Letter To The Editor: Taxpayers Should Set Capital Priorities

By JIM REDMAN
Los Alamos

I am outraged that the Council should be trying to repeat the “Kiddie Pool” bond ruse with a new recreational bond election (link).

Having raided the taxpayers capital fund for the projects that Council and staff feel important we find that it is short money for popular “recreational” projects. Thus the bond election hoping that the tax payers will vote for a property tax increase to fund these projects.

We have seen excessive spending by Councils in recent memory and I have no confidence in any Council’s judgment in spending our money. As taxpayers, we need to be sure that the profligate waste of taxpayer’s monies on projects such as a lavish Municipal building, and a number of other excessive and self-destructive projects is never repeated. We need input on all spending of discretionary capital funds, not just the projects that the Council think will have sufficient public support to merit a tax increase.

There’s a simple approach to this. Most CIP funds should be placed in an account that requires voter approval to spend.  Any project, parks, 20th Street, Deacon Street, recreation, county buildings that need capital funding from that account must be approved by a ballot or referendum. Model ordinances abound and Council could enact this very quickly. I would suggest that this is the minimum Council should do to gain the confidence and support of the Los Alamos tax payers before any bond election is even proposed.

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