Interacting with this year's ballot for the 2017 municipal election in Albuquerque takes some patience. In addition to having the opportunity to weigh in on our town's efforts to elect a new mayor, there are also matters involving the approval of general obligation bonds as well as a very lengthy section of said ballot devoted to explicating the Healthy Workforce Ordinance.
Weekly Alibi supports the implementation of the Healthy Workforce Ordinance. We outlined our beliefs on the matter in issue 36 and continue to believe that the proposed legislation will provide a resource for Albuquerque's working people. That resource, once implemented, may well lead to providing the basic support that workers in this city need to get ahead.
As far as ballot initiatives go, this year's ballot provides Burqueños the chance to improve their city using general obligation bonds.
General obligation bonds allow the city to use legally available resources, usually in the form of property or retail tax levies, to issue bonds that can be used to finance various city projects. These projects are designed to improve the quality of life for residents of the municipality.
Here's a brief look at what's at stake for this year's attempt to raise the ceiling on Burque's quality of life. For a closer look, readers can view asample ballot at the city of Albuquerque elections website.
The first bond question asks whether the city should issue more than $16 million dollars in general obligation bonds to “design, develop, study, construct, modernize, automate, renovate, rehabilitate, recondition, landscape, furnish, enhance and otherwise improve, and to acquire land, buildings, property, vehicles, apparatus and equipment for” the city police and fire department facilities. It's clear that our city needs to do more to support first responders as part of an effort to reduce crime in the city. Weekly Alibi supports this measure.
This second question asks about the city spending almost $15 million on plans to improve existing city-owned community centers, and to provide funds to acquire property for more such facilities. Since community centers are the heart of many local neighborhoods and should be an intrinsic part of living in a successful urban and suburban environment, we feel that this expenditure would improve the quality of life in Albuquerque; we support its implementation.
Making Burque a green city that gives its denizens the agency for self-improvement through the use of recreational facilities, open spaces, bikeways, bosque lands and trails is also a vital part of improving the quality of life in Albuquerque. The city wants to issue about $17 million in bonds for the purpose of expanding such facilities and services. We wholeheartedly agree.
Should the city spend about $11 million to upgrade, modernize and make more energy and water efficient systems which provide water to our town? You bet. It's a desert out there, after all.
At Weekly Alibi, we're all about reading, and the city spending about $6 million to improve our burg’s public libraries is just common sense.
If you spend you time driving the Duke City, you know our streets and surrounding infrastructure need some attention. The bonds in question here—$32.5 million worth—would be used to improve all aspects of that roadway structure and apparatus. We're particularly excited by the opportunity this bond issue has to improve trails, bikeways and sidewalks in the city. We urge readers to vote yes on question 6.
Even with all the ruckus caused by ART, it’s still clear that the city needs to improve public transportation in the area. Bond question 7 would provide nearly $6 million dollars in funds to do just that. Whether or not ART succeeds, this money would help improve the rest of the system.
With a monsoon season the requires seasonal monitoring, it makes sense that our city's storm sewer system is up-to-date. This issue would provide more than $14 million to do just that and that's just fine with us.
Just like libraries, Weekly Alibi is a big fan of museums and cultural facilities located here in Albuquerque. It seems like a no-brainer then to vote yes to the proposal to spend about $1.6 million to improve, expand and enhance those repositories of our culture.
Here's more legislation aimed at ending endemic poverty in Albuquerque. Using nearly $4 million to provide housing resources for low to moderate income working families and senior citizens is not only a good idea, it should be the law.
If we want more businesses to come to our city with more jobs, then the city should make an effort to fund redevelopment projects in the area. Providing nearly $1.3 million dollars to do just that is a first step toward improving the physical image this city presents to potential newcomers, long-time residents and native Burqueños too.
As District 6 City Councilor Pat Davis was recently quoted as saying, “Voting yes on these bonds does not increase your taxes, it simply authorizes the city to take on the projects listed.” That said, citizens, do your duty.