Socorro City Rep Maria Reyes successfully led the ouster of Mayor Gloria Rodriguez last week through manipulating two other members of council.
Some of you may have seen the media accounts of what happened but I'll fill you in on some of the important details that have probably not been reported widely.
No matter how you slice it, Reyes has dragged Socorro backward, cost tax payers $20,000-$25,000 and has contributed to the stigma of Socorro politics.
Why? Because she wanted payback. No amount of explaining from her will make the facts any different. And here's how you know its just another Socorro movida...
First of all, who put the item on the agenda? It wasn't Reyes, it was Rep Yvonne Colon-Villalobos. Reyes had to be the person to "second" the item in order to get it on the agenda. She originally didn't want to and was trying to get another rep to do it. Why? Because she knew if it came from her everyone would know that it was her personal beef.
And while the story broke on Monday, it wasn't until AFTER the meeting on Thursday that anyone was able to get any indication of why Rodriguez was even being removed form office in the first place. There was zero transparency in this issue. There was no reason given on the agenda. There was no back-up provided to the public. But somehow the public that are friends with Reyes knew what the deal was although it was never discussed, even when they were actually voting to remove Reyes.
|Rodriguez's Attorney Jim Darnell confers |
with Socorro City Attorney Jim Martinez
Voting on an item with zero transparency and not an ounce of back-up for the public to peruse was a failure on the part of all the members of council that voted for that item and further undermines the confidence of the voters of Socorro about their government.
Where was the public discussion of the allegation? Where was Mayor Rodriguez's due process?
And let me be clear about something with those of you reading this who may have not yet picked up on this particular fact - I have often been a vocal critique of Mayor Rodriguez. There are many areas of policies in which we disagree and I certainly don't care for the political company she keeps.
But wrong is wrong, regardless of my personal feelings for Mayor Rodriguez in the past.
Perhaps another reason that City Rep Maria Reyes didn't want to have a public conversation about the allegations against Rodriguez may be the fact that there is a good possibility that the city of Socorro will ultimately have to deal with this issue in court. No telling how much the final bar tab will be for Reyes' personal vendetta against Mayor Rodriguez, but one thing is for sure, it ain't gonna be cheap.
Here's video of Rodriguez's attorney Jim Darnell, being interviewed after the meeting in which Rodriguez was removed. As you can tell, this is anything but a slam dunk. Which further begs the question of why this wasn't vetted publicly.
What's Next for Rep Reyes?
Well there is already talk of an opponent against Reyes and creating a vacancy at the mayor's position will likely make things more difficult for Rep Reyes considering several of the names of people that are already rumored to be considering a run for the seat. Not a single one is a friendly toward Reyes. And not only is that going to be an issue for her, but there is already talk of two different opponents already gearing up to take Reyes on in an election.
Reyes is a notoriously lazy campaigner, so the minute she gets in a race with an opponent, she's pretty living on borrowed political time.
So what does she do in the mean time?
Well this is the challenge for Reyes. She's never really done anything for her constituents. There really is no accomplishment for Reyes during all her years on council. The only thing she really has done was use public funds for some blankets that were given out to the public for personal individual use. That's it.
Now that she got rid of Rodriguez, what is she going to do now? What is going to be her focus? She should now try to accomplish something of note in the short time that she's still a member of Socorro city council. That is going to be a tall order for someone who has done absolutely nothing while on council except focus on political payback of her enemy on the public's dime.
And now that she has done so, now what?
Frankly, I don't think she will do anything other than continue the politics of personal payback.
But she has the opportunity to actually do something. Other members of council have worked hard on actual substantive change for Socorro. City Rep Rene Rodriguez has pretty much carried most of Socorro City Council on his shoulders and worked with regional partners to significantly improve the city's infrastructure, bring in new business to Socorro, and secured nearly a half-million dollars in resources for a library that the taxpayers of Socorro don't have to pay for.
Meanwhile, Reyes who has been there much longer has nothing to show for her time on council. Oh, and don't even get me started on what transpired IMMEDIATELY following the meeting in which she ousted her foe...
...lets just say she could be removed from office just as easily...