Monday, July 13, 2009

Mayoral Race: Where's the Vision?

They say you get the government you deserve. Has ABQ been bad? Speaking personally, I have heard nothing inspiring from the three mayoral candidates. Where's the vision for the city? What will ABQ look like in 5, 10, 15 years? Where's the vision for re-making downtown so ABQ can truly compete? Andaluz and Winrock developer Gary Goodman is correct to point out that the state of ABQ's downtown puts the area at a distinct disadvantage. Re-locating employers and the Creative Class want much more than the city currently offers. How will the candidates address this critical economic issue? The current mayor talks the talk (green city, green jobs, streetcar, downtown arena) but where are the accomplishments? The Big I landscaping is nice but where's the arena, the streecar, the sign reduction ordinance, etc., etc., etc.? Is he too divisive to accomplish grand projects? Do we have a leadership vacuum?


lion said...

Agree with your comments about minimal progress on big projects. But besides Mayoral and city council involvement there needs to be buy in by more downtown merchants. When retail spaces sit vacant for 5 years or more perhaps it is time to LOWER THE RENT prices.
Also creative presenting of projects. For example a proposed 12 cent tax per $100 to pay for an arena is only $24 a year on every $20,000 one spends. That's cheaper then a couple going to one movie one time with popcorn and drinks.
And if in the current economic times we can't afford a streetcar or light rail, at least plan for the future. So if one redoes Paseo Del Norte from Coors to Interstate 25 at least build a place to put in a streetcar while everything else is torn up.

Dan said...

Superb comments. As you point out there are very affordable ways to make these projects happen (Arena/Streetcar). The economic benefits would be enormous. I wonder if the current mayor (which will probably be the future mayor) has the ability to sell these projects given the animosity he seems to have built up.

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