A great day for everyone  in Meadow Lake


Kudos to the Meadow Lake Park Area Association, the all-volunteer group that has worked wonders on the 33 acres at the end of Meadow Lake Road that at its most beautiful was a natural spring emptying into a catchment area lake, at its lowest point became an illegal dumping site.

Over the years, the volunteers cleared tons of trash and used a bulldozer to reconfigure the lake bed for maximum retention of water for high desert vegetation and wildlife. All of this work was done with donated time and equipment.

Today the area is a park, supported by volunteers, donations and memberships, open to the public, sponsoring wonderful fun, educational events like the pumpkin hunt and hayride on Sunday, Oct. 24.

What a terrific day for kids of all ages and their families. In addition to pumpkins, there was candy, book covers and stuffed animals for all children. There was even a nature observation activity for children to “observe and report” the plants, animals, insects, etc., that they saw while hunting for their pumpkins. At the end of the event, there was a bicycle raffle where several lucky children chose a bicycle.

And just imagine how awesome a hayride at the base of the Manzano Mountains was.

Plan to attend future events or join the MLPAA. The Meadow Lake Park has outdoor amenities for your comfort, visits, and picnics. You can hike or ride your horse into the Manzano Mountains. It is a serene location, high desert gorgeous. Come and see for yourself.

Gail Goodman, EdD

Los Lunas


Elections in Peralta


The recent Peralta mayoral election brought out just more than 700 residents to vote. The votes were split between three candidates, of which one was the incumbent.

The mass turnout of Peralta voters should be a wake-up call to the reelected mayor. He should acknowledge that some 398 residents took the time to come out and vote against him.

Unfortunately, the votes were split between myself and Republican mayoral candidate, Christine Murphy. But the turn-out drives a message that the mayor should be pondering.

If I were in his shoes, I would be wondering what brought out 701 residents to vote? It is not the norm. Clearly, the message is that not all in the small town of Peralta are happy with the status quo and things need to change.

Primarily, the focus needs to return to communicating with Peralta residents and providing sufficient notice. In fact, if you visit the town of Peralta website, you will find it is outdated and missing important information. This is where you would think to look first to find necessary information.  Sadly, that is not the case.

Town hall uses Facebook primarily for its announcements, many which are made at the last minute. But Facebook is not the appropriate medium, nor should it be the primary medium, for communicating to the community.  Yet it is.

Has town hall considered that many of its residents aren’t on Facebook? And why hasn’t its own website been updated?

Secondly, Peralta residents deserve to be taken seriously and their issues reviewed with clear intent of resolving whatever issues are brought before the council.  After all, these are the people they have pledged to serve.

Getting back to the recent election, what makes it OK to run for four consecutive terms? There are no term limits for any of the governing body.

Thanks to the recent election, the current mayor will now be in office for nearly 18 years after this term is completed. It is simply wrong and primes the question as to why. The best, and most gracious, act the mayor could have done was step down to allow someone else to take the helm.

But this isn’t just the mayor holding his position term after term.  There are council members who have also held their seats for more than three terms (Leon Otero and Joseph Romero).  Mind you, each term is four years in length. That is a long time.

While it is true that most have run unopposed, including the mayor, it is also true that the elections are not widely publicized. Again, signaling the lack of transparency from town hall to the residents of Peralta. This practice reflects poorly on town hall.

It is as if town hall knows they cannot be held accountable for their actions. But there is more than this hurting the credibility and integrity of town hall.  Several practices need to change, and the residents tended to, as if we matter. Could it be they have forgotten who they are serving?

It seems that after all this time, term after term, apathy has set in at town hall and its governing body. Only the next four years will tell us if any lessons were learned from this most recent election.  Let’s hope for the best, I know I will be.

Margarita Castillo


(Editor’s note: All municipal government meeting agendas are published in the News-Bulletin every week.)

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