Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  The Gauntlet

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letters, opinions, editorials

Signpost welcomes letters of all opinions. Letters are subject to editing for length, clarity, libel, and other considerations. Anonymous pen name letters will not be published. Attach your name and contact information. Send to: Signpost, P. O. Box 889, Placitas, NM, 87043 or

re: stolen and damaged flea market signs

Today was the third Flea Market this year sponsored by the Placitas Community Library. The weather was beautiful and there were terrific bargains from lots of vendors. This is the sixth year that the library has been able to benefit from this fundraising event.  All of the proceeds from tent/table rentals and the sale of goods at the library table goes directly to the library for operating costs.

As a way of publicizing the flea market, volunteers put up signs along Highway 165 and in Bernalillo. Disturbingly, over the past month ALL of our signs have been damaged or stolen. We have checked with Sandoval County and New Mexico DOT. They have assured us that they are not responsible. 

No one has complained to the library about the signs. This is the first time anyone has damaged or stolen our signs. Why would any one do this?

Please, if someone knows who is doing this, ask them to contact the library and explain why they have a problem with our signs.

To whomever is damaging/stealing our signs, please reach out to the library. Let's work this out. Our telephone number is 867-867-3355.

Public Meetings Scheduled to Review Preliminary Draft Plan

The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands is revising its 1985 Forest Plan. Over 40 cooperating units of government are working with us to co-convene and co-host the meetings, improve public engagement, and set the course for the future of the Cibola. The Cibola and cooperating agencies have established four “landscape teams” around the four mountain ranges associated with the districts— Mt. Taylor, Magdalena, Mountainair, and Sandia.

The revised Forest Plan will provide guidance and direction on the future sustainability of the resources, goods and services, and relevant management actions, based on the values defined in the plan. The plan will be used to share stewardship and direct site-specific priorities and projects in these locations in the future.

A preliminary Draft Plan has been completed and will be released in July, 2016; the public will have 45 days to review and comment. A series of collaborative public workshops have been scheduled to present the preliminary Draft Plan for review and discussion. The workshops are being designed with the help of our partners to provide an opportunity for the public to engage in dialogue and collaboration with each other and diverse interests to find common vision and common ground for these shared places. Please mark your calendar to attend one of these workshops:

  • July 19, 2016—6:00-8:00 p.m.: Menaul High School (Auditorium and cafeteria), 301 Menaul Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107—Sandia Ranger District
  • July 26, 2016—6:00-8:00 p.m.: Bernalillo High School (Gymnasium), 250 Isidro Sanchez Road, Bernalillo, NM 87004—Sandia Ranger District
  • August 9—6:00-8:00 p.m.: Cañon de Carnuel Land Grant Annex Hall (between mi. marker 5 & 6 on Hwy. 333, Tijeras, NM)—Sandia Ranger District

If you have questions about the Forest Plan revision, please contact Sarah Browne, Assistant Team Leader, at or 505-346-3812.  For more information about Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands, visit our website or follow the conversation at

Beware of scammers; scammers posing as government officials steal thousands in public money

—Justine Freeman, Office of the New Mexico State Auditor

New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller sent a risk advisory to government agencies and schools across the state alerting officials of a wire transfer scam targeting public money. Scammers posing as high-level government officials wrote emails directing financial staff to make wire transfers in large amounts. Employees at Zuni Public Schools, Deming Public Schools, and San Miguel County initiated transfers to the scammers totaling over one hundred thousand dollars from public funds. The schools were able to stop the transfers before the funds were processed but the county was not, resulting in $38,000 dollars in stolen funds. The three cases were reported to the Office of the State Auditor (OSA), and the OSA is aware that other agencies around the state have been targeted.

“Most folks are familiar with various types of personal email financial scams and, unfortunately, the tactic is spreading to prey on government employees who may feel intimidated by an email that appears to be from their boss,” said State Auditor Tim Keller. “We’re reminding folks to stick to normal procedures regardless of the situation. One key to safeguarding public funds is to maintain a ‘tone at the top’ that helps staff feel comfortable asking questions about unusual orders from up the chain.”

The Risk Advisory directs government agencies and schools to adhere to their internal controls, regardless of any email-driven urgency. The advisory includes excerpts from real emails that government employees received and is available below and here:

Among the dozens of people sworn in to testify for and against the Placitas Sage Co-Housing on May 25 were (from left) proponents Judith Roderick and Joyce Thompson and project architect Bryan Bowen.
—Photo credit: Bill Diven

Future of Placitas Sage Co-Housing lingers in limbo

—Bill Diven

One night in late May proved insufficient to hear everyone wanting to tell the Sandoval County zoning board what they think of a co-housing project proposed for Placitas.

The second night of testimony, however, is now put off until July 27, after the Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission couldn’t muster a three-person quorum in June due to illness and a scheduling conflict. The five-member board already was short one commissioner, homebuilder James Maduena, who recused himself because he is involved in the project.

Placitas Sage Co-Housing wants to build 18 homes clustered as duplexes and triplexes on 6.2 acres in Placitas West, an area also known as Placitas Small Tracts. The site is south of State Road 165 about two miles east of Interstate 25.

The homes would average 965 square feet with the largest being 1,304 square feet, according to the developers.

Proponents say the homes sharing open space and a community building with a kitchen are intended for older residents who want to downsize without having to leave Placitas. It would be self-managed by a homeowners’ association.

“The people, the community, are already here,” architect Bryan Bowen of Boulder, Colorado, said. “Co-housing is based on relationships rather than real estate.”

Bowan grew up in Placitas playing on, and around, the project site. His parents are among the Placitas residents who own the six existing lots that make up the project site.

Most of those testifying, however, opposed the project, saying it doesn’t fit with the neighborhood, platted more than fifty years ago for one house on 2.5 acres. They also raised concerns about more traffic on “already perilous” roads, water consumption, and elders negotiating the rugged landscape with an arroyo running through it.

“We’re not against co-housing,” said Jerry Kinsman, a Placitas West resident. “We’re against that density in our midst.”

Other said they feared setting a precedent, opening Placitas to high-density development.

“Why should seniors craving an urban residence trump seniors craving a rural one,” said Vicki Schwab, who lives next to the project site. “First and foremost this is a condominium project.”

Of the 45 people signed up to speak at the May 25 hearing, the 17 still waiting three hours later were asked to return on June 22.

The P&Z board is deciding one issue—a variance on parking spaces—but only recommends approval or denial of zone changes to the Sandoval County Commission for another hearing and final decision. That decision can be appealed to state District Court.

The P&Z staff has recommended approving the project, although it added technical conditions that must be met before the project could start.

The proposal changes the zoning from West Placitas Community District to Master Planned mixed-use development. The master plan allows what is considered a condominium and the single plan for the combined six lots.

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