What is the lowest level of political office I must attain in order to ensure my street is plowed in a timely manner? I
am willing to spend enormous resources to attain this office, not to exceed $100, and I will remember those who helped
me in the process. I would, however, prefer to remain anonymous as any attention seems to bring retribution from the
snowplowers in the form of higher, thicker and packed icebergs in my driveway. - Obviously Nameless
This is an excellent question and one that perhaps hundreds if not thousands of residents have been asking this
Surely, there must be some form of patronage to gain most-favored status with municipal services.
After all, bribery and nepotism are the twin pillars of New Mexico politics. No reason they shouldn't work here,too.
But things are a little different north of the border.
Sure, we have the much-ballyhooed Good Ol' Boys Club that once dominated county affairs. However, the club's roll call
is now just a bunch of geezers who complain a lot but accomplish nothing.
In the city, holding even the second-highest office doesn't seem to influence the snowplowing schedule.
I live off of an alley, and it's never plowed," admitted Michael Rendon, mayor pro tem and member of the City
The most influential position for preferential snowplowing would be the Library Advisory Board," he said with a
The inside joke here is that Action Line recently was appointed by the City Council to serve on this all-powerful
And, by golly, it worked!
During the latest round of winter weather over the weekend, the snowplows cruised by not once but three times, which
prompted Mrs. Action Line to exclaim, Wow, the library board really does control things around here."
Anyway, to participate in representative democracy and enjoy the extravagant perks of public service, watch for
announcements of vacancies on government boards.
Vacancies are posted at durango
gov.org, or call up your favorite city councilor and volunteer. You also can apply for boards and commissions online at
the city's Web site.
Alas, you can't serve undercover. In obscurity, yes, but not in anonymity.
Other highly influential committees for snowplowing include: the Established Neighborhood Design Review Board, the
Liquor Licensing Authority, the Water Commission and the Firefighters' Old Hire Pension Board.
There are a whole lot of robins in town this winter. Is that global warming or what? - Birdwatcher
Former vice president and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore was not available to answer this climate question, so we turn to
the local authority on matters ornithological: Janet Kenna, owner of For The Birds, the backyard bird and nature
A lot of people have been commenting on the robins this year," she said.
She noted that it hasn't been a particularly warm winter. Just look at your January heating bill for proof.
What might keep the robins around is the availability of food, such as the dried berries on crabapple trees, a favorite
late-winter treat for Turdus migratorius, the curious scientific name for the familiar red-breasted critter.
Janet also noted some unusual winter hanger-oners.
I saw a bunch of mountain bluebirds while cross country skiing at Hillcrest the other day," she said. They usually
At the bird feeder last week, there was an unexpected sign of spring: an evening grosbeak parked on the seed tray,snarfing like there was no tomorrow.
And Mrs. Action Line saw in
the course of an afternoon four different woodpeckers chomping on suet: a downy woodpecker, a Lewis woodpecker, a
flicker and a hairy woodpecker.
Even the black crows, which aren't the most cheerful bunch, seem to be cawing a little brighter these days.
Though it may not seem so with the latest snowfall, spring is just around the corner, at least to our feathered
E-mail questions to actionline@
durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request
anonymity if you can fathom that in two months, the first hummingbirds should arrive.