Voters have many issues to consider
With the city election March 2, there are serious issues voters might want to discuss with their candidates:
• City revenues are running below last year’s by more than 10 percent. How would the candidate cover these losses? By cutting costs? If so, cutting what and how much? By raising cost of city services? If so, which ones and by how much? The city is currently raising sewer, water and garbage rates over 50 percent in five years. Grants and help from the state for city street, sewer and water repairs are gone.
• The city now owns the Portales Inn. What would the candidate want to do with this white elephant? There are some in the city administration who want to turn the old hotel into the city hall, which would cost a lot of money. How would the candidate feel about that?
• Some would say the proposed stop light at the corner of Main and Second Street is a “done deal.” Under the state’s financial crisis I think the state would love not to have to spend the money on a light that will back up traffic worse than it is now.
• There is a quiet move to turn the city’s recreation center over to the police department and move the current recreation activities to the Memorial Building. Cost estimates run close to $1 million for the remodeling of the recreation center into police headquarters. How does your candidate feel about this?
• The remodel of the Yam Theater remains unfinished despite the city having poured over $600,000 in grant money into the project. Additional grant money anytime soon seems unlikely because of the state’s financial crisis. How would the candidate plan to complete the project and where would the funding come from to operate the Yam?