the Town. How then is it that we can “wait for the new government” when the law commands the Governing Body to provide an appointed, approved and sworn clerk/ treasurer? Councilors Jaramillo and Abraham have, and are, willfully ignoring the law and have violated their oaths of office. Where is the openness and honesty of these actions from the Councilors who repeatedly purport to be for “open and honest governance”? This new brand of “open and honest” seems to pay little attention to the law.
Edgewood is past the nexus of an election even before the votes are counted. For now, it appears that the corrupt actors in this scheme have prevailed. The unopposed and, therefore, un-elected candidate group of CORE supporters on the ballot will assume office in January. After months of heartless subterfuge by CORE, the reality is that voters of Edgewood were denied an opportunity to choose their representatives. Edgewood’s governance will now be by the group of ruthless, deceitful individuals who conspired together, demoralized staff, ransacked the Towns’ institutional knowledge, and held progress at bay to further self-interest over the betterment of our community.
This is a sad day indeed!
John Abrams, Edgewood Mayor Pro Tem
‘Integrity and openness are vital to a successful government’
The stark differences between myself, Filandro R. Anaya, and my opponent, John Bassett are crystal clear.
I, Filandro Anaya, have effectively served the Edgewood community on the school board (12 years) and on the county planning & zoning board (8 years). It’s a fact that my opponent was removed from office by a judge for violating the town’s nepotism ordinance and malfeasance against the taxpayers of Edgewood. I believe integrity and openness are vital to a successful government and will never give my constituents any reason to question my actions in their service.
Edgewood needs to restore responsible government where the people and elected officials can ask questions, get answers, and respect one and other. The hostile town meetings of the last few years have been an embarrassment to Edgewood and a violation of the public’s trust, I want to see that changed and will work for a civil environment where comments are invited, heard, and respected. The public should not be limited to a narrow topic dictated by a single individual, they should be free to share their thoughts with elected officials at public meetings within reasonable time parameters as set out in the operating resolution.
I am a team player, with a history of working with fellow board members and county officials to get things done. I worked hard on section 16 where the Edgewood Middle School was built. I hold a GB-98 and MM2 (Utility Contractor) Construction licenses which I used to advise the School District on oversight with school construction and many other school projects. My track record shows that I understand the importance of working together with the other commissioners and town manager to make sure our roads are not neglected, that the wastewater treatment plant gets the repairs and attention it needs, that our recreational opportunities are restored and pursued, and that our town facilities and assets are maintained and ready to cheerfully serve all citizens as I have in the past and now in the future.
My 20 years of public service has all been on commission-style boards. That experience and skills set is another big asset that I will bring to the new town commission as additional support while we transition to our new form of governance. The transition will be a process as we work through the problems of the past and get Edgewood on a more positive, healthy path where citizens set the priorities and elected officials and town staff make it happen.
Edgewood, you have a choice who you elect and how this new government will start out. I’ve heard the majority loud and clear say they want to move in an optimistic, constructive new direction. I promise to work for YOUR benefit and to work hard at restoring confidence and civility in our local government. We all deserve that, and I would be honored to serve you. VOTE for Filandro R Anaya for Commissioner District 4, now through November 2 at Edgewood town hall.
Filandro R. Anaya, Edgewood Commissioner Candidate
Edgewood has unique opportunity to fill all five commission seats at once
Edgewood has a unique opportunity in the November 2nd election to choose all 5 of its elected officials at one time. Not since the town was formed in 1999 have we had this opportunity for change. The real choice is between the old-style government that has been ruling over Edgewood putting their own personal agenda first, or government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Edgewood has been through a lot in the last five years under the current oligarchy. John Bassett was removed from the office of Mayor by court order under allegations of Fraud and Nepotism. Edgewood citizens voted in record numbers to change our form of government to Commission/Manager because they didn’t like the way our town government was hijacked for the benefit of the few elected officials running it.
Now, one more step is needed to affect the change the people of Edgewood voted for to restore open, ethical and responsive government by the people to Edgewood. Please vote for the candidates like Filandro Anaya, that believe it is time the people got their government back, rather than the old style, top-down government by the few, for the few. Please use your voice, your vote, to complete the change. Good things are coming to Edgewood if we just use our right to vote.
Jerry Powers, Edgewood Commissioner Candidate