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Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

Next time send 

some real negotiators

I vote that the next time we send a team to Washington, D.C. to negotiate for Reeves County we hire C & R Negotiators, Inc.

After wading through the non-speak that padded the actual results of last week's negotiation between the county and the Bureau of Prisons it appears that we gave ground on all points of negotiation without gaining a single tangible advantage.

If that is true Reeves County would have done better by simply not showing up.

Logic demands that there was some unspoken (and hence unenforceable) promise on the part of BOP in exchange for our complete surrender on all fronts.

At best it was a wink and nod that promised much if only we would give in today.

How many young maidens have fallen for that line of bull?

I guarantee that C & R would have come home with the cookies, or in the least would have brought home all the cookies they left with.

Well, most of the cookies. They might have eaten a few.

Brother, let me tell you, C & R can negotiate.

I know. I have been up against them. I have pitted all my experience and training as an attorney and negotiator against them.

And I have lost.

Worse, I often think I have won as we leave the negotiating table and go our respective ways only to find out later that I really conceded on every important point. It is humiliating.

I had the upper hand in the first few negotiations I had with this agency. I think they were rather inexperienced at the time and their negotiating tactics were very straightforward - "We will do this if you do this."

It was a poor tactic on their part and both walked away licking their wounds.

Strike one up for me.

That was probably my last victory going up against these guys.

They are good and they learn fast and quickly adopted new tactics when confronted by a stronger opponent.

They are the perfect negotiators. Both are young ladies cute as a button with sweet smiles and both have a limitless ability to flatter their opponent into a silly sense of apathy. I am human and I admit to succumbing to the feminine wiles.

Both are also cold blooded, calculating machines who understand intuitively the give and take of negotiation, chess or war.

They understand the necessary sacrifice of a pawn or bishop to win the war - or get the cookies as the case may be.

She-who-must-be-obeyed has caustically pointed out that when I am the opponent - C & R have the cookies in the bag.

Proof, is in the pudding - or should I say cookies, late night snacks, clothing worn on Saturdays, antics allowed at bath time, and goodies bought at the gas station.

The list, according to SWMBO, goes on and on.

The negotiation duo of C & R consists of my darling daughters, Carson age 2 and Ruby age 5.

And brother, they can negotiate.

They understand the tactics of confusion, good-cop-bad-cop, distraction, camouflage and deception.

And when they smell blood they can launch a frontal assault that would make Marines blush.

I guarantee that if they had been negotiating with the Director of the BOP over vanilla wafers and peanut butter at bed time the federal bureaucrat would have high-tailed it out of there happy to have his Oreos intact.

And bedtime would not be before nine.

On the other hand, our negotiating stance in Washington appears reminiscent of the French Army on the attack.

Next time send C & R.

The results could not have been worse and maybe we would have gotten a lifetime supply of cookies out of the deal.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:

Our View

Judge, commissioners owe Reeves County 

better information and explanations

The people of Reeves County deserve better.

Since the financial problems at the Reeves County Detention Center became public knowledge a few months back the information coming from the commissioner's court and the county judge's office has been confusing and disorganized at best.

At worst, one would suspect a calculated attempt to muddy the waters to such a degree that no citizen can really tell what is going on.

Yesterday's county commissioner's meeting was no different.

After sending County Judge Jimmy Galindo and Commissioner Herman Tarin to Washington, D. C. to lobby for RCDC the citizens of the county were waiting with great anticipation the results of that meeting.

Rumors have been flying since Friday.

So, did the citizens find out what happened in the opening hours of the meeting yesterday morning?


Every agenda item that would invoke discussion of an agreement reached with the Bureau of Prisons was tabled until the end of the meeting, which conveniently came about after the deadline for the Pecos Enterprise.

Once the commissioner's court got around to the results of the negotiation the details and the ramifications were as clear as mud.

If Reeves County officials cannot communicate their thoughts any better than that it is no wonder that we cannot negotiate to our own advantage with the BOP.

Reeves County deserves clear, concise information from its elected officials - especially concerning a matter of such importance to every citizen.

Clear and concise is not what Reeves County is getting.

We should demand better.

We deserve it.

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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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