Recently, the Democratic Party of Valencia County, along with the Valencia County community, was shocked to learn of the suspension of the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education by the New Mexico Public Education Department.
The school board was suspended due to “credible evidence that certain members have persistently violated procurement and public access laws, the state Public School Code, and professional ethical standards,” according to PED.
DPVC wants to express our full support for transparency and accountability at all levels of government. Holding public officials accountable and exposing potential misdeeds is a core principle of any functioning democracy. DPVC has full confidence that the PED investigation (which is concluded) will be conducted with care toward the students, families, and employees of Los Lunas Schools, as well as the individuals involved.
Ultimately, DPVC believes the individuals appointed to lead the community forward deserve support from all of us in ensuring that every student in the Los Lunas Schools system receives a high-quality education.
Gabriel K. Gabaldon
Democratic Party of Valencia County
Special session concern
New Mexico has passed recreational marijuana thanks to a special legislative session. Whatever you think about recreational marijuana, do you think it was a good idea to call a special legislative session to pass it?
Calling a special session to pass recreational marijuana was certainly legal. The New Mexico Constitution, Article IV, Section 6 says “Special sessions of the Legislature may be called by the governor …” The governor can call a special legislative session for any reason.
Just because the governor can, does not mean the governor should. Governmental actions are influenced by norms — how things are usually done. Norms matter. George Washington was not legally required to serve only two terms as president under the Constitution, but he did, and that norm stood for more than a century. FDR broke the norm and was elected to three terms, and the Constitution now places a term limit on presidents.
Look in New Mexico’s history and you will find that governors in New Mexico do not normally call special legislative sessions with the primary goal of passing a preferred policy (as opposed to addressing a budget shortfall, for example).
If Gov. Lujan Grisham can call a special session to pass recreational marijuana, a governor Steve Pearce (theoretically) could call a special session to pass a late-term abortion ban.
No matter what policies a state enacts, how they are enacted matter. The norms affecting those enactments matter. We should give them thought before we change them.
Continue to wear a mask
I shall continue to wear my COVID mask when out and about. New Mexico has recorded 60 percent of the population as having received full vaccinations. But I do not trust that other 40 percent, and the probable higher percentage in Valencia County, on my visits to town.
Other than folks ordered by their doctor not to get the COVID-19 shots, anyone who does not yet have their shots completed is willfully being a jerk by not participating in making New Mexico safe against the COVID-19 epidemic.
C’mon guys: Albertson’s is offering free COVID-19 vaccinations. You no longer have any valid excuse.