Thursday, October 8, 2009

Opera Is Shirking Its Responsibility--Albuquerque Journal North Op-Ed

By Linda Spier

As a lifelong resident of Santa Fe, New M. who remembers the beginnings of the Santa Fe Opera, I find it unbelievable and unacceptable that the Opera leased mineral property within the highly sensitive, pristine and fragile ecosystem of the cultural- and water-rich Las Vegas Basin.
News is traveling that Mr. MacKay did not put his signature on the line without the urging and backing of the mostly out-of-state board.
MacKay stated that the Opera "had no recourse other than to sell or lease these rights in order to maximize their benefit to the Opera and to meet the organization's fiduciary obligations."
Mr. MacKay needs to do his homework and the board needs a reality check. Mineral rights owners can negotiate for higher royalties. All four leases pertaining to this mineral property are exactly the same, with the most basic royalty interest agreed to — one eighth of a share. Three leases are signed on the same day. The missing link is whether or not the College of Santa Fe signed a lease also and, if so, who signed it on behalf of the College and who is the beneficiary?
There are no surface protection agreements: This can only be understood as a callous disregard for the citizens of New Mexico by each and every person who signed these leases.