County Commissioner held a community meeting last night and had a pretty decent turn out of about 35 people. The meeting was regarding the tax increase for UMC and UMC President and CEO Jim Valenti presented information about the increase and the hospital budget.
He also went over some highlights of their accomplishments and some things to come.
Also in attendance were State Rep Naomi Gonzalez and Gandara's opponent in the Democratic Primary, Vince Perez.
Perez and Gandara exchanged a handshake and Gandara was cordial with me. Interestingly he staffer that I took a picture of at Perez's announcement made a point of taking a photo of me. I hope it goes up on Facebook and they tag me. I was wearing my favorite Redskins shirt.
Gandara was questioned by Hector H. Lopez as to why he missed the vote on tax increase for UMC and Gandara said he is responsible for 70% of the area of El Paso County and has lots of meetings to attend.
Gandara went on to say, "All the need, all the biggest concern, all the help thats needed is in my district...I'll be the first one to tell you, I'm not at all of my meetings because I've got meetings that run simultaneously...I've missed a great number of meetings because I'm at other meetings...Now to tell you where I was at that specific time? I can't think back then because we are always working."
Gandara held other community meetings this week on the issue and for at least one of the meetings, held on Tuesday at El Paso Community College (Mission Campus), Gandara's staffer Dora Oaxaca went in his place.