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Patterson Canyon pile burn starting Feb 2nd through the winter   

[NEW] January 21, 2015
The battle goes on ... and on ....
Why? Well, the Augustin Plains Ranch thinks we will quit and go away. If we do, they win.

Bruce Frederick, attorney defending us in battle, has won the first two rounds for us: two applications submitted to the Office of the State Engineer have been rejected.

Now there’s a third application.

The State Engineer has the application, but is not publishing it as he must do before it can be acted upon. He can sit on it indefinitely (and maybe hope we’ll go away?) and until it is noticed in local papers we cannot take any action. So here’s what we have to do: 1) watch the local papers for an announcement of the new application and 2) protest at that time.

Meanwhile, don’t give up. We can win if we hang in and work together. So far that’s what has happened; you have all been great through seven years of protests, court cases and games playing by the APR LLC.

December 11 - Water grab application sent back (Chieftain)  

Questioning Augustin Plains water grab
(letter to Chieftain)

Office of State Engineer to launch updated website  (Chieftain)

State engineer website:

More Water Grab News Here >>


Report the conduct of an attorney at the Disciplinary Board of the NM Supreme Court Website- The form

Consumer complaints with the NM Attorney General - Utilities problems
Website - Form & instructions

NM Attorney General Open Meeting Act  

NM PRC (Public Regulation Commission) - Your rep is probably Ben L Hall.
Website  - Online Complaint Page
Please read instructions and FAQs
download a copy

Submit a complaint about Open Meetings and Inspection of Public Records Act or here

Contact Wiggins law firm
Letter to the editor Chieftain  
Letter to the editor Abq Journal  
Letter to the Informed Cynic  

Complaints to Agencies:
Nat'l Rural Electric Co-op Association
NM Rural Electric Co-ops  
New Mexico RUS
NM Rural Electric Coop Act [2013]   
Cooperative Finance Corp. (CFC)  


American Kestrel - Magdalena, Jan 2, 2015

Oct. 16 -  Military study looks at area needs  (Chieftain)  [new]

August 26 -
Re: the CO2 pipeline proposed to cross Catron County. Representatives from Kinder Morgan will be hosting a series of public presentations that will provide a detailed overview of the Lobos Pipeline project, as well as address questions and concerns from the general public.

Tuesday, September 9
La Promesa Elementary School
898 HWY 304 Veguita, NM 6PM

Thursday, September 11 -
Quemado High School 3484 US HWY 60
Quemado, NM 6PM

August 21, 2014 - Water Grab Oral Argument hearing  

072514-Groundwater in SW (Colorado basin) disappearing  

072414-Augustin Plains submits new application (Cheiftain)     [new]



May 6 - "Governor Martinez has vetoed any and everything that has to do with solar power." The rest of the story here.   (see climate change report just out under Climate Change, lower left column)

- Solar halted by Hawaii Power  
- Conservative group ALEC pushes stealth tax on homeowners who install solar panels

- NM Legislature deals a blow to the State's renewable energy laws
- How one small community is going
big on solar
- Top 10 Signs Solar is rapidly Winning

- PRC Renewable Energy in NM
- Solar power in New Mexico (Wiki)
- BBC Report on Germany's efforts. mp3
- The Cost of not Using Renewable Energy



Wiggins, Lorna Wiggins, Wiggins



January 31 - Review of the new by-law proposal

There is good news and bad news from and about the Christensen Report.

The good news: Much of what he is recommending is very good and should be adopted. Mr. C. stated that the BIG ISSUES are: RATES, SERVICE, TRANSPARENCY, DEMOCRATIC CONTROL. (the entire phrase is DEMOCRATIC CONTROL BY MEMBERS). Keep this criteria in mind as you read the full report which is posted available here and the co-op website.

The bad news: Some of what he is recommending is very bad and would restrict the rights of the members while giving much more control to the Board of Trustees. Mr. C.'s idea of democratic control by members is limited to the election of trustees to act for them. He also stated that the bylaws are a take it or leave proposition which the members can not amend or change. This is very odd and I don't think enforceable. SEC money has paid for this report and it should meet the needs of the SEC members. Dictating terms is not the job of Mr. Christensen.

Some of the bylaws are confusing. Insight into them may be gained by reading PART II. BYLAW ANALYSIS for Mr. C.'s reasoning. PART III. BOARD POLICIES contains some very bad sections designed to punish particular trustees and stop any dissent. First amendment rights are discards and all power resides in the Chair. A new board is the only solution to this problem as the members have no say in policies and the current board majority will probably put them into effect very quickly.

Quick actions that would benefit the members are cleansing of member (voting) lists and redistricting if the members accept the 7 trustee proposal.

1. Art. I. Table of Contents and Index to the bylaws.
2. ART. II. One member, one vote. Yard lights do not count nor do secondary services away from primary residences.
3. ART III. Clean up the membership list to give integrity to voting. The cleaning of the list should begin immediately as it not dependent on acceptance of Report.
4. Art. IV. Members entitled to receive membership list with names and addresses.

1. Art. V. Board to increase to 7 trustees. The present majority of 3 of 5 seems to make 7 a better number. This would require redistricting. Trustees from each district to be voted upon on an "at large" basis with all members voting on all trustees.

1. Art. IV. Section 4.03 "When notifying Members of any Member Meeting, the Cooperative shall include notice of any matter which a Member may raise or discuss, and intends to raise or discuss, at the Member Meeting if: 1. Requested in writing, by a percentage of the Total Membership entitled to call a Special Meeting (that would be 10%) and the Coop. receives the written request satisfying the member-identification standards set forth in Section 4.02 at least thirty day prior to delivering notice of the Member Meeting.

The Cooperative shall also notice any matter that the Board of Directors intends to raise or discuss at the Member Meeting.
Art. X. Section 10.01 - Bylaw Amendments. This section refers to among other issues the amendments that ...any group of members may by petition containing the names, authenticated signatures, addresses and account numbers of 500 members, have a proposed Bylaw amendment included in the agenda and put to vote at the next Annual Meeting, so long as the petition is received by the Coop not less than 180 prior to the Annual Meeting. (This is six months before a date that moves around and is set by the board.)

These sections impose really, really big hoops that members must jump through to propose an amendment. Trustees can just raise what they wish. Democratic control??????

These hoops also go against " NM law 62-15-7. Bylaws...bylaws shall be adopted, amended or repealed by the majority of the members present at any regular annual meeting or special meeting called for that purpose, a quorum being present........."

Art. III & Art. VIII. Both of these articles deal with Capital Credits and need to be closely studied by the members. Mr. Christensen's Bylaw Analysis should also be studied to ascertain fairness or unfairness to members.

Art. IV. Section 4.12- Credentials and Election Committee. The Board appoints and that is a problem while we have the current board. Mr. C. does not seem to understand the total lack of trust that exists between the board and the members. Certain things that would be okay with a respected board should not be attempted with "the majority of three." Again too much power being shifted to board.

ART. V. Trustees. This entire section raises many questions. Change to 7 trustees from 5, terms change from 4 to 3 years, no term limits, removal of trustees by board with vacancy fill by board. TRUSTEE COMPENSATION "determined in the Board's reasonable discretion. Section 5.16 Indemnification of Trustees..... Too easily used along with "Removal by Board" to punish disagreement and push private agendas.

ART. VI. Meeting of trustees. As with Art. V, this section raises many questions that might not exist with a more responsible board than the present.

ART VII. Section 7.11 Committees. Appointed by Chair which could "stack" the committee with partisan opinion.

ART X. Miscellaneous. Section 10.01 Bylaw Amendments. This is the 500 members to propose an amendment section. Section 10.04 -Notice. Makes delivery of "Enchanted Magazine" official notice.

Feedback is coming in from members and will be shared in another email.
First review of the proposed by-laws

Related documents:
New By-law change proposal   
By-Law Proposal Analysis   

January 31 -

Questions were received on what the consultant payments were in Dec and Jan. (see right column)  As of this writing, the general manager refuses to give out the check register to at lest some of the trustees at the last board meeting. It would do no good for The Informed Cynic to ask for related documents as their lawyer already blacklisted us.

January 28 -

The SEC has a national reputation as probably the top dysfunctional co-op. We know this website is watched by people all over the country who are having the same issues. And an example used in university classes.

The many suggestions for change have been excellent. Most important is a rewrite of the by-laws.

Then another suggestion is voting by mail which should eliminate the lack of quorum.

Also, trustees are voted on by the full membership, not just the district they represent.  That should eliminate corrupt voting.

One negative aspect of all this is the Mr Christensen assumes the majority of the board works for the member interests. If that were so, we wouldn't be in this mess. Keep in mind, the foxes are still in the hen house.  Also, Mr Christensen's glowing attributes assigned to the board lawyer as well as the board chair was simply embarassing to listen to.

Video will be presented probably by sometime Friday afternoon, as well as a full copy of the report and the Power Point presentation to go with the video.

January 27 -

The SEC meeting is tomorrow 10:30a.m. to 5:00p.m. and Thursday 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Drop in on the meeting when you can.

Our hometown radio station, 102.1 will broadcast a story about the meeting tomorrow morning. It will be at the top of the hour following the national news for every hour starting at 6:00a.m. through 12:00p.m. Support our radio station and SEC member rights.

Sources tell us that the co-op will bring in a professional video crew and copies of the video will be available at no cost.

January 25 - Update:

The comments concerning next week's two day "Regular Board of Trustees Meeting" has raised a lot of questions. Some answers follow, some questions cannot be answered.

1. Why such short notice or no notice at all about the Christensen report on his audit?
There is no explanation for the somewhat stealth scheduling and notice of this important report. The December, 2014 meeting of the board set the probable date for February 18 & 19, 2015 which would have allowed for notice to be contained in billings to members and other forms of public notice so that members could know about the report and make plans to attend. Member's money is paying for this study and report and they have the right to read the full report accessible from the Firm (Smith & Christensen), to hear the presentation of the report and to ask questions of Mr. Christensen. The time of the change of the date is unknown. The following is known:

Mr. Christensen emailed Socorro City officials on 1/20/15 telling them that he would be presenting his report to the Macey Center "next week"...... It was the first reference to the upcoming meeting and report. Mayor Bhasker mentioned the meeting at the City Council meeting on the same day. He is now attempting to notify members in the city but time is short. Trustee Wagner learned of the meeting and report the next morning as he viewed the tape of the City Council meeting. He had not been consulted or notified of the meeting and report nor had Trustee Melissa Amaro. Ms. Amaro received a telephone call Thursday morning from Chairperson Anne Dorough telling her of the event "so that she could make arrangements to attend."

The meeting was posted on the website but that post did not mention Mr. Christensen. The notice of the meeting in the Chieftain required by the Open Meeting Act did not mention the purpose of the meeting as specified in Mr. Christensen's contract or the bylaws of the SEC for a "special meeting." Instead the two day meeting is referred to on website, advertisement, etc. as a "Regular Board of Trustees Meeting." The emphasis on "regular" instead of the proper forms of a "special" meeting is explained by the Agenda now posted on the SEC website and attached to this message. Under I. NEW BUSINESS., Sec. 2 BOARD GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT AUDIT REPORT PRESENTATION. Aaron Christensen is the first public mention of the Christensen report. Further down the Agenda listing is M. ADJOURN. "The Open Meeting Bylaw allows persons be permitted to 'attend and listen.' The SEC Board meeting is not an open forum and, so long as the Open Meeting Bylaw is complied with, there will be no public debate on agenda items and SEC Chair may take steps necessary to maintain public order". Members can be muzzled at a "regular" meeting but not at a "special" meeting.

2. Why two days for the report presentation?
Mr. Christensen set the time frame according to his email to the city. He mentions that he hopes that city officials "will be able to attend some or all of these sessions." Attend when you are able and trust that you can fill in the blanks with the written report. Tapes will be made of the meetings and available for viewing.

012515-update comments and questions on investigation meeting.pdf

Public comments at the Socorro City meeting.avi
(On potential anti-voting strategies by the board majority)


Board of Trustees Regular Meeting will be at the NM Tech Macey Center over a 2 day period
January 28th, 2015, 10:30 AM
Then on January 29th 2015, 9:00 AM
Agenda will be available 24 hrs. in advance.

Here is the agreement between the co-op
and the law firm

January 21: 1.30PM -
While watching the tape of the City of Socorro's Tuesday night (1/20/15), Mayor Bhasker mentioned that the report of the Smith and Christensen law firm was scheduled to be presented to the SEC Board of Trustees next week. Check the SEC website, click on News and Events which will take you to Board of Trustees Regular Meeting notice. The notice States:

Board of Trustees Regular Meeting
January 28th, 2015, 10:30 am to 5:00pm
January 29th 2015, 9:00 am to 5:00pm
New Mexico Tech Macey Center, Socorro, NM
Agenda will be available 24 hrs. in advance.

City of Socorro officials received a message from Mr. Aaron Christensen (dated Jan.20th, 1:48pm) informing them of the meeting. Mr. John Larson, reporter with the "Chieftain" newspaper also received a note from Mr. Christensen.
As of this writing, (noon, January 21st) Trustee Charlie Wagner has not been notified of the meeting from either the Board of Trustees, SEC management or Mr. Christensen. Neither has this website.

There are several problems with notices to the SEC membership:
Mr. Christensen's firm's contract with the SEC clearly states under "A. SERVICES TO BE PERFORMED, Section 4. Under completion of its review, Firm will submit Socorro's General Counsel and its Board a written analysis and set of recommendations ("Report") addressing the issues listed above as well as any other issues or concerns that Firm develops during its review. Mr. Christensen will personally deliver the Report to the Board during the course of a special meeting of the Board."

Any meeting of the SEC Board of Trustees must conform to the Open Meeting Act in regard to public attendance and notice. And a special meeting as called for in the Consulting Agreement between the law firm and SEC calls for special handling. SEC Bylaws, Article III. Meeting of the Members, Section 5. Notice of Member's Meeting. "Written or printed notice stating the place, day and hour of the meeting and, in the case of a special meeting or annual meeting at which business requiring special notice is to be transacted, the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called shall be delivered not less than ten or more than thirty days...before the date of the meeting, either personally or by mail, by or at the direction of the Secretary, or upon a default in duty by the Secretary, by the persons calling the meeting, to each member..." Obviously, the notice posted on the SEC website only refers to a "Regular meeting" and does not list the presentation of Mr. Christensen's Report which is of great interest to SEC members. Getting the word out to the members will be difficult with less than a week to arrange attendance at the special meeting.

Many questions arise in regard to this entire matter. Is a special meeting required by contract without proper notice as required by SEC bylaw even legal. Keeping this report hidden from the members and Trustee Charlie Wagner is another issue that Mr. Christensen needs to investigate.
The above comments for download here  

JUse caution when suing over Open Meetings Act

January 6 -
Reorg meeting went as expected with all the usual suspects reelected to their posts - Anne Dorough, Chair., Dave Wade Vice-Chair, Leo Cordova Secretary/Treasurer.

In other news:

The 2015 Strategic Planning Meeting has been pushed out about about 6 months due to scheduling of the investigation by the outside law firm Smith and Christiansen in February. UPDATE January 20th - the date of the report has been pushed up to Jan 28th with almost no public notice. So the strategic planning meeting may be changed also.

The investigation results will take 2 meetings, probably be around February 18 and 19th. For more information click here, and scroll down the right column to July 31 comments.

The Socorro City Counsel meeting will be Jan 20th - no SEC discussion on the agenda as yet.







Febuary 18, 2015 - 1PM
(Note one time date change)
310 Abeyta Ave. NE. Socorro
(Across from the DAV Hall) Map
SEC Website

Find your district  

Special Investigation Report Web Page

New By-law change proposal   
By-Law Proposal Analysis   

2014 District Meetings
District 2 unapproved minutes & props.
District 3 unapproved minutes & props 

Upcoming Meetings:
2015 Strategic Planning Meeting:
Postponed until around July, 2015

Recent payments to outside consutants

Wiggins lawfirm - 2014
Jan - $21,458.56    
Feb - $12,498.76
Mar - $16,154.77
Apr - $7,438.05
May - $11,901.14 (Includes Annual Meeting)
June - $2,954.84
July - $5,093.48
Aug - 5,341.01
Sep - $4509.25
Oct - $3,602.42
Nov - $8,304.00
Years 2010 to end of 2013 at least $209,626.29

Bryce Wilson, Accountant - in 2014
Jan - $16,202.56   
Feb - $13,687.22   
Mar - $13,212.39
Apr - $11,335.74 (March 9-22)
May - $17,936.23 (3/30 to 5/13)
June - $14,289.60 (5/11 to 6/4)
July - $10,886.69 (6/15 - 7/3)
Aug - 10,410.27 (7/13 - 8/24)
Sept - 10876.85 (8/13/-8/;23)
Oct - 11,503.26 (9/14 - 10/4)
Nov - $6,087.85 (10/12 to 10/18)
At least $105,000 in 2013

Cordova PR Firm 2014
May - $2,889.00
June - $1,081.53
July - $3012.05

Aug - $1,471.25
Sep - $1,845.75
Oct - $1,377.63
Nov - $2514.50
Cordova PR Firm billing in 2013  

Socorro City and SEC Franchise Issue
Socorro Council Webcast  
City Council meets on 1st and 3rd Mondays at 111 School of Mines Road.
Latest Agenda: (Pending)
Special buy-out webpage click here

Click here for more news, and videos


(New district numbers)

WARNING... on the use of e-mail addresses ending in These are reviewed by management staff, and saved. Never assume privacy. The Ipads issued to the trustees are a way of controlling what trustees say, read, and correspond to everybody.

District 1: Leo Cordova
District 2: Charlie Wagner (safe to use)
District 3: Melissa Amaro

District 4: Dave Wade
Distgroct 5: Anne Dorough -

Wiggins, Lorna Wiggins, Wiggins


Dec. 25 -
Co-op insurance policy in question  (Chieftain)

Nov 20 - Chieftain articles:
Resolution aims to dissolve SEC (Chieftain)  
Homeless awareness rises as temps drop  

Nov 13 - Melissa Amaro's letter (Chieftain)  

Nov 6 - City eyes co-op appraisal, upcoming meeting

Nov 6 - letters to the editor:
Co-op president responds  
SEC members have right, duty

More SEC Co-op News >>>
Wiggins, Lorna Wiggins, Wiggins


NM Statutes and Court Rules

No active cases.
Links to previous cases at the top of the page.


More >>>



Wiggins Williams Wiggins, Socorro Electric Attorney, Anne Dorough, Bryce Wilson, Joseph Herrera, Eileen Latasa,