By Sue Major Holmes
Residents complained about Kilmer at a commission meeting in Las Vegas, N.M., this week, alleging he's made disparaging comments in the past about San Miguel County and has chased away people fishing on the Pecos River at his ranch.
"We had a group of people who came in and were really upset," Commission Chairman David Salazar said Friday.
The controversy erupted after Kilmer's Pecos River Ranch sought to open three guest houses to paying customers. The county zoning and planning commission approved the proposal 3-2 in March, but Rowe resident Abran Tapia appealed to the commission.
Salazar said commissioners want to be fair, and asked Kilmer "to give us his point of view and tell us what he said or he didn't say."
Kilmer denied the statements, saying he bragged about New Mexico during the interview. Rolling Stone stood by the article. Days later, Kilmer took out an ad in the Santa Fe New Mexican, saying he loves New Mexico and Pecos.
Given that Kilmer starred in the stereotypical Comanche Moon, he doesn't seem that sensitive to Native concerns. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a typical American "love" for Indians. I.e., "Love 'em in the distant past; don't like 'em now."
For more on the subject, see Val Kilmer for Governor?
Update on the Kilmer situation (6/23/10):
Val Kilmer got approval Wednesday to rent guesthouses on his Pecos River Ranch after the actor apologized for his remarks in two national magazines about his neighbors being drunks and criminals.
"I'd just like to say from my heart that I love it here," he told a packed meeting of the San Miguel County Commission. "My children were born here. My grandfather's buried down in Truth or Consequences. I got married here."
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