Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Council Needs New Priorities

I have a different set of priorities than the current council and I feel that lavish spending on bloated government buildings, such as the municipal building and the justice center, has done little to address the critical issue facing our community which is attracting more young families to live here. I am running for re-election to the county council to bring a common sense fiscally conservative approach to our county government.

Although there is a perception that the county has a large reserve of money for capital projects, in reality the county's budget is tightly constrained. Currently the operational expenses of the county exceed 47 million dollars and the county has almost 600 employees, excluding the utilities department. The county had about 50 million dollars of general fund revenue in 2012 and the majority of this amount was related to LANL GRT. Large GRT revenue from LANL activities is not guaranteed in the future. The county must take prudent steps now to ensure that we are living within our means. I have been a strong advocate for the mandatory voter approval of large capital projects. I have steadfastly opposed expansive road projects that would create unnecessary obstacles for traffic and hurt local businesses. I am not afraid to take the minority position on council when the minority position is the right position for working people, families and small businesses. I have a proven record on the council of being an independent thinker who has the energy, ideas and determination to help our community achieve its goals.

My priorities include enacting a more fiscally conservative budget, creating more high tech jobs, expanding retail choices, enhancing revenue sources for our public schools, and creating new affordable housing options so that more of our workforce can live locally. I support county assistance to technology and research companies through the LEDA program to create high tech jobs and further develop the Research Park and the Entrada Business Park. We should make the private development of the 60 acre A-19 parcel in White Rock a high priority, so that new housing and retail options can be created through private enterprise. Our public schools are the jewel of our community and the county needs to take a leading role in helping our public schools find new revenue sources for operations, so our children have the best educational opportunities. I strongly support additional commercial projects like the new MarketPlace store at Trinity Place so that our public schools receive more lease revenue.

You can help me enact these priorities by donating to my campaign. There is more information about my campaign and how you can help at my campaign website which you can view by clicking here. Together we make our council better serve the interests of its citizens by reining in excessive and unsustainable county spending.