Recently the lead article in the Alamogordo Daily News was about Otero County suing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over a road that a private mining company wants access to use.
Citing "eminent domain" the county plans to sue BLM and then purchase the road.
Currently Otero County is also being sued by the Forest Service over management of the forest. Commissioner Rardin has stated several times that the county has budgeted $700,000.00 for this law suit.
There have been no dollar figures put out yet in this latest suit but I would take a guess that in attorney bills and the cost of buying the road you would be talking in the area of a minimum of $300,000.00
Everyone that I have talked to about this issue seem to feel that these figures are on the low side.
My question, and the question that everyone should be asking, is "where is the money coming from"?
Looking over the budget presented on April 20, 2012 finds that there is NOT $700,000.00 budgeted for the Forest Service suit. In fact there is nothing budgeted for that.
There is also nothing in the budget for the suit against the BLM.
While there are funds available in the "cash carry over" this amount is being depleted at a record rate.
It's time to put fiscal responsibility and common sense budgeting back into Otero County.