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Author: Kerry Baldwin

Crum breaks w/ fellow conservatives; approves Fire Union agreement

City Councilor Tim Crum, District 5, broke with his fellow conservatives and voted with the Mayor to approve the Fire Union Collective Bargaining Agreement at Wednesday night’s city council meeting. Councilor Crum, acknowledged the concerns of councilors Wilkins, Clayton, and Scott who were cautious of approving a document that they had not yet examined in detail, but didn’t feel that caution warranted a delay in approval. Councilor Chuck Wilkins pointed out that any agreement shouldn’t be taken lightly as the last governing body seemed to do with a multitude of contracts including the horrible debacle with the Mariposa PID, which have left residents to foot a very large bill. Wilkins, who asked the Fire Chief if there would be any detriment to delaying the approval by one month, also noted that even though city staff were responsible for negotiations that the governing body was ultimately responsible for the agreement since they had to vote to approve it. Councilors Scott and Clayton echoed Wilkins’ concerns noting that they had not yet had time to delve into the document. Councilor Crum, who has been on the city council since 2010, appealed to his fellow conservatives to trust the work of the city staff especially since there is no “fiscal impact” to be had by approving the agreement. Councilor Crum voted to approve the Fire Union Collective Bargaining Agreement, against the desire...

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Latest crime stats published: Is Rio Rancho unsafe?

According to RRPD, crime is up nearly 15% in Rio Rancho and while it is still far lower than the national and state averages, it has the whole city – from the school board to “Q Citizen” – talking about our overall safety. It seems like there is a story coming out every week about how another shooting has taken place and the media is acting as though violence is something new. James Holmes? First time offender. Adam Lanza? First time offender. Nehemiah Griego? First time offender. But what the newly published crime stats don’t apparently make known is whether or not first time offenders has also increased. It’s easy to look at these statistics and think that they represent new crime, but do they? This is a highly important question especially since, in Sandoval county, our District Attorney Lemuel Martinez has the worst dismissal rate in the state. How many of these crimes could be avoided simply by having a DA who bothers to show up for work? Across the nation many people believe that if we simply take the firearms, that crime will go down. From President Obama to state representatives, the call for gun control is more boisterous than ever. Even Senator Tom Udall, who’s been sympathetic to 2nd Amendment rights in the past, seems to be changing his tune. In a Facebook comment posted yesterday...

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Save the puppies, free the market How the free market allows education, which stops puppy mill cruelty better than legislation

Originally published in the Rio Rancho Observer   Save the puppies, free the market PETA, the ASPCA and the Humane Society are organizations well-known for animal advocacy and have led the way in raising public awareness regarding the treatment of animals in fashion, product testing, meat consumption and pet welfare. Because of these campaigns, it’s now socially unacceptable to wear fur, use animal-tested products and consume caged and/or genetically-engineered animals. “Animal Welfare Approved,” “Certified Humane” and “Leaping Bunny” are third-party certifications coveted by humane business owners. These programs didn’t evolve because of legislative regulations, but because of consumer regulation:...

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