letters to the editor; commentary
I was sad to see that the Merriam’s old house on Coronado Road is finally demolished. In about 1976 I was wandering around Corrales looking for a place to live and I stopped to chat over the fence with Gene Merriam. I asked him if his shed might be for rent and he said no, but he had a trailer hookup to the west of his house and if I had a trailer I was welcome to put it there.
I went out and found a sky blue travel trailer, got it hooked up and lived with Gene and his wife, Mary, for the next year. Gene had a couple of big greenhouses and he was making a living selling hydroponic tomatoes. His wife was a nurse. Gene and I would sit on a bench outside his shed after work, and he would tell stories and whittle.
His dad had owned the Nance Apple Farm, and it was supposed to go to Gene. But his dad sold the whole thing for $40 an acre to make ends meet. Gene told me when they moved into the house it had 12-foot ceilings and a dirt roof. He thought it was over 200 years old.
Inside, it was freezing even in the summer time. He and Mary set up scaffold inside and outside and used a two-man saw to cut through the terrones. They pushed the top four feet of wall onto the ground outside and dropped the vigas down, ending up with more practical ceiling heights.
They didn’t much like the linoleum on the floors so they scraped it up, and found more linoleum underneath. They got through six layers of linoleum before they reached dirt. They poured concrete floors instead. One time I asked Gene if he had seen a certain new office building in Albuquerque and he said, “Well, I’ve never been there.” I said “You’ve never been to Albuquerque?”
Gene said “I drove part way down 4th Street one time, but I didn’t care for it so I came home.” Corrales was different back then but there are still traces of it left. I wish I’d taken the time to go in and look before they tore the place down. I really liked hanging out in that kitchen. I hope there are still folks like Gene and Mary for my grandkids to discover when they get out on their own adventures.
By Stuart Murray
Village of Corrales Local Election
In 2018, the N.M. State Legislature passed the Local Election Act (LEA) allowing municipalities to change how their local elections are conducted. The LEA’s purpose allows a municipality to change their current local election dates to a single ballot in November of odd-numbered years. The proposed benefit puts all local community elections onto one ballot paid for and supervised by the County Clerk. The Local Election Act is being considered by the Corrales Village Council (Governing Body).
The Village can continue the spring, even-numbered year election cycle. However, if the Governing Body decides to change to the LEA election cycle, the mayoral and councillor terms will be affected. Do we shorten the mayoral and council terms by five months (to be on the ballot for the November 2021/2023 elections) or lengthen the mayoral and councillor terms by 20 months (to the 2023/2025 November election cycles)?
If the Governing Body does nothing, the Village will continue to assume the full cost and supervision of the spring elections.Otherwise, the Sandoval County Clerk will pay most, but not all, of the cost from a State fund and assume supervision of the LEA elections. I would urge Village residents to research and read the LEA language passed by the New Mexico Legislature. Information about the Local Election Act is on the Secretary of State's website under Local Election Information (https://www.sos.state.nm.us/voting-and-elections/voter-information-portal/local-election-act-information). Links to House Bills 407 and 98 creating the LEA can also be found there.
Last February, the Village Council initially discussed the pros and cons of the LEA. The discussion can be found on page 8 of the February 9th, 2021 Village Council minutes on the Village website (https://www.corrales-nm.org/meetings). Please read the minutes for some answers to your questions. The Governing Body must declare the Village’s intentions before the June 30, 2021 deadline. The LEA ordinance or resolution will be on the Village Council agenda in May for consideration and action. Let your mayor and councillors know how you feel about the LEA because the Governing Body will decide soon.