Keep both eyes on the people elected to public office since they’re the ones spending your money collected as taxes, fees and levies

It seems to me that it would be hard for an office seeker not to feel special once they have won an election.  Much like the receiver who snatches the pass in midair and carries it to the winning touchdown and glory. Now the counter punch to this premise is that rare individual who takes and earns public trust in stride.

A prerequisite of any public official is honesty; by any other name  — transparency, candor, straightforwardness, integrity — take your pick,  we all know what we are talking about.

It’s about being honest and reliable in your words and at your job as a steward of political trust.

For my money it’s Dan Barrone.

My wife Elida and I have known Dan and Della Barrone since October of 2009. When I first heard Dan’s intention to seek the office of Mayor for the town of Taos, I thought how fitting and appropriate; how decent of Dan and how respectful of the office to offer additional service through leadership for the town of Taos — eight years of leadership at the County and now at the Town.

Dan is a true advocate where Taos County is concerned. His interests are the administration of economic responsibility and not patronage which eventually comes in the form of privileges and favors granted to only loyal supporters. His management style is in the area of responsibly balanced economics pure and simple; what the county as a living, breathing community of residents takes in through revenues on one side of the equation versus expenditures on maintenance and services on the other.

We have just witnessed the airport annexation fiasco as carried out by the current executive town leadership. Like the plot of a popular crime show we witnessed the present mayor and his board of councilors plan and execute the annexation of that strip of land in an effort to connect the town of Taos to the airport.

The strategy was for the town to get its hands on revenues it was not legally entitled to.

The intrigue was about collecting tax receipts to finance the Town’s part of the construction cost.

A scheme that fortunately fell far short of its aim and created more negative press for an administration seemingly immune to embarrassment.  

Now they want to take the unfavorable court ruling through an appeals process.

Add to this, the saga of the E911 building project and the endless tug of war with the county.

Next, charging fees for use of a Public library and raising parking fees and fines to make up for a short fall of spending money.  

In addition neglected roads in many parts of town and an acequia system nearly vanished due to neglect and indifference.

We ask our executive leadership to not waste Taxpayer resources and make sound decisions on behalf of the people who elect them into public office.

When an elected official lends favoritism to a pet special interest;  or a group of friends owed favors, the rest of us are at risk of losing fair representation. The basic principle of democracy falters, equal representation in matters of taxes, finance and gain are gone since no one can court “favoritism” and “fair play” in the same breath and remain even handed.

It is to our advantage to guard against indifference and to not turn a blind eye when looking at the actions of those we elect. Such behavior is bound to cost us the representation we claim to want and deserve.

As for me? I’ll vote for Dan. You vote for whomever you favor, that’s the whole point of a free election. But do something on behalf of this significant and integrated community of ours.   

We are all looking for something of value not only ourselves but our elected officials as well.

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