Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Letter to the Editor: Giving a Wink



On July 19, my fellow residents of Corrales, we bore witness to a disheartening display of indifference and betrayal. The Planning and Zoning Commission convened to discuss a significant change in the use of a commercially zoned property, nestled in our community with its sole access from a small residential lane. Our concerns were genuine, as we voiced our apprehensions about the potential traffic surge resulting from the conversion of a daycare center to a 50 top restaurant, accompanied by a yoga studio, hair salon, accounting office, and room for further expansion. But alas, the voice of one commissioner resonated, advocating for unreserved approval of these plans, dismissing our valid worries without consideration.

As other commissioners sought solutions that would balance the interests of the business and address our concerns, this particular commissioner staunchly opposed any amendments, asserting that they would not address the issues raised by residents. In every instance, this commissioner stood firm, unwavering in their pursuit to push the developer's agenda forward. And when the proposal finally received approval, a wink, subtle yet laden with meaning, was given by the commissioner to the developer.

Oh, my friends, let us not be deceived by this seemingly innocent gesture. For in the realm of commissioners and developers, a wink bears the weight of a profound betrayal. It is no ordinary wink, but a symbol of collusion and deceit, cementing an alliance that disregards the very foundation of fairness and justice.

With a wink from a commissioner, our community received a resounding message: "Your concerns hold no weight." In that fleeting moment, our hopes for an outcome that would balance business growth and protect Corrales residents were shattered, our voices silenced. The essence of democracy, the belief that our government exists to serve all citizens and not just the interests of businesses, was callously cast aside. We were left to know our place in a system that should safeguard and uplift each and every one of us.

But let us not be fooled, my fellow Corraleños. With a wink from a commissioner, the message conveyed to the developer spoke a different language altogether. It whispered of favoritism, of clandestine dealings behind closed doors. It insinuated, “we have your back." In that singular wink of an eye, the trust we bestowed upon those who were meant to represent us was shattered. We beheld a disheartening revelation of true intentions—a sinister alliance forged between power and privilege.

And what of the community feedback process? With a wink from a commissioner, it was exposed as a charade, a mockery of inclusion. Our opinions were dismissed, our concerns disregarded. We found ourselves reduced to mere pawns in a predetermined game, where the outcome had been etched in stone before we even had a chance to step onto the board. The pillars of transparency and accountability crumbled before our very eyes, leaving us disoriented and disillusioned.

But perhaps the most damning realization of all is the revelation that, with a wink from a commissioner, business approvals would be rubber-stamped. Our beloved village, once a sanctuary from unchecked urbanization, has transformed into an unjust playground for the wealthy and well-connected. The scales of injustice have been shamefully tipped, as the interests of the few take precedence over the needs of the many. We, the residents, bear the burden of their negligence, as our dreams of a fair and equitable community slip further from our grasp.

And yet, when we confronted the wink of a commissioner, the losing side was left with the commissioner’s words that leave one to guess if they are helpful or hurtful “well here’s a wink for you too."

Keith Greer



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