Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Socorro City Rep Maria Reyes - Everything Wrong With Socorro Politics

So by now you have seen that yet again, Socorro is going to be in the spotlight for their pendejadas. While the agenda item has the name of Rep Colon-Villalobos, make no mistake about it, this movida is coming straight from City Representative Maria Reyes. 

Rep Maria Reyes (Left) - Mayor Gloria Rodriguez (Right)
And frankly, Reyes has come to embody everything that is wrong with Socorro politics. First, let me give you some background so you understand why Maria Reyes has become the way that she is. Reyes - to her credit - was the lone dissenting voice on a council that was corrupt even by Socorro standards. Little Jesse Gandara and his clique of mean girls changed rules, ordinances, and the charter to become a patchwork of rules that essentially made Reyes completely ineffective as a member of council. She was mistreated by them and pushed around a lot. But she stuck to her guns and for that she should be given credit.

But that was a long time ago and shouldn't be used as an excuse for her behavior now. Maria Reyes feels she was treated badly by the former regime. As a result, Reyes is completely obsessed with getting political payback on Mayor Gloria Rodriguez, to the point that she's willing to use the people's business to get even.

And that is petty and bad leadership.

Rodriguez is the last member of the Gandara clique that is still on council. She's the survivor of the group and has actually started to work with members of council that were former adversaries. But that isn't important to Reyes, all she wants is a pound of flesh - and apparently is willing to use the city's time and resources to do it.

This is the failed leadership that Socorro has had to deal with for generations. Being more focused on payback rather than smart policy choices or solving the day-to-day problems is the crap that has always seemed to plague Socorro and why so many people feel like voting in Socorro doesn't matter.

Under the patchwork of crappy policies, procedures, ordinances, and charter items, the Mayor of Socorro basically has no power. The mayor only votes on a tie and needs council permission to put anything on an agenda.

Essentially, they can do no harm. This was done because Jesse Gandara didn't control the mayor at the time. So Reyes won. Her adversary can essentially do nothing. But that isn't good enough for Reyes. She wants to take it a step further because she won't rest, as she's personally told me in the past, until she sees Rodriguez "behind bars".

And guess what? Its going to cost Socorro residents money in the process. Because now they are going to have to have a special election to replace the mayor. So now there is a COST to Reyes' personal vendetta.

What Reyes is going to use to kick Rodriguez off is a years-old issue about attorney fees. Essentially they are going to determine that Rodriguez owes money to the city and therefore can't be mayor. No due process, no nothing. Just a majority vote which essentially consists of 3 members of council and just like that, Rodriguez will be gone. This issue hasn't been brought up since 2014, but since Reyes was just reelected to council recently, she now had the opportunity to bring it up. There was no pressing issue facing the City of Socorro and its certainly not a money issue because an election to replace Rodriguez will cost more than whatever they are saying Rodriguez owes.

Reyes' priority should be the economic development of the community rather than her personal score settling. Every time there is another circus story like this it hurts Socorro. Its hard to get businesses to relocate to Socorro when there is a constant shit-show going on at city council meetings. Reyes should be focused on helping her community instead of getting it caught up in another media circus that is completely avoidable.

And if Reyes believes there has been some legal wrong-doing on the party of Rodriguez, she should've taken it to the District Attorney's Office long ago. But the fact that she is taking this avenue instead of going to the DA speaks volumes about her motives.

By the way, remember the 3 members of council thing. It'll come up again later...

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