CORE ‘grossly misled’ the people of Edgewood

As Mayor of Edgewood it troubles me to see the signs around town which declare, “Stop corruption.” The signs were placed in various spots by the field crew from EPCOR as they work to help their surrogates at CORE try and change our form of government. Around Edgewood the only corruption I’ve seen has been from CORE and their patrons at EPCOR as they’ve grossly misled the good people of Edgewood into this very expensive and wholly unnecessary election that we now find ourselves embroiled in.

Back in March CORE promised the people of Edgewood an election to change our type of government in August, which, if their side prevailed, would immediately result in a change to the new style of government which would then be quickly followed by a November 2020 election of five new Commissioners.

Since March we have learned that the only promise they made which has been kept was this costly special election in August. In May the New Mexico Secretary of State shot down their promise of a November 2020 election to elect five new commissioners. This past week the New Mexico Attorney General shot down their promise of an immediate change to the new style of government if their side prevails in the special election. The five current members of the Governing Body will remain in place as Mayor and Councilors until January 1, 2022.

We also learned this past week that as the ballots for this special election began arriving in our boxes at the Post Office, CORE and their leader Jerry Powers stationed their own recycle bins in the lobby of the Post Office in case anyone needed a place to discard an unwanted ballot. They also provided campaign workers who stood in the lobby and directed people picking up their mail how to vote. According to poster 7, titled, United States Postal Service, Rules and Regulations Governing Conduct on Postal Property, these are direct violations of Federal laws governing campaign activities on United States Postal property. One lie after another, after another, and now the very real possibility of actual ballot tampering by CORE and its leaders.

Corruption can take many forms, but repeatedly lying to people to try and topple a legally elected government and then setting up private recycle bins which could be used for illegal ballot harvesting right in the lobby of a United States Postal facility have to be ranked as the worst forms of corruption that I have ever witnessed in the 60 years that I have lived here.

The New Mexico Secretary of State, and the New Mexico Attorney General have already issued opinions which contradict CORE’s major claims. If you would like to stop corruption and haven’t yet voted your ballot then please join with me, and vote against the lying and ballot tampering that CORE represents. Let’s send a clear message to the world that their corruption is not welcome in Edgewood.

John Bassett, Mayor, Town of Edgewood

 

Business bashing is bad form

Maybe you’ve noticed some people on social media have taken up the bad habit of business bashing. This is truly in bad form and shows a lack of understanding (and compassion) for our local small businesses and their employees.

Every business, large or small, has had to adjust to frequently changing regulations, to shoulder significant extra, unbudgeted costs for safety and cleaning supplies, and are struggling to maintain staff in light of the unemployment ‘bonus’ subsidies. Our local small businesses, many of which are owned and operated by local families, do not have departments of people to help navigate all the new regulations or deep pockets to financially weather these shutdown storms. Many have had to make heart-wrenching decisions, trying to keep on their staff who are like family to them or making sure they can keep their doors open to serve the community.

Please realize when you complain on social media about ‘business x’ or ‘business y’ not doing something you think they should or doing something you would prefer they not, that you are just piling on even more burden and more stress to that local business owner. Have a neighborly conversation, express your concerns or your kudos. Most businesses are doing their best, don’t try to harm a business or bash them because you disagree. Businesses are in a difficult Catch-22, they are being asked to enforce regulations they have no legal authority to enforce. They have customers on both sides of every issue. They also are facing significant fines under ADA or HIPPA regulations if they deny access or inquire about limitations (not all disabilities are visible or obvious). Meanwhile, they are trying to keep their staff and themselves safe while serving the community.

A case is currently before the NM Supreme Court arguing that the extreme $5,000 per day fines the state is imposing on small businesses are excessive and unjust. How do we expect our local and New Mexico economy to survive, let alone recover, if we do not support each other? Businesses create jobs; jobs buy family groceries, clothing, and pay the rent; taxes paid on local purchases support local government services and infrastructure. We are all interconnected.

We hope that everyone chooses to be informed consumers. We also kindly ask you to remember that opinion guides choices for you and your family, and that others may have different opinions and choices for themselves and their families. The East Mountains and Estancia Valley have always been friendly places where people help one and other. Let’s not allow the stress of today’s environment to change that, especially not at a time when we really need to support each other and keep our communities strong.

Linda Burke, Executive Director

Greater Edgewood Area Chamber of Commerce

 

 

Tailgated by a BCSO deputy in Tijeras Canyon

I have nothing but the greatest respect of those who wear a badge. The desire by the Marxists to defund the police is absurd. I defend the police—but that could change. A deputy’s behavior last Friday in Tijeras Canyon around 1:45pm wins the BCSO no favors. I was in the left lane heading home to Edgewood and a deputy tailgated me for approximately two miles. He was so close that I could not see his grille or headlights in my rearview mirror. I could go no faster to get past a long slow slog of semis in the middle lane or I’d break the law. Slowing would elevate the danger of his doing. The officer’s warning lights nor siren were on. There was no apparent emergency—no call for me to pull to the shoulder. The officer’s actions were discourteous—and dangerous. That’s why, understandably, were I to do that him or any other driver, I would be cited. The deputy needs a swift boot in the seat of the pants.
Craig Springer, Edgewood

 

 

‘Think hard before you mark that ballot’

Have you ever bought a “pig in a poke?” If you are not familiar with the term, it refers to buying something sight unseen, not knowing what you are getting. Seems to me this is what a small group of people, CORE, is asking you to do. Please, before you believe those baseless charges of “waste , fraud, and abuse,” think carefully before you vote for “the man behind the curtain.” The proposed change in Edgewood’s form of government takes away your right to directly vote for Mayor and all four Council seats. It allows you to vote for only one of the five “commissioners” who will hire the unknown Town Manager.

Think hard before you mark that ballot.

Don Holle, Edgewood

 

 

Proud of neighboring communities

I want to congratulate you on the quality of The Independent and the news that you report about East Mountain concerns.

I especially enjoyed what’s happening in Tijeras. Mayor Bruton is to be congratulated on the way he and his team are being “pro-active” about improving their community. It’s like the town was “dead” but with new leadership has “come alive.”

I’m always proud of neighboring communities that really

work for their citizens, and not just themselves as office-

holders.

Three Cheers for The Independent and Tijeras!

Richard Hahn, Sandia Park

 

 

‘Astonished at the mudslinging and accusations’

As a former longtime employee of the Town of Edgewood I’m astonished at the mudslinging and accusations being thrown about by CORE and a few disgruntled residents of the Town of Edgewood blaming the current administration of Mayor John Bassett for follies of past administrations.

During the Brad Hill administration, funding for our road department materials budget was slashed approximately 40 percent and the quality of our roads started to deteriorate while the administration pursued an infill annexation, which further burdened the road department because there was no forethought given as to how the town would fund improvements to the extra 8 miles of roads in the areas to be annexed once it became a reality.

When the Bassett Administration came into office in 2016, the new Mayor and his Town Clerk, and Deputy Clerk sat down with department heads and worked to enhance department budgets and improve town infrastructure such as moving the Town administrative offices and the library to the old Edgewood elementary school which resulted in substantial savings for the Town. They then moved the police department out of a new building that was woefully inadequate for that purpose and relocated it to the old Fire Department building near I-40. That building, purchased for one (1) dollar from Santa Fe County, provided the Police Department much more space for their operations and located them right in the middle of their highest call area. Next they moved the Municipal Court into the former police department building.

At my department, the new administration worked to get crack filling done on most of the paved roads, and a double penetration chip seal on East Dinkle Rd to keep it from deteriorating to the point it would need to be replaced. During a period when Legislative outlays were scarce, the Bassett administration managed to pave South Horton Road from Dinkle Road south to the frontage road. One accomplishment that often goes unmentioned when comparing administrations is the fact that Bassett’s administration doubled the materials budget for the road department, which in turn allowed us to apply more gravel on more roads.

All this uproar and mudslinging seems to have come about because the town has investigated acquiring EPCOR water. EPCOR has enlisted two town councilors and few disgruntled residents to oppose the town in any manner possible. It makes me wonder where were these concerned citizens were when the Hill administration was wasting tax dollars to study all the prior missteps while pointing the finger at everybody else. I surmise that the current administration has been more forthcoming and transparent that the others and this has brought about all the mudslinging and misinformation from CORE.

Please, people of Edgewood, carefully consider your vote in this special election because the current administration has worked tirelessly to enhance the Town of Edgewood and deserves your support to continue in the current form of government.

I once told one of my former co-workers, be careful what you wish for because you may get worse than what you’ve got!

Norton Henninger

Town of Edgewood Road Supervisor, Retired

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.