New Mexico is about to fire Billy the Kid.
Coronado, Victorio, the conquistadores, and the U. S. Cavalry are getting the sack, too.
Visitors come here to see these icons at the state’s seven historic sites. Just in time for peak tourist season, the state Cultural Affairs Department announced a draconian plan to kick out the very people who know the most about these sites – their managers.
The department announced a plan in late May to save money by reorganizing the Historic Sites Division, combing six sites into three regions with new managers. This would affect Jemez, Coronado, Fort Selden, Camino Real, Lincoln and Fort Stanton historic sites. Bosque Redondo and Los Luceros aren’t affected (yet). Another six positions department-wide are also on the block. But the department wants to hire 13 “critical employees,” including three PR people.
Terminations are effective Aug. 3, if the State Personnel Board approves the plan at its July 21 meeting.
Let’s recall that during the legislative session, declining revenues forced lawmakers to shrink the budget and give the administration permission to do more cutting, if necessary.
It’s always a grim process, but in reducing costs, two principles ought to be at work. First, spread the pain evenly.