Seldom does the government see extra money as an opportunity to prepare for the future, or a politician that advocates cautious spending.
Our mayor clearly has a vision and cares for our city’s future and our children’s future.  He has also done his research and has set goals to assure we don’t repeat past mistakes.
From the words of Winston Churchill: “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” There is a lesson to be learned from Rio Rancho’s history and spending a one-time influx of money on projects with long-term costs.
Letter writer D. Schafer could benefit from a history lesson. The last time the city was in a position to spend excess funds, we gained the event center, which has cost the taxpayers millions of dollars year after year.
In 2003, there was a housing boom that made the city’s coffers flush with cash with no end in sight to the cash bonanza. Enter 2008: The nation is in the Great Recession, and the city is forced to stop filling vacant positions, cut quality-of-life projects to the bone and freeze street repairs, which lead to the voters defunding the road bond in 2011.
Police and fire are denied promised raises, hiring and expansion of public-safety services comes to a halt. All because of the “spend it now, worry about the future later” mentality that has failed our city in the past and now Schafer proposes to thrust us into round two.
I applaud Mayor (Gregg) Hull, his team and the governing body for having the “vision” that the extra money we have today may not be there tomorrow and we need to protect and grow the resources we have today. Since when is saving and investing money for the future an “ultra-conservative” policy?
If someone from 2003 had created the now-proposed permanent fund, today we would be enjoying a revenue stream that could be spent on roads and public safety, but instead we have a facility that costs taxpayers about $1 million a year.
Mayor Hull’s budget addresses a great balance of providing public services, expanding public safety, repairing infrastructure and having a vision for the future through a permanent fund. Schafer, let’s leave something for our children other than debt and decayed roads.
Mark Looper
Rio Rancho