The Taxpayer Seal of Approval

Otero County‘s pretty cool. White Sands National Monument, the Flickinger Center for Performing Arts, the New Mexico Museum of Space History (really cool), the Alamogordo Museum of History, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, the Sacramento Mountains, Holloman Air Force Base — it’s an interesting place, and has contributed quite a lot to the Land of Enchantment’s culture and history.

But in sponsoring “a contest with students from all over Otero County to create a logo that represents the county in a more modern light,” the county’s commissioners have done something all “public servants” in the state should notice.

No offense to the artist, but Otero County’s current logo, depicted above, is kind of lame. So commissioners have asked Alamogordo Public Schools, New Mexico State University-Alamogordo, private-school pupils, and the homeschooled to design an update “a little bit more fresh and more updated to represent the county better.”

That’s quite a contrast to the approach Santa Fe County took in 2016. It “set aside nearly $100,000 to replace its logo,” paying nearly half of the sum to “GumCo, a creative agency in Salt Lake City, and … Southwest Planning & Marketing of Santa Fe, which conducted surveys and focus groups.”

But the new look was “met with underwhelming enthusiasm” by commissioners late last year, and a decision on the logo was postponed until January. What was the final outcome? We don’t know — no information is available online, and Errors of Enchantment contacted the county, but has received no response.

No, volunteers can’t do undercover police work, enforce zoning rules, adjudicate complex criminal/civil cases, and maintain official records. But there are abundant opportunities for members of the community to pitch in elsewhere, and in so doing render many local-government appropriations unnecessary.