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Today's Opinions

  • Government should tighten belt, not raise taxes

    BY REP. RICK LITTLE
    New Mexico House of Representatives, R-Doña Ana and Otero Counties

  • Government should tighten belt, not raise taxes

    BY REP. RICK LITTLE
    New Mexico House of Representatives, R-Doña Ana and Otero Counties

  • The consequences of Susana Martinez’s decision to destroy higher education

    A few weeks ago, Susana Martinez vetoed funding for every state college and university. All of it.

    Since then, neither she nor House Republican leaders have proposed a plan to restore it. Because every public school relies on New Mexico for 30 percent-50 percent of their budgets, if not changed this decision will annihilate them.

    What does this mean for you? Plenty.Without funding, schools will either completely shut down or offer dramatically less education for much higher tuition; meaning many of our kids will have to go away for university. We will then have a less educated workforce, like engineers to design our roads, accountants for our businesses, and doctors to take care of us when we are sick.

    Furthermore, two-year schools provide technical programs for well-paid, steady careers like commercial truck drivers, welders, and X-ray techs. Those, as well as specialized classes for wind energy at Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari and aviation maintenance at ENMU-Roswell, could disappear.

    And does your child participate in a high school dual-credit course? Those are probably gone.

    The governor’s veto will obliterate jobs. Businesses start and grow where they can find people educated in areas like the ones described above; so they won’t start or grow here when those programs vanish.

  • Letters to the Editor 4-21-17

    The cautionary tale of the golf course

    When the county’s consultants asked which recreation projects were most favored, golf course work was just about last on the list. Yet it gets a $4.5 million piece of the bond pie.
    Why? “Because,” as Mallory so nicely put it, “it’s there.”
    So much has been invested that it’s nearly unthinkable to do anything other than maintain and upgrade the course, even though most taxpayers either don’t care or actively wish it were gone. They’d probably be annoyed to learn it costs the county about half a million dollars a year out-of-pocket just to keep it going. The proposed rec center will be about as expensive, not including the cost of construction.
    The real rule is: if you build it, you will pay. And pay. The bond alone will last long enough that many of your kids will get to pay off some of it, but the maintenance and upgrades will be the gift that keeps on giving, long enough for their kids to ante up too.
    But by then, some other sports facility will be the hot ticket. Enthusiasm for new toys can fade fast, but the credit card bill doesn’t care.
    David North
    Los Alamos

    Thank you, Los Alamos!

  • Letter to the Editor 4-14-17

    Council needs to hear from public about sheriff’s budget

    Sheriff Marco Lucero was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 by stressing the importance of the sheriff’s role in Los Alamos. Majorities on County Councils, not including myself, have worked against this, drastically cutting his budget and ultimately calling an election last November to eliminate the office of sheriff. Our citizens disagreed, and voted to keep an elected sheriff.
    Lucero will present a proposal at next week’s budget hearings to restore his office’s budget. I support returning the duties that have traditionally been done by the Los Alamos sheriff: process and writ serving, sex offenders tracking, transportation of prisoners and court security. Because most of these duties have recently been done by police officers (often on overtime) or contracted personnel, a full-time deputy sheriff (trained and certified by the New Mexico law enforcement academy) could do them more efficiently.  Transfer of these duties would not increase the overall budget, since we are already spending the money for them in other departments.

  • Continuous improvement helps Belen manufacturer go global

    Sisneros Brothers Manufacturing embodies the entrepreneurial notion that finding the right niche can transform talent into business success.
    Avenicio Sisneros, founder of the Belen company, began as a cabinetmaker in the 1950s but shifted to making and installing sheet metal ducting for houses in 1987. With him were sons Martin, Alex and Philip.
    Demand quickly grew beyond the residential market, and the company began manufacturing and installing ductwork for larger commercial customers. By 1990, Sisneros Brothers abandoned installation altogether to focus on manufacturing custom sheet metal ductwork for a wide variety of customers.
    In 2001, the Sisneros leadership team consulted the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NM MEP) to get ideas about streamlining production and eliminating inefficiencies. The nonprofit organization helps businesses increase profitability and competitiveness, transforming them into lean and efficient engines of growth.
    The results of NM MEP-inspired changes impressed company principals, and Sisneros Brothers returned to NM MEP a decade later when CEO Martin Sisneros decided it was time to grow and diversify the customer base.

  • Shaking the money tree in D.C.

    BY BOB HAGAN
    Coffee on a Cold Morning

  • Letter to the Editor 4-5-17

    Opposed to new White Rock ZIP Code

    I share John Ramsay’s objection to the USPS designation, “White Rock,” as part of my mailing address. (ref: Monitor letter of March 29, 2017) White Rock is not an incorporated city, nor is Los Alamos. Our only local government is that of an H-class county.
    It is entirely resonable to separate areas within the county by ZIP codes to expedite mail delivery, but not to arbitrarily change the name of the destination.
    To suggest that both must be changed to deliver mail to my residence, which hasn’t changed its physical location in 50 years, is ludicrous. For examply, the city where I was born (before ZIP codes were invented) is also called, “LA.”
    By my count, it is now subdivided by the USPS into 214 ZIP codes. One city name, more than 200 ZIP codes, yet the USPS seems able to cope. Why not here?
    Don Hanson
    Los Alamos