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Columns

  • Transition of power musing

    As the gubernatorial transition from Bill Richardson to Susana Martinez moves forward, a few observations appear appropriate.
    One suggestion has come to the IdeasForNewMexico@swcp.com e-mail address unveiled in my last column. It’s a good one and is exactly the sort of problem, well known to people on the ground, that doesn’t trickle to the netherworld of the transition.

  • Governor's legacy: Progress or pals

    In June the New Mexico Film Museum closed after a short, unproductive life. It was a cost-cutting measure, said the Governor’s Office.
    The museum rarely offered a program and had no operating budget. It did pay its directors, each one politically connected, rather well ($80,000 a year for the last two). There was a flap in 2007, when the governor attempted to appoint former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron as director, because she had no relevant experience. But none of the museum’s directors had any film experience.
    And so it went.  

  • Muni building’s side issues

    The central question of the Muni is:  Do we want it back at the pond or not? Everything else is a side issue.
    If the answer is yes, then we can get it done.  At this juncture, I would prefer to avoid “going negative.”  Towards that end, I have posted on my blog, losalamosrealitycheck.blogspot.com, the reasons I believe the answer should be “yes” (and I hope to have the Monitor run that, though it is a bit lengthy.)

  • First gentleman & second fiddle

    Ah, the men in Susana’s life. What to do with the first gentleman and the second fiddle? It’s a pesky problem.
    The first gentleman, Chuck Franco, is unique in New Mexico politics. We haven’t had a first gentleman before.
    Chuck is retired and so doesn’t have a job to go to every day. He was always at his wife’s side during the campaign, helping in anyway he could. But now what does he do?

  • First gentleman & second fiddle

    Ah, the men in Susana’s life. What to do with the first gentleman and the second fiddle? It’s a pesky problem.
    The first gentleman, Chuck Franco, is unique in New Mexico politics. We haven’t had a first gentleman before.
    Chuck is retired and so doesn’t have a job to go to every day. He was always at his wife’s side during the campaign, helping in anyway he could. But now what does he do?

  • The '87 truck isn't that swank

    I came to a sharp fork in the deeply rutted road of my life this fall.
    I had to decide if I would continue to limp around on Saturdays in my beloved but inefficient ’87 pickup, or sell it off to some poor soul in more need of it than I.
    My eight cylinder American-made truck has a relatively small engine in it, the most petite offered in its day.
    Still, you can feel the engine torque the body of the truck when you turn it on. Perhaps that’s why is gets only about a dozen miles to the gallon, and that’s at 50 mph with a strong tail wind.

  • Match employees with the right job to reap a win-win

    When it comes to hiring people, small businesses usually don’t have the resources of large corporations, which have human resources specialists who are trained to recruit employees and to monitor their performance with regular performance appraisals.
    A small-business owner usually has to rely on gut instincts, observation and pointed questions when hiring a new employee and thereafter has to monitor how the employee is doing to make sure she is a good fit for the job and is performing at the height of her abilities.

  • Appointees skate on thin ice

    Being a state employee at a time like this is no fun. The vast majority of state payrollers are protected by the state Personnel Act, which prevents new administrations from firing everyone as was the case before 1961.
    Although classified employees know they can’t be fired without cause, they still are very uneasy during a change in administration. It’s especially stressful when it involves a change in political party as it has during the last five gubernatorial elections.

  • This post is powerful

    Ray Powell’s winning campaign to “clean up the State Land Office” paralleled Susana Martinez’s winning campaign to clean up Santa Fe.
    Outgoing State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons groused, like the outgoing chief executive, that the candidate was campaigning against him and not the opponent.
    True on both counts.
    The campaign for state land commissioner, largely overshadowed by drama higher on the ballot, deserved more attention because it’s probably New Mexico’s second most powerful position.

  • More hits than misses

     New Mexico voters did their usual good job separating the wheat from the chaff when it came to the questions at the end of the November ballot.
    Predictably, they gave a sound thrashing to two constitutional amendments designed to give politicians a longer leash. They gave our veterans a couple more breaks. And they sent a message to our higher education system that it is getting out of hand.