Opponents of oil and gas ordinance met with obstacles to providing comment

Kasia Gregorczyk
October 19, 2017 10:30 PM

BERNALILLO, N.M. – After it was announced the oil and gas ordinance would not be an action item on the agenda at Thursday night's Sandoval County Commission meeting, people were given the opportunity to leave.


While some took it, others stuck around. Those who stayed were met with the news they would no longer be given three minutes to speak on the legislation.

Instead, those wanting to give public comment were given just 60 seconds.

One person who did comment asked county commissioners to consider a bigger venue for the next meeting. The fire marshal was present like at previous meetings, ready to enforce the 122-person limit inside the room. That left many ordinance protesters outside without a seat.

The 1-minute limit was difficult for speakers to stick to while they voiced their opinion, and some even held fracking noise demonstrations.

Despite all the opposition, KOB caught up with the only supporter of the ordinance to speak at the meeting, who stressed the importance of compromise.

“To me, it's important to articulate that there are opportunities available if we can strike the right balance between the public safety and economic development, which is not a choice,” Miguel Suazo said. “You can have both, and provide the people of New Mexico (with) the jobs they need and deserve.”

The ordinance is set to be published in the Albuquerque Journal Sunday, and voted on at the Sandoval County Commission’s Nov. 16 meeting.


Kasia Gregorczyk

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