51st legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2013


Luciano "Lucky" Varela









     WHEREAS, Max Coll began his legislative career in Roswell in 1966, running as a conservative Republican, and the cover of his "All for Coll" campaign matchbooks stated "What every man should tell his wife", but inside read "Vote for Max Coll for State Representative. End Sales Tax on Doctor Bills, Dentist Bills, Hospital Costs, Nursing and Medical Costs"; and

     WHEREAS, as a member of the Roswell house delegation, Representative Coll advocated for lower taxes and less regulation but also sponsored bills to require a deposit on beverage bottles and cans; and

     WHEREAS, in 1969, Max was elected a delegate to New Mexico's last constitutional convention, chaired by former Speaker Bruce King and staffed by able legal counsel Jeff Bingaman; and

     WHEREAS, in 1972, Max Coll was a prime sponsor of the New Mexico Equal Rights Amendment, one of his proudest legislative accomplishments; and

     WHEREAS, in 1974, Max left the legislature to finish law school at the university of New Mexico and begin his journey into northern New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, Max moved to Santa Fe in 1975, lost his crew cut when he put his razor out to pasture, grew his famous curly locks and added two ear studs; and

     WHEREAS, in 1981, the political pull was too strong and Max again ran for the house of representatives, representing district 47, and was elected as a Republican in Santa Fe, a feat unto itself; and

     WHEREAS, in 1983, Representative Coll, being an astute vote counter and realizing that the house of representatives was equally divided, with thirty-five coalition votes and thirty-five Democratic votes, approached Raymond Sanchez and offered to switch parties and become a Democrat, thereby breaking the tie; and

     WHEREAS, Max became chair of the house taxation and revenue committee and, in 1987, chair of the house appropriations and finance committee, a position he held until he retired in 2004; and

     WHEREAS, during his twenty-four years of service to Santa Fe, the guiding principle for Max Coll was balancing fiscal responsibility with protecting the environment and individual rights, and he was a voice for economic justice and the disadvantaged; and

     WHEREAS, in 2003, his final signature legislative achievement was passage of legislation amending the school equalization formula to require funding for arts education; and

     WHEREAS, Max has spent his retirement years running rivers, feeding the birds and enjoying the bears, cougars, coyotes and wild turkeys that visit the special canyon that he and his wife Catherine Joyce-Coll share just outside of Santa Fe; and

     WHEREAS, one of his former colleagues brilliantly summed up Max's service, stating that "He has been a force of reason, of fiscal stability and integrity in our Legislature and he has been a continuous source of strength, of kindness and of thoughtfulness, making a difference in countless lives along the way."; and

     WHEREAS, Max Coll is a one-of-a-kind New Mexican who is considered by many to be a statesman and a gentleman and who served the state with distinction for thirty-two years;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that it recognize Max Coll for his outstanding service to the state of New Mexico; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this memorial be transmitted to former Representative Max Coll.

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