Where’s the New Vision for ABQ?

In case you are not already aware given the debates rampaging in Washington, we are having a mayoral election in Albuquerque this October. There are three candidates, two of whom, Richard Romero and RJ Berry, have been on “Speaking Freely” (I like both of them personally a great deal). Listen to Richard’s show here and RJ’s here. We are working to get Mayor Marty on the show as well now that he is officially in the race.

Anyway, I’ve looked at the visions and policy prescriptions from each candidate. Berry, Romero, and Chavez. Unfortunately for the challengers, it seems that Mayor Marty has spent a lot more time on his vision than they have and he seems to steal their thunder, particularly on the issues of open government and transparency.

The challengers, while I do believe they will shake things up, haven’t used their own issue and vision statements to differentiate themselves from the policies of the current Administration in two major ways: taxes and business friendliness.

As the Rio Grande Foundation has pointed out in the past, Albuquerque has the heaviest tax burden of any city in the state. This is mostly the result of our heavy property tax burden, but the Mayor has been party to several local tax hikes. Also, while the Mayor promotes jobs and small business, he and his Administration makes it more difficult for businesses to set up shop in the City.

The good news is that the Rio Grande Foundation has created a candidate survey for all mayoral and council candidates in the City. The results will be posted soon and our questions may give the candidates yet another opportunity to differentiate themselves. Keep an eye out for that!

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