TO THE EDITOR:
Four years ago, I was one of several Artesia voters that wrote a letter to the editor highlighting the voting record of Manuel Barragan. Fortunately, District 1 voters were paying attention then and defeated Mr. Barragan in his run for the city council.
Well, Mr. Barragan is back! And I am back to remind the people of Artesia and the voters of District 1 of Mr. Barragan’s voting record.
In 2011, our mayor, city council and personnel from oil and gas and agriculture industries were working with Rep. Steve Pearce to prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department from listing the Sand Dune Lizard as an endangered species. Those efforts were successful in saving untold jobs in our community and avoiding heavy losses in the oil and gas and agriculture industries. But not all of our city councilors defended our local employers and residents. Manuel Barragan voted against a resolution to prevent the endangered species listing, saying, “I like the little lizard.” Fortunately, other city councilors voted “yes.”
During the city election campaign four years ago, other Barragan votes were highlighted in the newspaper. These included:
• Voted “No” to expand the wastewater treatment plant capacity to support the growth of Navajo Refinery. Fortunately, other city councilors voted “Yes.”
• Voted “No” to allocate $39,000 to Artesia Vocational Training Center to help train Artesians for good paying jobs. Fortunately, other city councilors voted “Yes.”
• Voted “No” to install a new sewer line to support the expansion of the FLETC. Fortunately, other city councilors voted “Yes.”
• Voted “No” on a re-plat request of Navajo Refinery to expand their operation and provide more jobs. Fortunately, other city councilors voted “Yes.”
• Voted “No” to amend industry guidelines at Artesia Industrial Park to provide for worker safety thus assuring jobs in the park. Fortunately, other city councilors voted “Yes.”
• Voted “No” to fund economic development activities to bring jobs to Artesia. Fortunately, other city councilors voted “Yes.”
My livelihood and those of many friends and neighbors depend on the oil and gas industry and it makes my blood boil to think Manuel Barragan could be elected to the city council on March 1. With the price of oil at $30 per barrel, our oil and gas companies, refining company and companies that support these industries are struggling to stay afloat. The last thing Artesia needs is Manuel Barragan on the city council, casting his votes opposing these employers.
Manuel Barragan does not understand our economy or the impact that his negativity would have on our hard working citizens. Don’t elect Manuel Barragan to represent us in District 1.