Balloon Landing Debacle

Recently, I praised Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez for his relative budget restraint. While I stand behind that praise, the ongoing debacle involving the City’s efforts to buy 22 acres of land near Vista del Norte, ostensibly for a balloon-landing site (but really to keep Wal Mart from building a store there) undermines efforts to strengthen the City’s economy.
After all, if businesses are to locate here, they need to know that the carpet will not be pulled from underneath them for political reasons. The City, (specifically taxpayers) is now paying the price for abrogating property rights in the area that is now ABQ Uptown. Rather than buying the land, the City should encourage the developer to go ahead with plans to put a Wal Mart or whatever they want to do with it. If landing balloons is really an issue, perhaps the City can work with the developers to develop the land in a way that allows balloons to land in the area? We can’t simply stop growing as a City in order to be balloon-friendly.

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