N.M. county wants Kilmer to explain remarks

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By Sue M. Holmes

ALBUQUERQUE — County commissioners want actor Val Kilmer to show up in the next 30 days to explain derogatory comments he’s been quoted as making about northern New Mexico, where he’s lived for more than two decades.

Residents complained about Kilmer at a commission meeting in Las Vegas, this week, alleging he’s made disparaging comments in the past about San Miguel County and has chased away people fishing on the Pecos River at his ranch.

“We had a group of people who came in and were really upset,” Commission Chairman David Salazar said Friday.

The controversy erupted after Kilmer’s Pecos River Ranch sought to open three guest houses to paying customers. The county zoning and planning commission approved the proposal 3-2 in March, but Rowe resident Abran Tapia appealed to the commission.

Salazar said commissioners want to be fair, and asked Kilmer “to give us his point of view and tell us what he said or he didn’t say.”

Others at the meeting stood up for the actor, saying he was misquoted or statements were taken out of context, Salazar said.

The commission sent a letter Wednesday to Kilmer’s ranch manager, asking Kilmer to appear within 30 days but offering more time if he needs it, County Attorney Jesus Lopez said.

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