January 2017 Column

   According to Wikipedia, a community is a social unit of any size that shares common values or that is situated in a given geographical area - a village or town. It is a group of people who are connected by durable relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties and who mutually define that relationship as important to their social identity and practice.
   The Hobbs community shares several common values due to our location and ability to generate large sums of revenue through oil extraction. Hobbs Municipal Schools is the result of a community coming together to provide a quality education so children may achieve their hopes and dreams. Until 1974 local taxes remained local.  The community of Hobbs had complete control over expenditures as well as the amount to tax in order to generate revenue for the school system. We have since created a State Equalization Formula so children have the same access to resources across the state regardless of the wealth of property or industry where they live. Although some may see this as taking from the rich and giving to the poor (Robin Hood approach), conceptually this method of distributing taxes is a good way to fund public education.
   Hobbs is indeed a community extracted from the state of New Mexico except for their interdependence on our natural resources. It’s very common to have a conversation with a resident of Albuquerque who has no idea the geographical location of Hobbs, New Mexico. Allow the oil market to drop, as it has in recent times, and suddenly oil and gas become viable talking points to all citizens across the Land of Enchantment.
  This community has had to rally as a strong community because of our uniqueness to the rest of the state.  We must be independent because the flow of resources is a one way pipeline which seldom has a return trip. The strength in our community can be seen throughout the entire county. Each entity has raised taxes to improve educational facilities.  Public-private partnerships continue to provide resources that independently could not happen. The list of mutually agreed partnership continues to provide services for the community that would be impossible if one entity alone were held responsible. Summer Recreation Program, Zia Park Baseball field, HHS tennis courts, Derius Badger Natatorium, Hobbs Holiday Tournament, Health Wellness Learning Center and Hobbs City Park.  I hope the community realizes each of the aforementioned projects is a coordinated effort with multiple partners. The rationale is twofold- best use of taxpayer dollars and strong commitment to community.
  I am proud to live in a community where revenue boundaries are blurred.  It is a blessing to attend meetings where leaders of the community come together for the benefit of all, not just a select few. Although we may not agree that HMS should be last in per pupil funding in the entire state,  it is important to remember that some New Mexico towns would not have a school if it were not for the revenue generated by the natural resources of our community. Community is about what is best for all.  We have the benefit and ability to work together for the greater good.  Our prosperity enables this state to be viable. Great job Hobbs!!!




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