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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – December 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Water Safety

Proposed amendments 15 and 16, aimed at siphoning off Valley water for sale to thirsty cities, went down in flames on election day. The initiatives were voted down 76 percent to 24 percent.

While jubilant about their win, Valley residents wonder how Gary Boyce, head of Stockman’s Water Co. will proceed next. Boyce financed the efforts to get the amendment proposals on the ballot, spending an estimated $1 million. It’s a sure bet he isn’t giving up.

Stay tuned for the next round.

More Election Results

The first vote after the San Luis Valley was split into two districts — to ensure better representation of the Hispanic population — resulted in the election of an Anglo, Democrat Al Gagliardi. Not a surprise, since all the candidates for the state House were Anglo. Gagliardi credits Pueblo voters for his victory, leaving Valley residents wondering about representation of their particular issues.

Rio Grande County voters re-elected Sheriff Desi Medina, apparently forgiving him for spreading a false rumor about his opponent, Rick Black, during the campaign.

Lucy Cordova lost her bid to re-take her position as Conejos County commissioner. Cordova was recalled in September after allegations of abusing her power of office. Robert Bagwell of Manassa was elected to the commission.

Saguache County voters said “No” to a one-cent sales tax. The money was to be used for building improvement and sharing among Center, Saguache, Crestone and Moffat.

In other Valley races, incumbents won the day, indicating the voters are pleased with the status quo. Time to start gearing up for 2000.

Swine Delay

District Judge Robert Ogburn ruled that the Costilla County commissioners can’t proceed with a bond election to finance a hog farm. Ogburn ruled that the commissioners improperly notified the public as to hearings on the issue and that Bowman Farms, would-be operators of the farm, failed to post a bond required by the conditional measure.

This is a victory for opponents to swine farming in the county, who object on environmental grounds to having thousands of pigs in their area. Whether Bowman Farms — and the commissioners — will try again remains to be seen, in view of the hog farm control measures passed on Nov. 3.

Halloween Puzzle

A few days before Halloween, Jose Rubio discovered a set of bones, and not the type that come from a novelty shop. The skeletal remains were found buried in a ditch near Del Norte.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is testing the remains for identification.