Archive for July, 2008

Eh! We Will! No, We Won’t — Well, We Might?

By Chuck Ring

We reported that Santa Fe County had voted to shed themselves of the rest of the North Central Transit District and opt to join with their buddies in Santa Fe City to create their very own transit district. Our report can be accessed at this location

A Pox On A Taxing Situation ….

But, it seems the shedding was more like a temporary shearing according to a report from today’s Free New Mexican to be found here:

County Reconsiders Transit District

This potential action does not bode well for the Edgewood Community, just as the other direction contemplated by the two Santa Fes was a boondoggle for us. We will, if past history is any indication, see Santa Fe County place the proposed tax on the ballot for a county wide referendum and we will pay again for a project over which we have no control. Although our commissioner, Mike Anaya, has worked to assist us in the past he is now on the side of the transit tax and in spite of his efforts in the past on other issues, we see little to encourage us for the future as to a transit tax that will benefit Edgewood.

As reported previously, we have contributed over $900,000 through the 1/4 cent gross receipts tax supposedly for county wide water and wastewater projects and we have yet to see a return for that investment. Additionally, we do not have a seat at the table to govern how the money is expended, while Santa Fe City and Santa Fe County has four councilors and four commissioners respectively sitting on the board that governs the expenditure of the 1/4 cent tax. There are of course other county wide gross receipts taxes paid by Edgewood and as Edgewood prospers, its contribution will grow exponentially.

Whatever, the two Santa Fes may do, whether shedding or shearing … Edgewood will surely get a skinning and a shellacking.

All Together — Can We say, “Again?”

By Chuck Ring

Santa Fe County will use bond proceeds which are supported by gross receipts taxes assessed county wide to finance yet another northern county project. Sometimes it seems that the county’s unilateral ways cause gross receipts taxes to fall out of the sky, but the truth is they tumble from businesses throughout Santa Fe County.

In some sense, folks in the Edgewood area should have little concern for taxes ripped from the City of Santa Fe (Santa Fe City gets more than its share) or other communities within the county, but we should be concerned for the tumbling taxes which roll from Edgewood to the Santa Fe County lock safes. In four to five years, if not sooner, all combined gross receipts taxes taken by Santa Fe County from Edgewood may amount to at least a million dollars a year. All such taxes taken from Edgewood to date as a cumulative total far surpass a million dollars. Over a million dollars that we as a community have little say about whether, or even when, some of the monies might gravitate downhill and back to Edgewood.

More on the mud pies from here:

County To Help Pay For El Dorado System Upgrades

What To Expect When The Promises Flow

By Chuck Ring

Theodore Roosevelt writing in the “Outlook,” July 28,1900 used the words of Machiavelli to explain several political traits of the day. Those traits, it seems, have not slipped away and they are worth repeating in part: “It is necessary to be a great deceiver and hypocrite; for men are so simple and yield so readily to the wants of the moment that he who will trick shall always find another who will suffer himself to be tricked….” Of course we all see events through a different prism or kaleidescope and a deceptive politician will seldom admit to trickery or hypocrisy, just as the one tricked will not likely admit to being deceived.

Short-sightedness and downright poor judgment are old political faults. Edgewood has certainly seen its share of both faults and it appears that Edgewood’s present administration is setting the stage for a major blunder. During a recent council meeting, the mayor championed a course of action that ultimately resulted in the governing body voting to assume the library which has for the past 17 or so years, operated with a volunteer board. During the previous 8 or 9 years, the Town of Edgewood has subsidized the library’s operation starting with a $500.00 a month stipend and growing to over $20,000.00 a year until the town agreed to cause the library to be a public library. I for one, stood in support of the library becoming a public library; however, I cautioned the mayor and the councilors against rushing to finalize the action until an inspection of the soundness and adaptability of the current library building could be made. I particularly drew their attention to the possibility that the building might not meet the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act. As unfortunate circumstances would have it, the town’s code enforcement officer inspected the building and determined that there were some forty deficiencies and that under the building’s present condition the town should consider rectifying the problems. Two members of the governing body seemed to downplay the importance of the deficiencies, one of which centered on the faulty wheelchair ramp. The mayor made a statement regarding wheelchair maneuverability inside the building, in effect stating that those in wheelchairs would favor using the computers and access to the remainder of the library might not be critical. »» What To Expect When The Promises Flow

Edgewood Wal-Mart and Others Assist During Funding Crisis For Music Festival

By Chuck Ring

Wal-Mart’s James Torres Presents Check To Bill Brown Of Wildlife West


As is usual, Wal-Mart and its employees show their community spirit in times of need. Above, Edgewood Wal-Mart Manager James Torres presents a check in the amount of $1500 to Wildlife West volunteer and kitten (Mountain Lion) buddy, Bill Brown. This donation was made to help fund this year’s music festival.

Following Edgewood’s governing body’s failure to follow through on funding of this years music festival, Wildlife West Nature Park has found that it is in dire need of funds to meet its obligations under a contract signed when the city passed the funding during last fiscal year’s budget process. The funding was not forthcoming due to an initial Edgewood Attorney’s opinion that the funding by Edgewood amounted to a violation of the state’s anti-donation clause. Although it seems that the attorney has now come full circle Attorney twists, then turns Edgewood’s governing body has not moved to fund the festival. Discussion by the governing body during one council meeting focused on the possibility of the Town of Edgewood funding and operating the festival in future years; an idea which certainly has not been thought out to any extent as will be seen once a pencil is put to paper regarding the matter.

Citizens and civic minded businesses, such as Liberty Square Development, Mail and Copy, TechSmiths, the Doghouse, Howard Calkins, Myra Oden, Sue West, Rita-Loy Simmons, Linda Hill, Gary Hill, Furniture Connection, WeckTech and others have moved forward to fund the festival through flea-markets, donations and other means. But, it appears that there will still be a substantial shortfall for the project. There is a window of opportunity of approximately two weeks to raise additional funds. Citizens will have an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for valuable items at Smith’s and Wal-Mart parking lots on Saturday, July 26th. Anyone wishing to contribute or otherwise offer their assistance is asked to contact Roger Alink at Wildlife West Nature Park at 505-281-7655. If there is no answer, please consider leaving your number for a return call. Roger can also be contacted by email:

info@wildlifewest.org

Don’t forget the music festival 2008 Music Festival

Checking In From The Road

by John Weckerle

We join you today from Florida, where we are visiting friends and family.  For the last couple of days, we have been staying at the home of Rufus, the now-famous Hallmark dog.  Rufus is a finalist in Hallmark’s pet photo contest, and his card is now the No. 2 best seller of the series.  The photo is titled “What Chocolate Cake?”  Rufus lives with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law in Brooksville.  Those who would like to help Rufus win the contest by voting for him can do so here.

Estancia Basin Water Plan Update Now Available

by John Weckerle

The final draft of the Estancia Basin Water Plan 2008 Update is now available online (6.2 MB PDF file). Copies of the plan may also be obtained at the Claunch-Pinto and East Torrance Soil and Water Conservation Districts (addresses may be found in the announcement). Comments will be accepted through September 17, 2008. They may be submitted via e-mail to cheri.lujan@nm.nacdnet.net or by regular mail to the following address:

EBWPC Comments
Box 58, 715 S. 5th Street
Estancia, NM 87016

Prepared for the Estancia Basin Water Planning Committee (EBWPC) by Hydro Resolutions, LLC, the approximately 115-page report provides updated information on water resources within the basin and discusses public policy and how it affects the future of the basin’s water supply. The plan discusses alternatives for management, conservation, water development, infrastructure, and water quality programs. According to Section 3 of the document, public involvement will include public meetings to be held at several locations throughout the Estancia Basin.

Town of Edgewood Violates Its Own Sign Ordinance

by John Weckerle

In its effort to create a dramatic display of sign-removal authority, the Town of Edgewood appears to have violated at least one provision of its own sign ordinance.

In a partial response to a New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act request for information, Ms. Estefanie Muller stated that “only one violation has been issued,” – this despite the fact that dozens of signs were on display at the July 4, 2008 Town Council. In an odd twist, the violation provided in the response was not for any of the signs present at that meeting, or for an illegally placed sign, but for a billboard that had been vandalized. That violation was issued last December.

Section 10.B of the Edgewood sign ordinance states: “The first time a sign or signs are removed from public property, the person, business, or service identified on the sign will be given a notice of violation.” The ordinance provides the Town with no discretion in that matter. In effect, by not issuing the violations, the Town may have denied the sign owners due process, since the owners would have had no way of knowing that their signs had been removed by the Town (as opposed to having been stolen). »» Town of Edgewood Violates Its Own Sign Ordinance

Windfall? The Citizens Of Edgewood Know Zero!

By Chuck Ring

Now before you get upset and think that I’m insinuating that Edgewood citizens are stupid or even generally ignorant, please read on.

What does this story have to do with Edgewood? http://www.santafenewmexican.com/SantaFeNorthernNM/Tax-law-changes-led-to-city-windfall

One might think little to nothing since the Town of Edgewood has not shared news about its proceeds as proceeds are generally mentioned in the Santa Fe New Mexican piece. Due to the mishmash of mistakes and procedural errors cited in the story, we might think this is the “Motley Accrue” of finances.

Whether it is a secret or whether Edgewood just has not received it’s windfall is unknown, but we would hope that the amount will be substantial and the entire governing body will meet to determine a logical and reasonable way to spend the money on non-recurring needs. Can we suggest road improvements, recreation infrastructure or other projects that might benefit the entire community? Why not purchase the old labor training camp if the funds are sufficient? The camp is contained within 20 acres, it has two water wells and two buildings (one with substantial space) and although it is not in the town limits, it well could be in the future (it does not have to be for Edgewood to purchase it.) With creative minds, the property use could meet the needs of Edgewood in many areas, i.e., education, recreation, and/or future waste transfer station and recycling center. Reasoned thought can end with appropriate utilization.

Shh! Don’t tell anyone that it was even remotely my idea. The suggestion would be killed in a flash.

Edgewood To Get Small Business Incubator

by John Weckerle

Motorists passing the old Radio Shack building in Edgewood may have noticed some renovation in progress in recent weeks. As it turns out, Edgewood will soon be getting the region’s first small business incubator facility, thanks to Liberty Development, which is moving its office to the front of the building and renovating space for lease to small businesses. So far, one company, WeckTech, has indicated that it is interested in leasing one of the larger spaces, and at least one other enterprise is considering the possibility of relocating to the facility.

According to Liberty Development’s Lori Harris, it will be at least a year or two before the space currently occupied by the building will be needed in the context of the firm’s plan for developing the site. Rather than leave the building empty or tear it down early, Liberty began considering ways to put the facility to use for the benefit of the community and started by providing space to Hugs for Horses, a thrift store that benefits Walking In Circles Ranch. A substantial part of the building is being remodeled to provide reasonably priced office space. Typically, businesses remain in an incubator facility for one to two years, which integrates well into the timetable for developing the site. According to Ms. Harris, Liberty hopes that the occupants will be able to move into some of the new office space that is part of the overall plan for the development. »» Edgewood To Get Small Business Incubator

ONE AND A HALF OUT OF TWO, ISN’T BAD

by Chuck Ring

Readers will recall, that this article http://nm-central.com/blog/?p=93 suggested that the public would be notified that the wastewater treatment plant for Edgewood would be online sometime in 2010. As luck, but not a lot of it would have it, the mayor and town staff have informed that it will be around mid-2009 before the town toilet can be flushed. This, after many heard the mayor during his last campaign and since being elected promise a 2008 completion date. But, this was before the interest savings scheme was brought forward and discussed. Count on a mid-2009 or beyond date for utilization of the town’s facility. And, although there has been some effort to assist the town with Wal-Mart’s wastewater system; apparently heavy capacity modifications or adjustments may have to be made for the Town of Edgewood to make decent use of the Wal-Mart unit. In any case, if the town wants to take advantage of the Wal-Mart opportunity (if it isn’t already lost due to inaction) it (the town) can’t sleep on their lack of laurels vis-a-vis the long delay of its facility. »» ONE AND A HALF OUT OF TWO, ISN’T BAD

Grow Your Own XVII – Night Of The Living Gourds

by John Weckerle

This week’s Friday morning garden post was slightly delayed by the need to get to work early on Le Barn 1.0 in advance of their Grand Name Change Celebration tomorrow, July 19. Apparently, the delay has not kept the garden from producing food.

The garden is now producing straightneck yellow, zucchini, and the previously discussed unusual yellow summer squash on a more-or-less daily basis. A number of these were combined this evening into Uncle John’s Calabacitas, discussed below. More and more tiny young tomatoes are making an appearance, and it appears that one of the broccoli heads may be ready for collection in the next day or two. I suspect that close inspection tomorrow morning may reveal the formation of the first few string beans, as they have been flowering for some time. Lettuces continue to yield plenty of salad fixings. Unfortunately, the peppers in the raised beds seem overwhelmed by their neighbors – but the Potted Pepper Plantation, which seemed doomed to the point of avoiding mention in this blog – is beginning to show some promise.

The nature of the mystery squash appears a mystery no more; it looks very much like a spaghetti squash, as suspected. »» Grow Your Own XVII – Night Of The Living Gourds

Will It or Will it Not; Vote For Reason, That Is?

By Chuck Ring

The Edgewood Town Council meets tonight to discuss a”final” budget for this fiscal year. One topic which has been under consideration would see the operation of the wastewater treatment plant delayed until sometime in 2010. For those who have waited in vain for the plant to become flushable and who have seen the cost escalate toward a blackhole; this is not good news. Ostensibly, those who advocate this delay, are doing so for interest savings of around $60,000.00. After seeing prices for material and labor take its toll on the total cost of the plant; one wonders why the advocates believe this is a steady course to steer. We think it is not and will urge the council to jump off the dime and let the bid for the next phase and then the final phase.

But wait! There’s more! Several businesses have given notice in one form or another that they want to operate in Edgewood and they are not keen on operating a septic system while taking care of other aspects of their business operations. So, we pay more to complete the system and we are apt to lose many thousands of dollars in new tax revenue by neglecting to pursue the completion of the plant at the earliest possible moment. Penny wise and pound foolish, we could say. »» Will It or Will it Not; Vote For Reason, That Is?

Moriarty Man Convicted In Arizona

by John Weckerle

Donald Lee Condra, known locally as Lee Obarr, was convicted yesterday in Kingman, Arizona of eight felony counts of forgery, theft, fraudulent schemes and artifices, and tampering with a computer. Scheduled to be sentenced August 13, Condra/Obarr as been ordered to be held without bond and may face decades in prison. A second case, involving charges of falsifying bank statements, will be tried in September. More information can be found in this Mohave Daily News Article.

Twinkle, Twinkle…

by John Weckerle

On a clear night, especially one when there are not too many lights shining and the four guys in Moriarty with the annoying flashlights are on vacation, New Mexico’s real central valley and the East West Mountains have a wonderful, naked-eye view of the cosmos. We here at New Mexico Central love it, and it’s always a treat to pass on an opportunity for another way to enjoy it.

Today, we’re providing a link to Heavens Above’s excellent resource, which helps us try and identify the constellations above us. The search begins with their Select Town(s) page. Enter the name of the nearest town (just the town, don’t include the state), and pick the correct town from the list. Under Astronomy, select “Whole Sky Chart.” The resulting page shows the default star chart, and users can input date/time to get the right configuration for whatever time they wish. Options include “Black on white” or “Coloured” for the star chart; if you print it to take outside at night, “Black on white” is your logical choice. “Size,” in pixels, specifies the size of the square image output by the system. We ramped it up to 4000, with virtually no delay – although the image does look a bit choppy at that size. »» Twinkle, Twinkle…

If You Are Fortunate, You Might…

by Chuck Ring

Have your very own backyard park of 680 acres (Section 32/29) or a backyard park with 248 acres (Section 34). This might come about if your property borders the sections mentioned and a proposed Open Space Fence and Gate Policy as described in the document in the following URL becomes actual policy:

https://share.acrobat.com/adc/document.do?docid=d8221d55-cf53-4021-913f-d7123b76bbb5

As regards the 680 acre park, I have to be torn between happiness for the affected residents or feel extreme consternation with our mayor and some on our town council for the rest of us who might want to enjoy the 680 acres of open space from a more accessible location than that under consideration for common access. That is, in spite of several suggestions for consideration of alternative access sites or points, the mayor and some others through their silence, seem to believe that the only viable location for access is a location approximately five or six miles from the center of the Town of Edgewood. Not only are possible alternate sites important for less privileged citizens (those who do not border on the open space land) but, having several access points will be important for fire and personal injury access (fire apparatus and EMT). »» If You Are Fortunate, You Might…