Letter To The Editor: Of Roads And Rec Bonds

Los Alamos

When I read the objections to the 2017 Recreation Bond, I am sympathetic. I also drive down Trinity and despair at the crumbling curbs. I also drive down into Rendija Canyon and worry about losing a filling. I also look at Mari-Mac, which resembles a war zone more by the day, and I think, how can we be such a wealthy county and have infrastructure like this? I get it. The thing is, none of those irksome things has to do with county government, and none of them will be resolved by refusing to vote for the Rec Bond.

Trinity Drive is a state road. So is NM 502, which runs from Trinity down Main Hill all the way to Pojoaque. So is East Jemez Road (aka the Truck Route). So is the whole stretch of NM 4, from the Y through White Rock and out to Bandelier. Rendija Road to the Sportsmen’s Club is a forest road. If people want these roads fixed, they have to appeal to the state, not the county. The Rec Bond, in any event, has nothing to do with these roads. Nor does it have anything to do with private property such as the Mari-Mac shopping center, which is owned by Smith’s. The county can enforce code violations, but that’s about it. It cannot repair infrastructure it doesn’t own.

I called the Public Works Department to make sure I had my facts straight, and I encourage others to call or email if they have questions. In addition to the above facts, I learned that 10 percent of county-owned roads are in need of repair (which is not bad relative to most communities) and that there is a 5-year plan to rebuild those roads, with a budget already adopted by the County Council. Hopefully this information, as well as clarity on which roads are county and which are state, will settle those questions and concerns so we can focus on the issue at hand: the Rec Bond.

Unlike other county spending, in the past decade funding for parks and recreation has actually taken a hit. Now it’s time to remedy that underfunding. We are in desperate need of upgrades and new facilities, and that’s why the county has spent the last year actively seeking citizen input on how best to meet the recreation needs of the community. Everyone had ample time to air concerns and offer suggestions at the well-advertised public meetings—and many did. Now it’s time to settle the question and put it to a vote. The citizens of Los Alamos have been asking for these projects for years. Your ballot will arrive in a few days: vote YES on Rec Bond 2017.