Opinion: Town of Taos Council anybody?

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In a Taos News  article about who will be on the ballot for the Town of Taos Council, I saw a list of eight people who would like to run for the position, including two who wish to keep their seat on the council. My understanding is that the only requirement is you have to live within the city limits.

All the people who live outside of town have to rely on the registered voters in the town to decide who should be on the council. If you are popular, you might get the position. If you can answer a question about the animal shelter, you might get the position. If you have friends or family members living in the city limits, you might get the position. These qualifications could also be considered if you are running for prom queen.

I drive into town to work, shop, gas up my car, take my children to school, and as I do this, I see the hardworking people in the community who have been on the council in the past or did not win, still being strong community members. I see them, working in the town, shopping or taking their children to school.

A few years back when Bobby Duran was mayor, he was talking to a family who was having a bake sale fundraiser at the grocery store. My son, who was about eight at the time, said, “That’s the mayor!”

He repeated it about three times with excitement, and I finally approached Mr. Duran and asked him how my son would know who he was. Mr. Duran smiled at my son and said, “Probably from the cartoons in the paper!”

Mr. Duran had his time to be the town of Taos Mayor. He was humble, family-oriented, experienced and most of all, professional. He continues to be a part of Taos with the same values and sense of humor.

Another one is Eloy Jeantette. Eloy is one of the founders of the Taos Feeds Taos program, where he continues with fundraising, and is very friendly when approached in the grocery store or anywhere in the city. Both men were voted in for their experience, values and professionalism.

I am writing this letter to inform those people who can vote to please look closely at whom they are going to elect for council and mayor. I do not live in the city limits, but I do have to work, shop, drive and cash my paychecks in town. I only come home to sleep and get ready to go back the next day.

Voters in the city limits need to look at all the candidates carefully and see what it is they already do for the community (not just the town). Listen to their ideas, attend the forums and ask what experiences or education they have had that prepare them to run the town. Read what they have to say in The Taos News, including in the past and not only what is said about them. People might not always like what they say, but you can tell who is involved, who is working for Taos and what they do for the community.

I find these skills more valuable for the town of Taos council positions, and I want to continue to feel proud of my hometown, Taos. I want to know the council will not only listen to the people and their ideas but do something about them. The town of Taos council and mayor seats are about professionalism, and it can’t be a contest. It takes integrity, people skills, decision-making and fulfilling the needs of the community.

I am a little worried about the future of Taos. It makes no sense that I cannot vote, so I have to appeal to the town of Taos voters. Please make your vote count. At the moment, I am unhappy with our governor and the president. I don’t feel that Taos is on their list of priorities. How do we bring more of what we all need to Taos? Which of these candidates has or will speak up for all of us? Who is bright enough to fight for what we need? Who decides? You, the voters!

Annette Arellano is a writer and an educator in the community of Taos

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