**This post is an op-ed by LiveTaos contributor David Cortez, and does not constitute a LiveTaos endorsement. If you’re supporting a different candidate, we’re happy to run your opinion, too!
Tonight, Monday, Feb. 17, a forum, sponsored by KTAO and TEN (Taos Entrepreneurial Network), at 5:30 pm will introduce seven candidates for town council at the old County Courtroom as the historic frescoes watch! The event will differ from a previous event in terms of style and substance. The public is hoping for a debate on the issues. Will questions from voters be allowed? Or must we keep la gente in check? We’re only asking.
The Town of Taos incumbents have made a number of false claims about the operations and security of the E911-Dispatch Command Center or why they choose to annex the airport. As well, the actual costs of parking meter administration and its effect on local merchants has become increasingly controversial.
Many folks question the marketing program that seems to offer little in the way of help to retail businesses or by highlighting a vision, a vision of what Taos offers.
Corruption, the privatization of taxpayer revenue for the benefit of incumbents, seems like the question nobody wants to debate: revenue for the mayor’s radio stations, contracts for Silva’s excavation company, the quid pro quo for the Command Center, doors and windows contracts for Gonzales’s private business, the lobbying for a brother’s contractual developments, Fred’s egotistical notion of local empire.
Really, we should ask how many Taos primos must die before the Town of Taos recognizes its negligence regarding towers, repeaters, and the current lack of security for its E911–Dispatch center. See picture of tower-antenna-cable hook up below: open to the public.
Speech to the Democratic Party of Taos Saturday February 15th 2013:
Buenas tardes damas y caballeros, Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
I want to thank the Taos Democratic Party, and Erin Sanborn the party chair, and delegates at today’s convention. Thank you for giving Judi Cantu the opportunity to speak to democratic party constituents, as I speak on her behalf, while she is out of town this weekend.
I am David Cortez a resident of Taos for three years, and New Mexico for over a decade. My roots hail from along the Rio Grande Valley, and I am a graduate of The College of Santa Fe.
I have worked with Ms. Cantu this election cycle, as well as two years ago. It is indeed an honor and a pleasure to be here at Enos Garcia Elementary School in her stead, and thank you to those who also made today possible. Seven candidates are running for the Town of Taos Council. May the best two candidates win.
Council members are challenged with managing the town budget, creating and enforcing public policy, administering public monies and providing services based on community wants and needs.
Today, local municipal elections are more important than ever. We all know that corruption, and cronyism, exist at all levels of government while constituent apathy or skepticism is equally at an all time high. I ask of you today to be vigilant and participant.
While observing town politics with a little help from my friends in the audience today I know and you know or recognize that the Town of Taos Council needs radical change. Many of us here aspire to be participant through politics and activism, whether it be dancing against domestic violence or fighting to preserve our precious environment, to being cognizant of what hell is going on with our parking meters.
Recently the following has been said about Judi Cantu:
“Judi’s campaigning hard, attending meetings, and focusing on many of the same issues that are common to the Hahn and Barrone campaigns. I believe you can trust the community’s best interests to these tried and true Taosenos. What we see here is another emerging and creative multicultural Latina [AND] Taosena … Viva Judi.”
The other day a friend of mine, Lee Einer from Las Vegas made a comment and it went like this: ”Our community is “bleeding” due to corrupt politics, and it is bleeding in the way that any community dominated by corrupt politics bleeds. These insider politics divert resources from community improvement into the pockets of parasites that suck their communities dry. They convert municipal government from a meritocracy into an insiders club, populated by unscrupulous dullards. They insure preferential treatment for those who are willing to engage in the quid-pro-quo. They tend to rule municipal government by creating an atmosphere of fear. Their decisions are motivated by self-interest rather than the public good.”
Former Taos County Democratic Chair, Billy Knight, once characterized local politicians as the “good old boys.” That’s also why we need a woman on the council.
One of the candidates seeking re-election after NINE years on the council has a brother who has received well over 500,000 dollars in contracts with the Town Of Taos! I have the public request papers Judi has sought the last three years, here if you would like to see them. Judi has indeed been vigilant and participant.
Judi believes in renewable energy, recycling and revitalizing our acequias. Via these platforms, we can develop and improve the local economy, tourism, agriculture, while preserving our culture and environment!
Judi’s campaign has knocked many doors and is working hard for your vote and thanks to our volunteers and supporters in the room today.
We ask that you vote early as early voting continues through February 28th and to bring a friend. Election day is March Fourth!