Councilors deserve time
to consider appointments
In the March 27, 2002, “Opinion” section of the News-Bulletin, three Bosque Farms villagers thanked you for their view of a well-balanced and accurate article regarding the council’s vote to table the mayor’s appointments to certain positions within the village until the next council meeting. However, I, too, was at that meeting, and I observed another side.
Mayor Roger Baldwin exhibited a pitiful example of a little boy who was invited to a game of marbles, and, when he did not win all the marbles, he went crying to his mother (in this case, the News-Bulletin). Baldwin did not put the names of his proposed appointees and their proposed positions in writing as is required in the village ordinances. He threw out a list of names just prior to the council meeting and expected a blanket approval without informing the councilors of his proposed appointments and/or positions.
Obviously, Bob James, Dolly Wallace and Sharon Eastman have forgotten that (Ginger) Eldridge and (David) Linthicum ran on, and obviously won on, a platform of supporting the residents of the village and having accountability to those residents and not on a platform of blindly supporting the mayor.
And why should the police chief, village administrator and village treasurer not be held up to scrutiny? These are appointed positions and not elected officials. This review is a municipal procedure which, in this case, occurs every two years, since there is an election of officials every two years. And who knows what is in their personnel files without a review? … Eldridge and Linthicum had a right to familiarize themselves with these appointed people prior to voting for them. And the mayor had an obligation to inform them in writing of his proposed appointments at least a week ahead of the council meeting and not with a hastily-thrown-out list of names (no positions listed) five minutes before the meeting and then expecting a blanket vote of approval.
The blame for this major screw-up rests solely on the shoulders of Mayor Baldwin and his … ego. Dolly Wallace pointed out that the mayor is an elected official of the village and deserves respect, however, he should earn that respect by conducting himself in the manner which accompanies his elected position and to follow the rules and ordinances which go along with that elected position.
If the mayor has the authority with a 24-hour notice to the councilors and the village to call a special meeting to clear this fiasco up, why has he not done so by now?
Information needed first
I have received many phone calls and letters regarding the re-appointment of Village of Bosque Farms appointed officials. I have also seen a number of letters to the editor in the News-Bulletin. I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss this issue.
I ran on a platform of coming to meetings prepared, with a clear understanding of the issues to be voted upon. The re-appointments of key village employees, as well as appointees for several village commissions, were placed on the agenda for the last village council meeting. We were unable to learn who the mayor would put forth for appointment to the positions of village clerk, village treasurer and police chief. Nor were we told who would be put forth for the various boards of the village. In fact, David Linthicum and myself were at the village offices prior to the council meeting and asked if the mayor had provided this information. We were told no.
Because the people who do serve in these positions run our village on a day-to-day basis, and because the people who do serve on the boards are important in the day-to-day running of this village, these are important issues. I feel it is in the best interest of the village to make a decision with a full understanding of what each position requires and to know about the people I am voting to appoint to those positions. I am accountable for voting the way I do. If I vote for anyone, without looking at the appropriate paperwork, I’d be remiss in my job.
In fact, it is my opinion that, once we were given this information and had a reasonable time to consider the available facts, a special meeting to approve the appointment of these positions would be appropriate. The smooth running of the village is very important. It is so important that I am willing to spend the additional time needed to correct this situation.
This is an issue about being given the opportunity to make informed decisions about issues that affect the Village of Bosque Farms.
Further, as I have been attempting to contact people that are on the list we were provided of possible appointees, I have been surprised to find that several of these people did not want to serve on a board nor were they asked if they were willing to do so. I appreciate those that have taken the time to contact me. I, for one, will attempt to contact everyone on the list we were provided because I want to know a little bit about him or her and learn where they feel they can best serve the community. For me, this is a matter of finding the time to do just that.
It is sacred ground
I am writing this letter in regards to the March 23 article, “Controversy in the Campo-santo.” All I can say is, what a tragedy!
The fact that the VIA would put a sewage treatment plant so close to such a sacred land is a tragic disgrace! I think we all need to wake up and realize just what is going on around us, and perhaps even demand that these kinds of actions be dealt with before they get easily swept under the rug. I was surprised to read the many insulting comments made by Mr. Davey on the adjacent article. He claims it “impossible for untreated sewer water to leak into the graveyard because of the way the plant is constructed.” Experts also claimed the Titanic could not, would not, sink.
But, along with this, I think the larger issue is a moral one. And perhaps the real problem is not really what can go wrong with the technical workings of the sewage treatment, but instead what is wrong with the plant itself. Its placement is a tragic disgrace, not only to the people of Tomé but to all human beings who put such confidence and sacredness on a “final place of rest.” This is not just a graveyard. It is sacred ground.
“I do not want to get people needlessly upset,” Mr. Davey says in his closing. Well, I think we won’t be needlessly silent any more, and what may seem like anger is only a demand to restore sacredness.
Questions need answers
As a new resident of Rio Communities, many of us are now receiving an invitation from Peoples Energy to an open house … for information on their proposed power plant, Valencia Energy, on April 4.
My first question is: why are they doing an open house instead of a public town meeting? It would be nice to hear everyone’s questions and what the answers are. The following are some of my concerns.
What are the economic benefits they are promising? How many permanent jobs will be provided? Which construction company will they use? How many local jobs will they provide?
What taxes will they pay? Exactly how much will go to our local economy?
How will this plant attract further economic development to the community?
How much water is this plant going to use? Where are they going to get their water? How many years will they be taking our water? What will happen to the water that they use? Will any of it stay in our water system? How is this plant’s water usage going to affect our east mesa aquifer? Is this plant going to expand within a couple of years like all the other power plants do? How much more water will it take then?
Who will be paying for the improved infrastructure: roads, gas and water lines, railroad crossings, transmission lines, increased fire protection?
How much is this going to impact real estate values in Rio Communities and the subdivision lots right next door to the proposed site? How much is it going to lower the property values and thus lower the property tax revenues of surrounding real estate?
Where are all those tons of air pollutants going to go? How will this affect my friends with asthma and emphysema? How are the lights and heat going to affect our night skies? How will our tourism be impacted?
I am a new resident of this lovely community and thought that by moving here none of the above would be happening. I am shocked. These are serious questions and I am concerned. I hope you will be, too.
Q: What do you think about the riots that occurred after the basketball games this week?
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