Several months ago, while shopping at Smith’s, I ran into an old friend for whom I have the utmost respect.
We worked together with the Rio Rancho Rams baseball program for several years and celebrated together when we won the state championship in 2007. He is in the RRHS Hall of Honor.
He stated that he wasn’t going to support the road bond issue this time because his residential street hadn’t been repaired. He also stated this later at the council chambers, as well as a Facebook post.
I asked him if he called his councilor and he said no, he called the mayor. I explained to him, as I’m sure the mayor did likewise, that the city uses bond money for major arterials and collector streets and we can only use general fund money for street crack repairs.
Why is this? Bonds can only be used on capital projects with long useful lives and cannot be used on routine repairs.
Each council district is only allowed 1.667 miles per year of crack patching for a total of 10 miles.
The city has over 300 miles of residential streets. To date, three phases have been done, with phase 4 scheduled for this spring: 55.6 total miles, costing $568,852.96, per the Public Works Department.
Year one was more miles but had to be cut back due to quality concerns.
So, if the bonds are defeated in the upcoming election, two things will result:
• One, badly needed street repairs can’t be done. Riverside Drive has had two sink holes that cars drove into and is situated adjacent to a fire station and a busy region-serving park, Rio Vista.
• Two, the city will still only be able to repair residential streets at the same pace.
It can be said that one should not cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face.
A Wikipedia search shows the definition of that phrase as: “Expression to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem.”
In conclusion, the city’s governing body has made it a priority to keep repairing streets with a dedicated crew and to reconstruct major roads that the majority of people utilize. Please vote to approve the Road Bond, as well as Public Safety!
(Dave Bency is the District 6 Rio Rancho city councilor.)