Nine former mayors and councilmembers of the Town of Taos wrote a strongly worded letter of disapproval to Town of Taos Mayor Daniel Barrone and Taos Councilmembers on Wednesday (June 2), in opposition to the proposed extension of terms in office.
“To self-impose a 1-year and 10 month extension is arbitrary, unacceptable and will knowingly disenfranchise the voters of the Town of Taos from having a say in this March 1, 2022 election,” the letter stated.
Signatories of the letter included Hon. Mayor Frederick A. Peralta, Hon. Mayor Bobby F. Duran, Hon. Mayor Darren M. Cordova, Hon. Councilmember Erlinda S. Gonzales, Hon. Councilmember Rudy Abeyta, Hon. Councilmember Michael “Bardy” Silva, Hon. Councilmember Amy Quintana, Hon. Councilmember Andrew T. Gonzales and Hon. Councilmember Judith Cantu.
According to those who signed the letter, the Local Election Act of 2018 “allows municipalities in New Mexico the option to realign municipal elections from March of even-numbered years to November of odd-numbered years.”
Therefore, they strongly encouraged a reduction of the mayor’s and Councilmembers’ current terms in office, along with the regularly scheduled elections as planned “so that the Governing Body does NOT disenfranchise any voters of the Town of Taos.”
The letter also stated that any extension of terms in office without an election would be a willful silencing of the people’s voice.
The signatories recommended the ordinance be amended to “allow the enactment of the ordinance to happen on June 22, 2021 with a reduction of terms which would create a November 2021 election” or “allow the voters to vote on the ordinance during the upcoming March 1, 2022 Mayoral election as there has been little to no public knowledge of the ordinance or this governing body’s intention.”
This story is developing.