Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We Are Moving On From The Chavez/Berry/Giacomo Gate Issue For A While

Well the citizens of Raton got the shaft from the Raton City Commission! Nothing that we can do now but move on to other issues. I think we understand what has happened but time moves on and so must we. The video of last nights city commission meeting is here. The response from citizens on the issue left a lot to be desired.

Other issues need attention. The lack of places for folks to get news without a local newspaper is a huge problem. Facebook, Twitter, KRTN Radio, this weblog, the World Journal are not the same as having the old Raton Range. TV will only mention Raton on the weather or if the pass closes in a snow storm. KRTN is afraid to upset advertisers so music, as it is, is about all of value you can get there. I will say that the video of the commission meetings by KRTN is the very best, but KRTN cannot be considered a news outlet.

Not sure what will come down the pike as far as the ability to get things in the public eye. The things that have happened with the gating of the Old Raton Pass Road and the Chavez/Berry/Giacomo Gate would never have happened if there was a local newspaper.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Day Of The Big Give Away Is Here

The picture above represents and illustrates a Raton city resident on his knees asking for the key card so he can access his road. It does not represent the landowners, they will have their own personal card provided free of charge by the city.

The Chavez - Berry - Giacomo Gate issue will be "settled" Tomorrow Tuesday March 28th. In all reality this has been settled before, this item agenda is strictly for show. City manager Berry knows it, Mr. Steve Hayden knows it, Commissioner Giacomo knows it, Commissioner Chavez knows it and the rest of the commission knows it. It is a done deal folks. The best we can hope for is a gate at the bottom of what used to be the Old Raton Pass Road. The city commission will want us to thank them for not having given it away.

The gate will have key card type access for anyone other than the landowners, the landowners will get a private card at city expense. City taxpayers who will pay for the gate and be asked to enforce the gated community rules will have to stop at the police station and leave your name, address and telephone number and then they will issue you a card for the duration of your visit up there. You will then be required to stop and return the card when done with your ride.

The gate will have to be a sturdy one to keep the citizens out and at the same time be sure some angry citizens does not pull it off of the hinges. The cost will be paid by you and me and you and I will be the only ones required to stop and ask permission to visited the gated community on top of the Old Raton Pass.

The landowners made out like fat rats. They get a gated community and the citizens of Raton pay for the gate and maintain it and enforce the rules. it does not get any better than this folks..... You could not have thought this up if you tried.... Now thanks to our city commission you and I will be the only ones needing to stop and ask permission.
Do you think that city commissioners would ask the landowners to stop and ask permission? The landowners would be irate to no end and would not take it. But, you and I are a different matter.

The citizens of Raton will lose more than free access on Tuesday. Think about it. And we will have our city commission to thank for it.
I am wondering if and how much money actually changed hands on this sweet deal. It is worth a whole lot to some folks, we know Commissioner Giacomo stands to benefit. I do not think that those responsible for this are dumb enough to do this for the land owners for free.

All done nice and legal folks, we paid for the legal opinion we paid for the research into the matter and we will pay for the gate. It just does not get ant better than this for the few lucky ones. Don't forget to thank the city commission and especially Commissioner Chavez and City Manager Berry.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Are City Leadership Really Just Snakes In The Grass?

A "snake in the grass" is hard to see. The human version is in plain sight just hard to distinguish. In Raton they seem to disguise themselves as city commissioners and city managers. Hard identifying them from other folks when you see them on the street or hear them.

There is no other term that suits them better than snakes in the grass. They are taking care of their fellow city commissioner and some out of town folks and then have the gall to advise that it is for our own good, that it should not cause us concern to have to ask permission to access our own property. Otherwise how could they come up with the Chavez-Berry-Giacomo Gate as an answer to the situation on the Old Raton Pass Road.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Unfettered Access For The Landowners And "Permitted Access" For the Raton Taxpayers

Fettered and unfettered! Interesting terms. We now can assume that the landowners and City Councilman Don Giacomo will soon have unfettered access as stated in minute 22:25 of the March 7th Raton city council meeting. In all reality that means they can come and go as they please while city residents who will be charged with the construction of the gate paid by their taxes will have to stop at the police station and register to get a key card for permitted access  to their property which is the "Old Raton Pass Road".

The irony is there folks, you do not have to look far to see it. The road belongs to the taxpayers of Raton who will have to build a gate so the "landowners" who, with the exception of City Commissioner Don Giacomo, do not even live in the city can have unfettered access. Can you see the irony?

And this is the best our city council and City Manager Scott Berry could come up with even after spending money to get a legal opinion? And then to top it off they will meet on the 28th of the month to explain it to us how this is supposed to be equitable. The intestinal fortitude required for this is considerable, that along with a hefty disregard for the city residents who pay taxes in the community and who elected them to represent us.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Raton, New Mexico City Commission Meetings

We need to thank KRTN for videotaping the meetings. The city commissioners have no idea who or how many are watching them and how much detail you can garner by playback of the video. There really is no need to actually attend the meeting unless you want to speak to them, watching the video provided by KRTN is a much better option.

KRTN is limited on what it can report. It has to be very careful not to offend advertisers. The "news" it reports are for the most part touchy feeley type stuff. It will not publish, speak of or make available anything that may offend advertisers. The most controversial stuff here is maybe the police blotter, the video of the city commission meeting, an article made available by some news organization or other or a letter to the editor which seems to have been added to the website in the last few months.

But I am sure glad it videotapes the city commission meetings.  Check out minute 22:00 to see where City Manager Berry advises us that he had the road graded, or minute 22:30 where they talk about unfettered access for the landowners or minute 24:50 where Commissioner Chavez talks about holding us, the taxpayers of Raton accountable. The landowners do not need all of that, they will have a personal key card.

And all of this while Commissioner Giacome is over there like the cat that ate the canary.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Chavez-Berry-Giacomo Gate On the Old Raton Pass Road

This is not the gate, it has not been put up yet.

The Chavez-Berry-Giacomo Gate on the Old Raton Pass Road, that will be my designation for the gate that they will put there.

Here are my thoughts on how they are getting around the New Mexico anti donation clause. By putting the gate away, far away, from the actual property it will not be as obvious that it is being done to assist one or more individuals. The kink in the armor may be Commissioner Don Giacomo, since he stands to profit. A challenge on those, plus other, grounds might make a difference.

Keep in mind that this effort to restrict access or give the property away has not been accomplished in a vacuum. City Manager Barry has long been in communications with the folks who stand to gain. And you cannot tell me that Commissioner Giacomo does not know what is going on, he may recuse himself in public, but we do not know how involved he has been in private. Mr. Hayden knew he could place the gate there without repercussions, he may have actually been getting advice on the matter way before he placed the first gate there.

Commissioner Chavez has been designated, or volunteered, to carry the water for the "landowners". He claims to be doing it for the good of the city..... Tell me about it! I would have believed that if his "proposal" was not what will be proposed as was discussed at this weeks city commission meeting.

They know what they are doing... Commissioner Schuster and Mayor Mantz are being played like a fine violin by Commissioners Giacomo and Chavez as well as the City Manager. Mayor Mantz has always been content to have a voice, no matter what was said, she wants to make some noise in public and if they let her pound the gavel so much the better. Schuster is an odd duck, who really knows why she ran for the position. Segotta is hard to read, as long as he has been on the council, he has been hard to read.

The City Manager is the puppet master in the city. He may be a puppet for someone, but he is the puppet master in the city and especially as it deals with the city commission. Sortta slick in a small town way, if I do say so myself.

I think that this cabal has interests that we, as mere citizens, are unaware of. It will be interesting to see what they do, paying close attention where there is significant money or value of some kind taking place. This may not become evident until later, especially with intangible value or values.....

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Gated Community On Top Of The Old Pass Road For Absentee Landowners Courtesy Of City Manager Berry, Commissioner Ron Chavez And The Remainder Of The Raton City Commission

If You Are Not Outraged You Are Not Paying Attention!!!!

See the video of the commission meeting at the link provided below:

If it were not for KRTN video this whole effort would have gone by un-noticed. As it is who knows who actually gets to see it. When I viewed the video in its entirety, I got an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.

A gated community on top of the Old Raton Pass Road for absentee landowners courtesy of City Manager Berry, Commissioner Ron Chavez and the remainder of the  Raton City Commission. Disgusting???? Unfair???? Cowardly???? Corrupt???? What other words can describe this action?

And the taxpayers of the city of Raton will pay for it. Commissioner Giacomo will get a great gift as will Mr. Steve Hayden. According to the "proposal being considered" they will get a key card and not have to stop by the police station to get a pass. Mr. Hayden, Commissioner Giacomo and other absentee owners up there are rubbing their hands and jumping up and down with glee. It could not have ended better for them other than ending up with the property outright. Thanks to Commissioner Chavez and City Manager Berry for having done all of the legwork for them.

I am still of the opinion this was a done deal, thought out way in advance. Was there some "quid pro quo" somewhere along the road? It is utterly impossible for this to have happened without some type of rolling quorum, (25:55 - 26;00 on the tape). The individual commission members nor the City manager really believe this is an equitable solution to the situation on the Old Raton Pass Road? They may be a lot of things, but they are not dumb enough to believe this.

This "issue" will be discussed in detail on this weblog over the next few weeks. But the discussion will be for naught, it is a done deal. Smooth, slick and practiced and the citizens of Raton get to pay for their own screwing by the City Council and City Manager.

They expect little if any adverse reactions from the citizenry. The disdain that the commission holds for its citizens is deplorable and sickening. The citizens do not have the means to investigate this matter and the commission knows that. City Commission members and the City Manager are not afraid of being held accountable, there is not enough opposition to the move. They actually expect us to be grateful that they did not give it away.

Imagine the value of the property Mr. Hayden purchased when he actually purchased it? And imagine it again when this is implemented. The increase in value goes one way, into the pockets of Mr. Hayden, Commissioner Giacomo and the other landowners. And the citizens of Raton pay for it. Can you see the irony? 

To actually see and witness what appears to be corruption at this level is utterly amazing. The city commission does not see the irony, or if they do, they feel that voters/citizens are either too lazy, do not care, or stupid to do anything.

The "landowners" get a gated community, increased value of their property and the citizens of Raton pay for it and will have to get permission each time they want to access their city property. The irony!!! We, city taxpayers, will pay for the installation and maintenance and enforcement of gated community rules meant to keep us in check. The lawbreakers who installed the gate and signed it as private property and all landowners who own property up there will not require permission to go there. But city residents will.

From the looks of it, it appears Mr. Hayden did not attend the city commission meeting or at least he did not make a presentation. Do you want to know why? Commissioner Chavez and City Manager Berry had done his work for him. He was well aware of the out come, no two ways about it.

Commissioner Giacomo is laughing at city residents. Commissioner Schuster and Mayor Mantz, what can be said about them? Commissioner Segotta is hard to read.

And they did it with straight faces....... They ought to hold the meetings at the Schuler and advertise for the charade that it appears to be.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Well The Time Seems To Be On The Day Before The Ides Of March

The following highlighted text is from the agenda for the upcoming city commission meeting.

AGENDA CITY OF RATON REGULAR COMMISSION MEETING RATON CITY HALL, 224 SAVAGE AVE TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2017 AT 6 PM A regular meeting of the City Commission of the City of Raton will be held on March 14, 2017 at 6 p.m. The Meeting will be called to order by Mayor Mantz. The following subjects will be considered by the City Commission and may be considered in any order that is most convenient for the City Commission.

D. Discussion: Legal Opinion on the Raton Pass/Scenic Highway, Restriction on Access. No Action. 

Looks like the "opinion" from the legal beagles is back. I am no lawyer but here is my take on this:

1) The City cannot give the property away. It is against New Mexico Anti Donation laws. You think Mayor Mantz would have known about this when she suggested giving it away.

2) The city does have the authority to gate and close the area for any of various reasons. In my opinion this particular authority has never been in question. It is just not right for the city to close the road to appease some landowners who had the audacity to gate and sign the property behind it as private to keep the citizens of Raton away from property that in all reality belongs to them.

The request for a legal opinion by the city was a smokescreen by the city meant to give them time to see how to go about restricting the access or give it away outright. The question then becomes why?

Why has the city been willing to entertain any option to either restrict or give away this property? 

Citizens of the city have a right to ask the question and the city has a responsibility to answer it.

This whole issue is a mess. It will not get any better. it smells to high heaven. The odor emanating from city hall is disgusting. That citizens have to petition the city not only to protect city property but to not restrict citizens from access to their property without sufficient reason is disgusting. To have the Mayor call for options to give city property away is beyond the pale.

The total lack of leadership by the city on this matter is appalling. I can recall no other time when the residents of the city and the city itself have been at odds with one another because the city refused to take action. This is not what the citizens had in mind when they elected the city council members to represent them.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Interesting, Very Interesting.............. A Little Long, But Very Interesting.

Below is a copy of a letter that was made available to me here. The letter is not dated but it was sent by a reader as a comment. I am not sure if the letter or "signature" name is legitimate so the name was erased. The letter makes sense and we will have to wait and see, it appears that the issue may be "heating up". It would be interesting to see if the powers that be do something about it. I am still skeptical, I still think it may be a done deal, regardless of what anyone says. It will take a lot of effort to stop this snowball. 

The letter in its entirety as it was made available to me, no edition by yours truly except the writers name and address which I removed. I do not know how many people the letter was actually shared with.
All that being said, below is the letter that was shared:

To: Raton, NM Mayor Sandra Mantz, Mayor pro Tem Neil Segotta, Commissioner Ronald Chavez, Commissioner Linde Schuster, Commissioner Donald Giacomo, City manager Scott Berry

Subject: The unauthorized erecting of a gate and signing as private property the Old Raton Pass Road to stop or restrict access to city property.

I wish to make it clear that I have no interest in this matter other than concern that city property that I have used for over a decade now has been gated and signed as private property by unauthorized individuals. I do not own property close to the area, personally I know of no one who does other than the ones who placed the gate and signs there.

As a result on March 1, 2017, I was cited by the Colfax County Sheriff's Office for being in violation of 30-15-01-1009 and as stated on the violation notice for damage to (sic) "no trespassing" signs he said were illegally posted.

The signs allegedly damaged are signs placed on City of Raton Property, specifically on the Old Raton Pass Road. Property owner(s), who own property beyond the gate and the signs, have constructed, erected and shut a gate and signed the area behind the gate as PRIVATE PROPERTY. The signs further state that trespassing is prohibited. The road in question is the property of the City of Raton and has been open to the public for many years. The gate was constructed and placed on the road in the fall of 2016.

I attended a Raton City Commission meeting on November 8, 2016 and spoke to them on the issue when the subject was addressed at that meeting. Several other people were present at that same meeting to address the commission on the same issue. Later I visited privately, two separate times, with Raton City Manager Scott Berry on this same matter. I have also communicated on this matter with City Commissioner Ron Chavez. This dealt with a gate and signs that had been placed across the road limiting access to the Old Raton Pass Road beyond the gate.

I specifically asked both the city commission at the meeting and City Manager Scott Berry, on two separate private meetings with him, if the city had erected the gate or signed the property? The answer in all cases was no. I then specifically asked if the city had authorized anyone to place a gate and sign the property as private? Again was answer no. From both the city commission and City Manager Scott Berry, the city had neither erected the gate, nor signed it, nor had the city authorized anyone to do so.

I then requested that the city instruct who ever had or has had the gate erected and signed the property beyond as private property to remove both the gate and signs. I further asked that if for some reason, the people who had placed the gate and signs refused that the city do this themselves. Neither the city commission nor City Manager Barry did anything about it.  City Manager Scott Berry informed me that an opinion had not been received from some legal entity they were dealing with. The gate and signs remain and I now have been cited by the Colfax County Sheriffs Office to magistrate court for allegedly damaging the private property/no trespassing signs placed there.

It is my hope that the City of Raton and the community in general act to stop this effort by whom ever has erected the gate and signed city property as private. This is an effort to stop the citizens from lawfully accessing property, the Old Raton Pass Road, that in all reality belongs to them. If something is not done the citizens of Raton and general public will lose access to a historical road that belongs to them. The gate and signs are clearly meant to keep citizens away from city property that otherwise has been open to them. 

This same issue, the gating of the road and signing, has previously been an issue in Raton and before the city commission. The City Commission has addressed this very issue in the past. Now we have a new owner, or owners, beyond the city limits and on either side of the road that has been gated and signed. The issue has started all over again.

The city has an obligation to its citizens to remove the gate and instruct who ever gated and signed to cease and desist in this effort to prohibit their lawful use of the area.

CC: KRTN, World Journal

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

More on the Old Raton Pass Road And The Raton City Commission?

Some selected tidbits noted below from the Raton City Commission meeting on Tuesday February 14, 2017 as reported on the KRTN website. If you want to see and hear what was presented at the meeting go to minute 20:50 through 23:25 of the video at the KRTN web site. 
"Commissioners met Tuesday evening in regular session and tabled the discussion on the old pass road since they hadn’t received an opinion yet."
"Laura Brewer spoke about the old pass road reminding the commissioners about its importance for both the Iridium layer and the Santa Fe Trail noting the terrible condition of the road up to the layer as well as Goat Hill and the disrepair of the signage at the Iridium layer. Commissioner Chavez noted that the commission didn’t have the opinion yet and that he was planning to bring a possible solution to the commission as soon as they get an opinion that will hopefully meet the requests of the land owners and historic preservation of the area as well as the need to keep access to the area."
Commissioner Chavez has a possible solution that "will hopefully meet the requests of the land owners and historic preservation of the area as well as the need to keep access to the area." Citizens of Raton need to see what this proposal, this possible solution, is before it is put up for some surprise vote.

The best proposal for the residents/citizens of Raton is to remove the illegal gate that Mr. Steve Hayden has erected there! Remove the offensive structure all together.
The City Commission may be gearing up to give the Old Raton Pass Road away to Mr. Steve Hayden and City Commissioner Don Giacomo

A belated Valentine for Mr Steve Hayden and City Commissioner Don Giacomo? We will have to wait and see what Commissioner Chavez is talking about. We need to remember that Commissioner Chavez and Commissioner Giacomo are best of buddies, having run together for their city commission seats. And we know where Mayor Mantz stands and we know where Commissioner Schuster stands? The only real question seems to be Commissioner Segotta. 

Either way, the vote, when it come to it may be a lopsided give away to Mr. Hayden. I still wonder how he got the commission to even consider gating the road much less give him the property.

Ohhhhhh wait a minute..., I remember now. Mayor Mantz suggested giving it to him! I think Mr. Steve Hayden feels he is entitled to get the road from the city commission, his attitude says it all and the Raton City Commission is playing along with him. The citizens of Raton be dammed, he is entitled! Will the city commission give it to him? And we must remember that Mr. Hayden is not even a resident of the city.

City Manager Scott Berry is the one to watch and see what happens. Scott Berry is the one deftly guiding the issue through the "process". His coordination with Mr. Steve Hayden will have to be looked into after this is all over. He is not the innocent manager waiting to see which way the issue goes. He is the one in the drivers seat. He, and Mr. Steve Hayden are the only ones who really knows what is going on.  

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Colfax County Sheriff's Office

The new better improved Colfax County Sheriff's Office. What is the view looking back two years after we elected the current sheriff, Rick Sinclair. We got a sheriff with a cowboy hat, that goes over big in this neck of the woods. Worth 300 - 400 votes for sure.

The political race at the election where Sheriff Sinclair was elected turned into one convoluted affair tangled up with the County Clerks race. Reference the post below:

By the promises made when he was running for office we should have no crime in Colfax County.

You know, crime prevention is like prevention of anything else. it is hard to gauge. How do you identify stuff you "prevented".

But there is no apparent change, other than no ineptitude has shown up. But the minor ineptitude(s) may not show up because there is no one really there watching to document any, should any occur. KRTN does not do it and yours truly can't do it. KRTN prints the "Sheriff's Blotter", that is the extent of reporting there. The only time something may show up is if we read about it in the Albuquerque Journal or the Santa Fe New Mexican. Never thought I would miss the Raton Range this much.
I heard, via the grapevine, that the World Journal out of Walsenburg, CO will be covering Raton.

Anyway, the view from here, limited as it is, is that the sheriff's office is holding it's own. Nothing earthshaking, no scandals. The Sheriff is actually a pretty comfy position. I think they are responsible for the jail.

They are responsible for law enforcement in unincorporated areas of the county. But there is really no one in the unincorporated areas. You have the community(s) of Maxwell, Rayado and Miami that have no police of their own. The remainder of the sheriff's office responsibilities are tied up on I-25 corridor and the road up to the mountains as far as the Taos County line.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Stealing from Citizens In Raton

The gate on the old Raton Pass Road is an affront on the rights of the citizens of New Mexico, especially Raton. Who is precipitating the affront? Who is complicit in allowing this to go on?

The person representing the folks precipitating the construction and placement of the gate on city property and intended to keep the citizens of Raton away from city property is Mr. Steve Hayden of Hayden Construction from Burleson, Texas and Raton.

Our city manager Scott Berry is the individual most responsible for the gate being there NOW. He is sitting on his hands and the city commission is doing nothing, nothing to get him to enforce the law and get the gate removed. The mayor and commissioners are just allowing him to do as he pleases. He is leading them down a primrose path by the rings in their noses.

Here is what the city manager, Scott Berry and city commission had done for the citizens and in their behalf as related to the Old Raton Pass Road:

  1. Nothing..
  2. Zip..
  3. Nada..
  4. Zero..
  5. Zilch.....
The real question is why they have done nothing while Mr. Steve Hayden and the "landowners" have been allowed to gate and close the Old Raton Pass Road?

Why has the city manager done nothing?

Why has the city council done nothing?

That question will have to be answered if the gate remains there. The appointed and elected officials cannot be allowed to do this and not answer the question.

Mayor Mantz does not care, she cannot run again, she has had her turn(s) and can do what she wants without suffering at the polls. The other city commissioners ought to be made aware that should the road be closed or given away they will have to answer the next time they run. 

The city manager is getting paid a hefty salary and this is what we get. The only paid administrator involved in the issue and this is what he does to the citizens.

The last question that needs to be asked is why should anyone obey any city of Raton ordinance when someone is allowed to rub it in our face that they do not have to do so. The city council and city manager needs to ask themselves this question.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Thanking City Workers for Snow Removal

Great Job. Thank you, always there when we need them. They did a great job and we appreciate their efforts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

More Unusual Happenings At The Colfax County Clerk's Office.

The goings on at the Colfax County Clerks office remind me of the genealogical chart of the British Royal family, part of which is pictured above, sortta hard to make heads or tails out of it.

Remember when the Clofax County Commission appointed Rebecca Hoy as Clerk after the unfortunate death of the elected clerk Freda Baca. The same Freda Baca who had canned the previous County Clerk and Freda Baca's benefactor/mentor and then Chief Deputy, Rayetta Ledoux Trujillo.

Well that left Ms. Hoy as the appointed clerk.  Then she decided to run for the office at about the same time that former clerk/chief deputy and Freda Baca's benefactress Ms. Rayetta Ledoux Trujillo decided she would run again for her old position.

The Democratic primary for the County Clerks office by the incumbent Ms. Hoy and the previous clerk/chief deputy Ms. Ledoux Trujillo got a little heated but Ms. Rayetta Ledoux Trujillo came out on top with the vote count of 1,005 to 718. This left Ms. Hoy out of a job come January.

Soooo in a hissy fit Ms. Rebecca Hoy got her friend Republican Joyce Valdez to run as a write in candidate against Ms. Rayetta Ledoux Trujillo. How Ms Hoy bamboozled Ms. Valdez to do this is a mystery to this writer. But she did, even if it was the biggest futile effort in Colfax County political history. And to top it off I heard Ms. Hoy switched parties and she is now a Republican. Sort of a "Facebook" or "Topix" response on her part if you ask me. Goes to show she would never have made a good clerk with a petty vindictive attitude like that.

Any way, Ms. Valdez predictably lost and lost big time 3,652 votes to 420 in the general election.

Any way, I heard via the grapevine at the coffeehouse, or was it the supermarket? Well it does not really matter where I heard it but I understand that the County Commission up and canned Ms. Rebecca Hoy early and swore in Ms. Rayetta Ledoux Trujillo before her official date. Maybe wanting to forestall any mischief in the waning days by the vindictive Ms. Hoy. Probably a good move on their part when you consider the juvenile response by Ms. Hoy after she lost the primary.

Maybe the Colfax County Clerks office will settle down and run effectively. It has been a mess since Ms. Freda Baca got elected a few years ago. She just could not handle the duties of the office, they seemed to overwhelm her. But we must remember that Ms. Baca got elected with the help and encouragement of Ms. Rayetta Ledoux Trujillo.

The Colfax County Clerk's office is one hotbed of intrigue by current and former clerks. Do a search on this weblog for the history of the office.

Next up will be an article on the Colfax County Sheriff's office, another convoluted mess if there ever was one. And once more, a Baca's is in the mix.

What Happened To The Cowbell?

What happened to the cowbell? Read all about it at the web link below:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why Is The City Commission Even Considering Closing, Or Worse Giving Away,The Old Raton Pass Road?

Protecting in 2016 AND 2017 - The struggle continues

Why is the Raton City Commission even considering closing, or worse, giving away The Old Raton Pass Road? 

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself the question? I have been mulling over the situation after reading some comments on the weblog.

Is it really from a public safety consideration? I do not think so. The folks representing the land owners are exaggerating the situation up there, no doubt about it. There is no doubt that Commissioner Ron Chavez believes it, he has said so. I think he has been influenced by his friend and running mate for the city commission. That being Commissioner Don Giacomo.

I can not think of another reason for considering this again. And I do mean again. This issue has been around for a long time. Folks seeing an opportunity to end up with a free road and some additional free land. 

Have you ever stopped to consider what it would cost to construct a road today like the one these folks want for free? It would cost lots  and lots of money my friend.  

The fact the city commission is even considering this is sickening. That folks who we elected to protect our interests would do this to us is astonishing.

City Manager Scott Berry needs to be watched, he needs to be watched as to how the issue is framed and put before the commission when it comes up again. Mayor Mantz is easily manipulated so she bears watching. We understand where Commissioner Linde Schuster is coming from.

The only one who has not shown his hand is Commissioner Segotta.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Raton Pass Motor Inn

A few business opening up and closing as we move along here in Raton. The Raton Pass Motor Inn is one of the old motels but a new business here in town. Had some friends stay there a while back and they were favorably impressed. The first motel as you come in from the north at the first northern exit of I-25.

It seems they have done a lot of work on the old place.

There are several old 1940's and 1950's type motels that unless someone like the folks who bought this one come along and does something with them they will continue to deteriorate until they become an eyesore.  Hope these folks do well.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Not At The Meeting Tomorrow, December 13, 2016, But Coming Soon, This Issue Will Not Go Away Anytime Soon

Below is the agenda for tomorrow's meeting:

The Old Raton Pass Road issue will not go away until the city commission resolves it. You think it would not be hard being that it has been before the commission before. Sortta like the GIF above, back and fourth, from one city commission to another and from one city manager to another. Shopping for fertile ground.

The city commission and City Manager ought to understand that the citizens of Raton are tired of having to address this issue every time some individual wants the free land associated with the road.

They, the landowners, think it is worth a try every time we end up with someone buying a lot ot lots up there or every time we get a new commission or City Manager.

The fact they want to even consider this give away is disgusting and an "in the face" slap at the citizens of Raton.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The New Family Dollar In Cimarron

There is a new Family Dollar Store in Cimarron as well as a new gas station/convenience store. lots of activity in the town. A similar store opened in Springer about a year ago.

I was wondering what will happen to the grocery stores. The new store will undercut prices for sure. Hope the local grocery stores can compete because the closest grocery, if the ones there closes, is in Raton.
These dollar stores, while having a nice variety for small towns, have a way of out competing and getting rid of the older more established grocery and variety type stores. Then the towns are left with no place to shop for fresh vegetables and other foods which are not stocked in these newer ones. That has happened in several places, Mountainair and Pecos NM for sure. The folks in Mountainair have to go all of the way to Belen or Albuquerque to get fresh vegetables, the folks in Pecos to Santa Fe.

The future comes with a price.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Keep Our Eye On Ball, Err. I Mean the Old Raton Pass Road Issue Being Pondered By The Raton City Commission.

We cannot let the issue of the Old Raton Pass Road fade until the commission addresses it. They have several options.

1) Deed  the road to the landowners the way Mayor Mantz suggested at the October 25th city commission meeting.

2) Leave it open and remove the gate that has been built and erected by the landowners.

3) Leave the gate there and close the road off to the citizens of the city who happen to own it.

4) Leave the gate and allow the owners to close it at night.

The problem with option 4 is the city would be turning over the responsibility to another and then not a soul lives beyond the gate. So what would be the purpose of closing it at night? Also someone would have to go there first thing in the morning to open the gate and the last thing at night to close it.

The best option it to remove the gate and leave the road open. The folks who bought property up there understood the situation when they bought it. The property (road) belongs to the citizens of Raton and should not be prohibited from using it.

Which option do you think the commission will choose? Keep your eye on the ball...... Someone is hoping the issue will fade so the commission can handle it without too much fuss by the citizens.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Raton City Commission, Where Do They Stand On The Old Raton Pass Road?

The issue of the Old Raton Pass Road will be on the agenda again soon after the new year (if not before) if Mr. Steve Hayden has anything to say about it. And he does have something to say, just go look for yourself at the gate(s) he and the "landowners" have been erecting. Gates which will allow them to close it. I still say there is something fishy going on there. I do not think that Mr. Steve Hayden is a fool, and he would be a fool to construct and erect a gate without any guarantee that it will be allowed by the commission. He and the commission know something that we do not.
We  know where Mayor Mantz stands. It is somewhere between, 1) close the road to the citizens and 2) give it away. At least this is where I see her being from her actions and comments on the issue?
And Commissioner Segotta? Sort of keeping his cards close to the vest. Hard to figure out where he stands. I would not expect him to vote against the other commissioners in a close vote. No 3 - 1 votes (remember Commissioner Don Giacomo will not vote on this issue), Commissioner Segotta would go along.

You cannot tell me that they do not know the votes on any issue prior to the vote being taken.
If there is a wishy washy one on the Old Raton Pass Road issue it is Commissioner Chavez. At the October 25th meeting he was ready to shut the road down. By the November 11th meeting he was making a motion to table it for the moment. It will be interesting to see how he votes when it does come up.
We know where she stands, don't we? She wants to close the road for sure. Her questions at both of the meetings where the issue was discussed lead one to believe that she will vote to close it all together or even go for a partial closure. By partial closure we mean putting a gate up and allowing the property owners to close it at night.
A conflict of interest? You have to be kidding, they all may have a conflict of interest. But Commissioner Don Giacomo has an easy out on this vote, he will abstain because he stands to benefit from a closure vote. On an issue where he could make a difference, he will abstain.
And what about City Manager Scott Berry, he is the real leader of this pack, trust me. Subtle? You bet, but leading the commissioners like a circus trainer. He decided the wording of the agenda item, he decides when to put it on the agenda, he will notify interested parties of it being on the agenda. He will question the commissioners and the mayor, he will prod so skillfully so the commissioners do not even know they are being prodded.
Hopefully we do not have more trained seals than commissioners. On this issue we need commissioners wanting and needing to protect the interests of the citizens and voters of Raton. We need commissioners who will insist that any gate that is there be removed and that the road remain open to the citizens and voters of Raton.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

They Will Not Finish This Winter, Maybe Next Year

Click on the image to make it larger

I do not think that they will finish up this year either. They will probably shut down this winter like they did last year. This job will end up taking three (3) construction seasons of work to accomplish the job. 

It looks like the design was drawn up when the race track/casino was in the works a few years back and they did not redo the plans when that fell through. The access/egress from the east frontage road is quite complex for the use it will get. There is a ranch at the end of the road, but that is it.

There were some concerns about the old exit from the southbound lanes that were there but that in itself could have been fixed for a lot less and the complete reconstruction of the exit was not needed.

But at least folks can figure out what the exit will look like.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Supposing, Lets Do A Little Supposing

Lets suppose you or I built and installed an illegal gate on some road in the city, just like the one installed by Mr. Steve Hayden to limit access to the Old Raton Pass Road. What do you suppose would happen to you or I?

Why do you suppose the gate has been built and installed on the Old Raton Pass Road now with no go ahead and/or authority from the city? What do you suppose is the reason  it is there now?

Do you suppose Mr. Steve Hayden has some inside information as to the gate being allowed sometime in the near future?

Do you suppose the City Manager Scott Berry and Mr. Steve Hayden have not discussed this new gate?

Do you suppose that Mr. Steve Hayden and City Manager Scott Berry had not discussed the gate that was there previously?

Do you suppose that Mr. Steve Hayden and any of the city councilors had not discussed these gates?

Do you suppose Mr. Steve Hayden has been given the go ahead? Wink, wink.

What do you suppose?
I would venture a guess that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck it probably is a duck.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Here Are Pictures Of The Gates Installed/Erected On The Old Raton Pass Road, The One Installed Earlier And The New One That Is There Now.

Click on the Image(s) to make them larger
This is the gate that was there a few weeks ago before the Raton city commission meeting(s) of October 25th and November 8th. A good gate, you see them around everywhere.
The gate above and below (green) was similar to others that folks pulled off of the hinges last time someone tried to close the road.
Now someone, am guessing it is Mr. Steve Hayden who installed the green one above, went and removed it and installed the one below. 
This is not your run of the mill gate, it is custom made and heavy duty.
The latching/locking mechanism slides this iron rod into an Iron pipe to secure it.
The gate is not just mounted on hinge pins, it is welded to the metal pipe post. No one is going to pilfer this gate without a cutting torch.
Works good, who ever installed it did a good job.
The hinge welded to the metal pipe/post.

And They Want To Give Or Close The Old Raton Pass Road Away

Check the article below at the Santa fe New Mexican, click on the link below:

Ant the commission really wants to give the road away? Go look at the new stronger gate thy are allowing the property owners to place up there... Go look at it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Heavy Duty Gate Installed On The Old Raton Pass Road

Read the last paragraph of the last post on this weblog then continue with this post. 
The gate above has been removed, it is gone, from the Old Raton Pass Road and replaced with a brand new heavy duty one. The new one will require a cutting torch to remove. It has been removed and a new one welded on to the iron fence posts that were there previously.

The individual(s) responsible for installing these gates, the one that was there before and the one installed here recently, are preparing to shut the road. This new gate also has a heavy duty mechanism allowing it to be locked shut. They are either:

  1.  Confident that the city will allow the closure or
  2.  They already know what the city will do or
  3.  They do not care what the city will do.

I would encourage the city commissioners, the mayor and city residents to go look for themselves. Take some time and go look.

The folks responsible for this are displaying outright hostility at city residents by barricading city property.

It is time for someone to ride herd on the city council and their actions, or lack thereof, on this particular issue.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What do You Know? Guess What Happened At The Raton City Council Meeting Lat Night?

Look at the whole thing at the link below. Wish I could have been there, from the video it seems like it was interesting, very interesting. The citizens of Raton owe those who stood up a debt of gratitude. The citizens will have to be on their toes as the issue moves forward or risk it being passed without their knowledge, input or consent.

It is not over folks, not by a long shot and maybe not for a long time. The issue has been fought over several times before and the folks wanting free land are not about to give up now.

Monday, November 7, 2016

No Matter What Happens, Tuesday Night Will Be A Command Performance For City Manager Scott Berry and The Whole Commission

Their hair will be combed, stiff starched shirts will be the order of the day. The Saturday bath is out of the way, this is the moment. They know KRTN will be there taking video and that the video will be posted the following day. They know that video does not go away, it lives forever on the internet. So, no matter what, they will be on what they perceive as their best behavior. This will be their best performance so far.
Mayor Sandra Mantz will he, haw, clear her throat, chew on her pencil as she tries to explain why she wanted to give the Old Raton Pass Road away.... Mayor Mantz is very comfortable in her abilities, she weathered the political storms before.

City Councilor Donald Giacomo will look like the cat that swallowed the canary, trying not to seem too interested. Trying to make us believe that because he abstained at the meeting that he has had nothing to do with this.... He has not discussed it with other councilors, no sireee.

City Manager Scott Berry will act dumb, like he has not led them to this point. Like they got here on their own. Some of the dumber councilors may even believe that. Like he  does not know what they think, that he has not discussed this too, too much with Steve Hayden.

City Councilor Ron Chavez, who ran for the council seat as a team with Giacomo, will give us his public safety spiel. It is for our own good, he is doing this for us.

City Councilor Linde Schuster will ask a couple of questions, either way, she will require additional information.

City Councilor Neil Segotta will look at the other councilors, the audience and wait for the vote call.

 Damn, I can't wait till the 9th so I can see the video. This is the most important vote this city council has taken so far, at least as far as their careers as local politicians go.