Supporting sunshine laws
I want the citizens of this county to know that I admit my mistake – a violation of the New Mexico Open Meetings Act – and I apologize.
As a candidate for the New Mexico Senate from District 37, I feel it is important to address an issue that occurred during my time in elected office as a member of the Las Cruces Board of Education.
Approximately 10 years ago, I was charged with and convicted of violating the New Mexico Open Meetings Act. While I never intended to circumvent the Open Meetings law, I did participate in a closed personnel session about the superintendent. The court determined that the closed meeting was not properly advertised to the public. Therefore, I was found guilty of a misdemeanor and I paid my fine.
I want the citizens of this county to know that I admit my mistake and I apologize. I believe that sunshine laws are a critical component of the public input process and that these laws help to create a strong democracy. The public has a right to see and hear how their elected officials are performing.
Over the last 10 years, I have watched as the legislative process has become more open with webcasts and publishing of committee votes. If the residents of Senate District 37 elect me as their senator, I will be a leader in strengthening sunshine laws and will actively support efforts that require the Legislature to follow those laws.
The entire process, including conference committee meetings and votes, should be open and transparent. The public deserves its government leaders to open the books and provide accessibility to all citizens.
I have spent my adult life in public service and I will continue to do so. When voters make their choice for the New Mexico Senate District 37, I ask they consider my entire record and not just one incident to which I have admitted to and from which I have grown. I am asking for your vote to serve the good people of Doña Ana County.
Soules, a Democrat, is a candidate for the Las Cruces-area District 37 seat in the N.M. Senate.
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