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Trustworthy leaders needed to navigate complex issues

We hate to profess our ignorance to one and all, but that is what we’re getting ready to do.

We are interested in the discussions with the Sandoval County Commission and the oil companies regarding a new oil and gas ordinance. We are generally supportive of the ordinance if, as has been stated, the protections are stiff enough to ensure safety for the residents and the environment. But we are not experts, and much of the information we read is above our heads.

We’ve read everything that has been published, we’ve paid attention to who says what, we’ve talked to people who are involved, but we still have doubts that we know enough to have a credible opinion.

The same thing is true with the future of the country club in Rio Rancho. We are saddened by the condition of the golf courses and the clubhouse. It was one of the few green areas in the city, and now it’s become a blighted area. We usually support the private sector in its ability to get things done, and the latest plans that we have seen look plausible. But, again, we’re not experts. We wonder if the city shouldn’t be doing more or if the owner shouldn’t be doing more. We don’t know who to believe.

We’ve called city officials to get information about why the city’s water rates are so much higher than Albuquerque and most other cities in our area. We have gotten some answers, and lots of “well, it’s probably because of (this or that).” “Probably” isn’t good enough — but when we ask for more details, nobody ever calls us back.

And it’s not just true locally. When Congress debates important subjects like taxes or health care, the bills are so big and so convoluted and the language of the politicians or partisans so overblown that it is virtually impossible to find the bottom line. How often, then, do we just believe “our side” rather than digging deep to get the facts?

We are determined to go further than just believing the people on our side, but it’s not always easy. And, recently, politicians have not proven themselves to be particularly truthful; we keep looking for the proverbial statesmen we heard about when we were children. So, where are they today and how do we come up with the right answer – or at least the best answer?

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Thank God we still have newspapers that give us in-depth reporting, and thank God for the internet, which allows us great access if we are careful. But we still don’t always understand the complex issues that face this country, state, county and city. We are not educated in all walks of life.

Sometimes, we need a person with the wisdom and knowledge – and no, as they say, horse in the race, to guide us in our research or to tell us whom we can believe. We need a guide to get us through all the hyperbole, all the complexities and come up confident enough that we will fight for the issues that we believe in.

More than that, we need a government and government officials we can trust. We need leaders who are honest with their constituents. We need to have faith that everyone is searching for the greater good, not just their own interests.

Contact the Ryans at ryan@abqjournal.com.


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