Last year I wrote about the efforts of my local community in rural New Mexico to build a library for itself.  Some of you Kossians offered to help at that time.  Now I want to report on the status of the project and a unique situation which has developed vis a vis the Guadelupe County Commission. Gaudelupe County, one hundred miles due east of the thriving metropolis of Albuquerque,  is as destitue a rural economy as can be imagined.  It’s county seat, Santa Rosa, New Mexico, clings to forlorn existence, surviving on motels and a few railroad and highway department jobs, and the public schools.  WalMart bypassed Santa Rosa, and went to Las Vegas,  60 miles to the north.  Too out there to even attract the attention of WalMart. Population, about 5000, spread out over 3000 square miles.
Somehow or another, though, the County Commission has managed to sit on a routine little paperwork maneuver for over fifteen months, and thus the project is stalled in limbo. The actual sie of the library is in the Village of Anton Chico, but because I live five miles or so north of that village, I am over the county line into San Miguel County to the north, in which I vote, and thus I know almost nothing about Gaudelupe County politics and the Commissioners in question.  NACo (Nat. Assoc. of Counties) website yeilds up this info, including an email link to one of the Commissioners.

These two Letters to the Editor, published in the Las Vegas Daily Optic (no online presence), one of the oldest newspapers in New Mexico, explain some of the details and express the frustration of area residents. LTE 1 and LTE 2.

I’d like the Commissioners to get a (polite) heads up from outside the area, just to let them know that they don’t operate invisibly.  Maybe you could just ask them to explain why this delay has occurred, causing several hundred schoolchildren, as well as adults, in Anton Chico to wait fifteen extra  months for their library and the library’s proposed high-speed internet access for the local residents.

Governor David Cargo, mentioned in the LTEs,  was the Governor(R) of New Mexico in the late sixties, during the armed uprising and seizure of the County Courthouse in Rio Arriba County by Land Grants Activist Reis Lopez Tijerina and his followers in El Norte, the Hispanic heartland of New Mexico.  Still active, Gov. Cargo has worked tirelessly with small towns and villages throughout the state, directly empowering talented local people and showing  them the ropes for how to get things done by Government, specifically libraries

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