Opinion: O’Donnell deserves chance at vice-chair position


When Taos County Commissioners Fambro, Gallegos, and Blankenhorn leave the commission, they should apply for jobs with Cirque du Soleil.

They performed amazing acrobatic contortions during their January 9 meeting to prevent District V Commissioner Candyce O’Donnell from assuming her rightful vice-chairpersonship as established by longstanding precedence. In this time of acute awareness of women’s marginalization, wage disparity and denial of access and support by means of institutionally condoned barriers, this disgraceful display of machismo and good-old-boy politics should be universally condemned.

O’Donnell’s advancement through the normal levels of leadership should be afforded to her because she has consistently displayed all the qualities we in District V value in our elected representative: year-round accessibility, thoughtful and serious discussion and consideration of our issues and their impact, consistent follow-through on commitments and promises and engagement in local events and projects that are meaningful at the community level. Her 27 years of experience as commission videographer and three-plus years as a commissioner certainly give her more exposure to and insight into commission issues than all the remaining commissioners combined.

Additionally, can any of the other commissioners match her level of engagement in events throughout the county, number of Town Hall forums, interactions with ancianos, and promotion of the natural and cultural beauty of our county?

Denying Commissioner O’Donnell the professional opportunity to move into the vice-chair position sends a discouraging signal to any women contemplating political service. We anticipate that women will fight back, expose this discrimination, seek political office and get loud and clear support of other women and enlightened men at election time.