T or C city commission violated Open Meetings Act in handling smart meter appeals and their actions must be reconsidered, AG determines

by Kathleen Sloan | June 14, 2021
5 min read

The AG’s Office determined that descriptions of agenda items involving the appeals either lacked the specificity required to adequately inform the public of the nature of the business to be discussed or to cover actions subsequently taken by the commission. As a result, the commission must reconsider an order denying the appeals and its imposition of a monthly $50 meter-reading fee on residents who wished to retain their analog meters.

Sunshine laws graphic
Need to Know
Need to Know
Sierra County Commission district map

“New taxing district” missing from messaging so far on special hospital district

by Kathleen Sloan | June 4, 2021
7 min read

The Joint Powers Commission, the financial overseer of Sierra Vista Hospital in Truth or Consequences, is leading a quiet petition drive to place the question of whether to create a special hospital district on the November ballot. The JPC has yet to make the public aware that, in addition to simplifying governance, a special hospital district has taxing authority that enables it to seek voter approval to hike property taxes.

graphic illustrating the keys to good government

T or C Manager Swingle tightens city procedures and money belt

by Kathleen Sloan | May 27, 2021
7 min read

With less than a month’s service as the city manager of Truth or Consequences, Bruce Swingle has ushered in good government procedures that reverse years of decision-making by staff behind closed doors instead of by city commissioners in open meetings.

Aerial view of the market at Ralph Ediwards Park

Welcome back: Sierra County Farmer’s Market returns to Ralph Edwards Park

by Diana Tittle with photography by Luis Rios and Nathan Maplesden | June 15, 2021
6 min read

A guide to the market’s 2021 season and its vendors of the freshest locally grown produce and fruits, free-range eggs, delectible baked goods, beautiful flowers and unique handmade crafts.

Culture
Culture
Israeli police upholding recent ceasefire on the streets of an Israeli city

Reader at Large: May 22–June 4, 2021

by David Goodman | June 7, 2021

A digest of some of the best and most thought-provoking articles and books enjoyed by the author in the past two weeks

Cover to Alison Bechdel's new graphic memoir

Reader at Large: May 8-21, 2021

by David Goodman | May 24, 2021

A digest of some of the best and most thought-provoking articles and books enjoyed by the author in the past two weeks

The Trial of the Chicago 7

by Michael Young | May 30, 2021

In time for Memorial Day reflection, a review of the 2020 film that dramatized the Nixon administration’s attempt to discredit the anti-Vietnam war movement by prosecuting some its most prominent leftist leaders.

Movie poster for "Soul"

Soul

by Michael Young | May 21, 2021

A review of the Disney/Pixar Animation Studios film that won the 2020 Oscar for Best Animated Feature and for the Best Original Score. It was also nominated for Best Sound. Available on Disney+ and Netflix DVD and to buy/rent ($19.99) on Apple TV+, YouTube, Vudu, Google Play and Amazon Prime Video

Opinions
Opinions
Sun's editorial team at Farmer's Market

Come by and say hi

by Diana Tittle | June 10, 2021

Starting this Saturday, June 12, the Sun will host a table at the Sierra County Farmer’s Market at Ralph Edwards Park in Truth or Consequences.

Luis Rios at his desk

Why I want to be a reporter

by Luis Rios | June 4, 2021

In my high school’s Newspaper Club, I learned that journalism is different from the creative writing I enjoyed. That realization didn’t intimate me, but rather stirred my curiosity and drive to master fact-based reporting.

Enjoying the Rio Grande at Rotary Park

Wildlife trail or commercial development for Rotary Park?

by Haruhuani Spruce | May 31, 2021

Please, let us come together to prevent one more desecration. Please let us create, instead, a preserve for wildlife with access for people to the Rio Grande that will stand into the future to preserve the precious, irreplaceable quality of life that we are able to enjoy here.

Truth or Consequences Public Library

T or C City Commission abdicates responsibility to select library advisory board members

by Diana Tittle | May 24, 2021

Municipal code mandates that members of the Truth or Consequences library’s advisory board are to be appointed by the city’s elected representatives to ensure independent oversight of the public library. The public’s interests are not well served when the city commission allows the library board to self-determine its own membership.

oil worker at a produced water treatement facility near Malaga, NM

Back to the well

by Lindsay Fendt, Searchlight New Mexico | May 20, 2021
8 min read

Oil and gas funds everything from campaigns to government functions in New Mexico, complicating the state’s transition away from fossil fuels.

Of Recent Interest
Of Recent Interest
Inspection of Public Records cartoon

Foundation for Open Government determines T or C’s fees to deliver requested electronic documents not allowed under state law

by Kathleen Sloan | June 11, 2021
2 min read

Truth or Consequences has recently begun to charge a fee of 25 cents per page to deliver electronic records requested under the Inspection of Public Records Act. FOG responded to a citizen request to determine the fee’s validity.

T or C police headquarters

T or C police news roundup

by Kathleen Sloan | June 1, 2021
7 min read

The Truth or Consequences city commission has approved a new taser policy, received a briefing on the selection process for the new police chief and discussed behind closed doors possible litigation involving two police officers.

Location of south-side T or C wells and waste transfer station

T or C still mum about problems with city’s water wells, despite only two of eight working properly

by Kathleen Sloan | May 25, 2021
6 min read

A legal ad in the Sierra County Sentinel’s May 21 edition was the first public notice and acknowledgment that two more wells in the city’s eight-well field are in trouble. Four others are offline, raising questions about the city’s water delivery capacity and the water department’s transparency about the health of the well field.

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