I think ranked choice voting would be a good system for New Mexico because the two-party system isn’t a good system. Ranked choice voting will balance out the current system. Right now, with two major parties (Democrats and Republicans), voting consists of single-choice elections. Ranked choice voting gives third parties a chance to win, which would make their existence have a point. Also, ranked choice voting could allow a third-party candidate to win the White House. No third-party candidate except Abraham Lincoln has been president — that’s because Lincoln won in 1860 when the Republicans were not a major party.

Christopher Thompson

Santa Fe

Change fire model

I have to make comments on a recent letter (“Check the forecast,” May 8). The letter writer states he has wildland fire suppression knowledge and that he is tired of reading letters written by people who clearly have no knowledge of wildland fire suppression. Most of us are aware of the published scheduled burns; when the Las Dispenas notice was published, I wondered why the U.S. Forest Service crew proceeded to burn during consistently windy days. Try explaining that to our residents who have been burned out, in the same situation as the 2000 Cerro Grande Fire. Both these fires were miscalculated at great expense. The wildland fire suppression model is outdated and does not seem to consider climate change or community involvement.

I also read Paula Garcia’s piece (“Our homeland is burning — now what?” My View, May 8) that states fires are “certainly not the fault of the local people who lost logging livelihoods (and wood gatherers) due to restrictions on access to the forests. The U.S. federal government should be held accountable for starting a fire in windy conditions and must provide us with resources to repair our lives and build a new future.” My home at the edge of Las Vegas, N.M., is still threatened, and a dwelling in Mineral Hill may have burned. I don’t know, as I have no access to the site yet. I know very little about wildland fire suppression except that it has to change. Otherwise, your community may be next.

Miguel Chavez

Las Vegas, N.M.

Name the fire-starter

We need to know the name of the person who authorized the “controlled” burn that lead to the Hermits Peak Fire. That person should be called to testify at a public hearing. We need to know who has this authority going forward. Accountability for these life and death decisions must be clear and transparent. If decision-makers know their identities will be made public, maybe they will think twice next time about starting a fire in our drought-ravaged forests at the windiest time of year.

Mark Friedman

Santa Fe

Backing Maestas

I support Joseph Maestas for state auditor. So does Retake our Democracy, which also hosted an online forum with the candidates. From watching Maestas over the years on City Council and the Public Regulation Commission, I know that he has integrity, knowledge, plus vast experience. I’m not so sure about his opponent.

According to a column by Milan Simonich, while running for Albuquerque’s City Council in 2019, Zack Quintero claimed that, when he worked for the city of Santa Fe, he was an economist when actually he was an economic development specialist (“Candidate for auditor claims he saved Meow Wolf,” Ringside Seat, Oct. 1, 2021). He also claimed he negotiated for Meow Wolf to remain in Santa Fe. But the founding CEO of Meow Wolf, Vince Kadlubek, denied that. Furthermore, Deb Haaland, Sen. Martin Heinrich and the group Progressive Albuquerque didn’t support Quintero in that election. Quintero certainly has many connections in the Democratic establishment. I don’t think that qualifies him to be state auditor.

Judy Klinger

Santa Fe

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