On Tuesday we have a choice to make in Albuquerque. The choice is rather simple. Do we take $3 million per year of taxes you pay at the checkout register and use them to grow the cost of city government, or do we use it to sell bonds in order to deliver $50 million in critical infrastructure and quality-of-life projects back to our community?
There are 12 bond questions on the ballot. These bonds will not raise your taxes a dime. I respectfully request you to vote “yes” on all 12 of them.
Eleven of the questions are general obligation bonds. Voting “yes” will give us police cars, fire trucks, road repairs, libraries, senior centers and other projects. And almost 90 percent will go toward deficiencies and rehabilitation of existing city facilities, with less than 5 percent to new projects.
Question 12 is part of ABQ the PLAN, a long-range plan to improve critical infrastructure and quality of life in Albuquerque. Voting “yes” will create much-needed jobs and fill our hotel rooms, local restaurants and retail shops with more tourism. The first round of improvements to be used by the bonds include two projects – the Paseo del Norte I-25 interchange and a regional sports complex.
The Paseo del Norte I-25 interchange is an all-too-familiar traffic bottleneck in our city. We have all sat in traffic too many times to continue to ignore this growing problem. We should team with the state and federal governments to kick-start this project now.
The competition sports park is for all of us, but it is especially for the youths of our city. Let’s do this for them! And while we’re at it, let’s create a place to host high-quality regional and national tournaments for many sports such as baseball, softball, volleyball and basketball.
The competition sports park has some detractors, including public sector unions who say this project does not deserve your support. I disagree wholeheartedly. This bond question was developed through discussions with thousands of Albuquerque residents, a committee representing all nine council districts, and was then approved by the City Council.
I’m proud to say that for all of these bonds, and especially Question 12, I have the support of leaders throughout our community, including the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, NAIOP-Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Hispano Chamber of Commerce and Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau. Most important, I believe this bond question gives to the youths of our community what they’ve been asking me for over the last year.
Since taking office as your mayor, I have delivered on my promises to you. I said I would cut government spending, and we did – to the tune of $130 million. I said I would maintain services without raising taxes and without laying off valuable city employees, and we did. I said I would work diligently to be good stewards of your tax dollars, and we are.
But austerity measures alone are not going to pull us out of this economy; we must make investments that create jobs.
This election is about investing in the future of our city – growing it responsibly and making badly needed improvements, with no added tax burden.
The choice is now in the hands of you, the voters. Please join with me and the many others who are in support of all 12 of these bonds and vote “yes” on Oct. 4.