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Max Coll



Honored May, 2006

Max Coll

For more than three decades before his retirement in 2004, Max Coll served the people of New Mexico as a "citizen legislator" in the state House of Representatives.

Beginning in his native Roswell and then for 32 years in Santa Fe, he worked tirelessly for causes and issues he believed would make life better for us all.

According to a torrent of letters supporting him for today's award, those causes were many and varied--as were the people signing the letters. The writers included fellow legislators, a former governor, a former U.S. cabinet secretary, rafting companions, Rotarians, artists, environmentalists, health-care deliverers, and citizens from other walks of life. Plus, a very special tribute, to be cited below.

Max supported many things: equal rights for women, public art, natural resources, fiscal responsibility, civil liberties, a fair tax policy, universal health insurance, HIV treatment, clean elections, open government, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, quality education, state museums, the interests of children the elderly and those in need. And the words of his own supporters are eloquent:

"He has been a force of reason, of fiscal stability and integrity in our Legislature. He has been a continuous source of strength, of kindness and of thoughtfulness, making a difference in countless lives along the way." * "He is an inspiration as a lawmaker and as a caring human being." * "He really did represent the people, not the special interests who lined up to try to twist his arm." * "His was the unquestioned voice for the consumer, the taxpayers, the '"little people.'" * "No one worked harder for the advancement of humanitarian principles than he." * "In times of deep, sometimes bitter division, he managed to create consensus between majority and minority members of both legislative chambers, and complete the business of the state." * "He is the embodiment of leadership."

And the very special tribute? "I am not sure that it is proper for a wife to recommend her husband, but my husband became a hero to me and thousands of others. He is the same caring, witty, devoted person at home that he is in public. Max was never a 'politician,' he was that truly rare thing--my husband was and is a 'statesman.'"