The Chamber’s Call to Right-Size Santa Fe

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The Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce has produced an admirable exploration of the city’s “budgetary challenges.” The document asserts that “the option of raising taxes should not be considered prior to a detail level examination of operations, revenues and corresponding expenses.”

Recommendations for reform include:

* imposing a “hiring freeze in certain departments”

* reviewing overtime policy and limiting or eliminating “overtime compensation in all noncritical areas”

* examining the city’s “office space, including City Hall, and other infrastructure requirements to ensure efficiency”

* privatizing “certain … services such as solid waste management, parking, etc.”

* selling “land, real property, and water/mineral rights”

The chamber’s paper┬áhas applicability far beyond Santa Fe. Most New Mexico municipalities — and counties — need to fundamentally reexamine their expenditures. With the state’s fiscal picture worsening, the oil-and-gas sector slumping, and the national economy looking shaky, there’s no time like the present to right-size local government in the Land of Enchantment.