Recently, it has come to my attention that with the Albuquerque Journal’s acquisition of the Rio Rancho Observer, the staff at the Observer has been cut down to only three people.

This seems like the first step to eliminating our newspaper in Rio Rancho and Sandoval County.

As the fastest-growing county in the state and with Rio Rancho as the fastest growing-city in the state, having the Rio Rancho Observer in Sandoval County and having reporters based here is extremely important. These reporters are balanced and cover the full scope of our county.

They play a vital role in informing our residents of important news that will impact them directly. That’s rare in this day and age. The last thing we want to do is get lost in the news shuffle of Albuquerque.

Sandoval County as a whole doesn’t want to lose our newspaper … It’s been with us for 45 years.

The reporters and staff at the Observer live and work here, and truly understand the rich culture, history and diversity of our county. They report on us, and really understand the unique demographics of our communities.

I feel a reporter who doesn’t live here or work here just won’t be able to capture the essence of who we are.

I urge you to keep the Rio Rancho Observer in production and that our Rio Rancho Observer reporters stay here in Sandoval County to report what they know best … our community.

(Jay Block represents District 2 on the Sandoval County Commission.)

(Guest columns and letters are published as submitted, without fact-checking or corrections. They represent the belief/opinion of the author. Publishing these viewpoints does not represent an endorsement by the Observer or any member of our staff. Our prevailing aim is to facilitate a spirited but rational and respectful community dialogue on the array of issues and challenges we face collectively. Toward that end, we welcome submissions from all perspectives.)