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Comment by shotsie on January 20, 2014 at 9:52am

Maybe, since NM has some of the lowest gasoline prices (and lowest taxes) in the country, the state tax ( I think around 18 cents per gallon) could be boosted an additional 5 cents so the roads can be better maintained.  Many of our cities roads are just covered in cracks from lack of maintenance - money is always diverted from the roads whenever the general fund is raided for other purposes (such as the $50M for Paseo..) 

Comment by RunLikeADog on January 20, 2014 at 1:23pm
So, let's see. The Paseo project is infrastructure but shouldn't qualify for road funds? So is it only those projects you deem appropriate that should get funded, Shotsie?
Comment by shotsie on January 20, 2014 at 3:33pm

RLAD - a little grumpy today?   I thought everyone could see the unfilled cracks in the roads around here.. which makes us look rundown.  Filling potholes and cracks shows the city government is working for the people. 

You do know that Mayor Berry decided to raid the general fund instead of campaigning for a road bond for Paseo?  (His previous attempt at combining a sports complex and the Paseo project into one bond failed.... for good reason.)  The general fund usually covers day to day things - so maintenance gets put off to build infrastructure.  I don't have a problem with Paseo (especially the Jefferson/Paseo interchange), but a road bond should've been proposed and put to a vote (yes, taxes would go up), so we have money for worker bee raises and city services.  

Actually, if the gas tax was raised, then the state could've paid for the improvements, since it is a STATE highway.....

Comment by RunLikeADog on January 20, 2014 at 6:59pm
Not grumpy. Just always amazed at the thinking that keeps New Mexico locked in place while all of our neighbors sprint ahead. Brings to mind my favorite MLK quote: "if you can not fly, you must run. If you cannot run, you must walk. If you cannot walk you must crawl but you must always keep moving forward."
Comment by Phil_0 on January 20, 2014 at 8:01pm

Agree 100%, Shotsie. Berry would rather spend money on new projects than raise taxes or pay for our existing infrastructure and city services. He's been cutting corners for years now and the cracks (figurative and literal) are definitely showing. Is this why the graffiti problem's gotten so bad too?

RLAD, that's what you think has New Mexico "locked in place"? LOL. I guess I would have imagined the unpaid part-time legislature that has 30 days a year to resolve the state's problems had something to do with it. Or the governor that has left the entire state bureaucracy understaffed and underpaid but still finds time to push go-nowhere symbolic legislation like the whole licenses-for-undocumented thing. How many days will our elected officials waste on that, again, for the fourth year running?

Comment by RunLikeADog on January 21, 2014 at 7:24am
Really? You'd rather squirt asphalt in cracks than invest in new infrastructure that will relieve congestion and make for a safer driving environment. Cool! Just glad you all don't run the State. Speaking of which, NM has been under Democratic control, both legislative and Governor more than Republican, so that tired old "it's Susana's fault" lament just doesn't hold any value. Move on.
Comment by once banned twice shy on January 21, 2014 at 10:54am

RLAD, Susana is the one who needs to move on from pointless legislation, as Phil_0 pointed out.  Also, I dunno, the state seemed to be doing pretty well with Dem leaders.  It really seems to be swirling down the toilet bowl with old Susie at the helm. But she sure can take good pictures with kids in elementary schools--those kids just better not hope she might use the state's permanent fund to help them.

Also, neither Phil_0 or Shotsie were advocating NOT funding the Paseo project--their beef seems to be with how Berry opted to pay for it--which is by ripping the funding that would go for routine infrastructure maintenance to divert it to a new project.  Taxes=good things.  No taxes=why we can't have nice things.

Comment by RunLikeADog on January 21, 2014 at 1:24pm
That's an interesting perspective, OBTS, especially since over half of our fair, blue State believes we are headed in the right direction based on latest polling.

As for funding Paseo, was it possibly unorthodox? Maybe. But at least it was transparent unlike the creative financing used by Big Bill to fund the Rail Runner with those two whopper balloon payments we have to make in a few years.
Comment by shotsie on January 21, 2014 at 5:20pm

RLAD - maybe you should read the report first before commenting - it stated that NM needs $2B for transportation maintenance, repair and infrastructure.  In my first comment, I merely said that maybe we should raise the gas tax to pay for improvements, and not do what RJ is doing - paying for a pet project out of the general fund (ie, robbing Peter to pay Paul).  Responsible governments raise taxes to pay for permanent infrastructure - its like any business. 

BTW, the only reason this $50M was approved by the voters was because Debbie O'Malley threw the gauntlet down and forced the (majority Republican) city council to reconsider its previous passage (without a public vote) of this project.  Otherwise, RJ could move money from the general fund to any of his pet projects (like Winrock - the tax-free mall - okay, the developer gets 70% of the sales tax collected to pay for infrastructure for the next 25 years. Do the math).  

Comment by RunLikeADog on January 21, 2014 at 8:18pm
Shotsie - a little grumpy this evening?

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