'It's a clash of visions'

  • Ray Garcia

    J.T. Thomas
 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

Ray Garcia is president of the Historic Tome Adelino Neighborhood Association:

"This place is different. It's special. This is the second oldest community in Valencia County. We're pretty tough, like those old cottonwoods, no?

"We formed a neighborhood association two years ago to fight a subdivision. (The developer) said, 'It's my land; I can do whatever the hell I want with it.' I used to think that way, but you've got neighbors, man. We took the developer to court, but the development went in anyway.

"Our group is not against economic development. Our motto is 'Family, community, quality of life.' But we see (the bridge proposal) as the highway department and a couple of developers got together and decided to do this. Everybody's telling us what to do, and basically we got tired of that.

"It's a clash of visions. We don't want a freeway here. This is not L.A. This is not a suburb of Denver. This is a matter of a community saying this is how we want to be, or this is not how we're going to be.

"We still have a lot of battles ahead of us, to protect our community and our culture. But (developers) can't talk about Tome in the abstract. Tome is real now. They're going to have to listen to us.

"It's really nice to win once in a while."