By the time this gets to readers’ hands, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham probably will have chosen Leo Jaramillo’s replacement on the Rio Arriba County Commission. She clearly didn’t want any input during her process. We only got the applicants ' names Monday for the District II seat, which will be sworn in Jan.4.
No one in the County had any say, save for the politicos with connections to the fourth floor of the Roundhouse. The picks are normally based on who will bring what votes to the governor the next time she runs for something.
We’ve got some great candidates and we’ll admit our bias up front that one will produce some good stories and copy to keep readers entertained.
Our favorite has to be Leonard Valerio. Valerio served two terms on the Española School Board and was the only voice of reason and may be the only one not catching contracts and getting people jobs under the table. Needless to say he didn’t fit in well.
But he did a good job and represented his district well. He’s a rancher and retired manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Another great choice is Annabelle Sisneros. We know nothing about her political baggage but she is an associate professor of nursing at Northern New Mexico College, serves on the faculty senate and has been the director of nursing for the Rio Grande Alcohol Treatment Program. Smart, altruistic, with leadership skills. Where would she fit in the County complex and Commission?
But Valerio and Sisneros would just be honest, hard-working, task-oriented leaders, doing the job right for the voters. This is Rio Arriba County.
Our choice (and probably the governor’s) has to be former state representative Debbie Rodella. What great copy she’d give us. The chaos, the political moves. There would be a total and immediate shakeup of jobs, positions, pay structure, per diem and mileage. The political hires would be blatant, in your face payola.
And if her husband Tommy got out of federal prison while she was on the Commission? Mana from heaven. Tomas Campos would be fired and guess who would be our new County manager?
And Tommy never disappoints. Before his painted name on the door dried, he’d scoop up stalwart Jake Arnold to be his assistant County manager and Geno Rodella would replace Chris Madrid in whatever that position is Madrid fills.
We’d see Rodellas in the Roads Department, Human Resources, heck maybe the Health Department would get a Rodella to help them.
Please, governor if it’s not too late, put Debbie in the District II seat. We promise we’ll scrape up some votes for your re-election campaign.