Albuquerque's streetcar may be back on track and is scheduled to arrive in the City Council station in early February. Back in November the Mayor and his confederates on the council tried and succeeded in ram rodding a 10 year extension to Albuquerque's Transportation Infrastructure Tax to help pay for Marty's folly trolley. The $270 million dollar amusement park ride would link Nob Hill to Coors & Atrisco. The move timed to be taken up and passed the day before the November election backfired and resulted in the creation of SWAT (Stop Wasting Albuquerque's Taxes), a group dedicated to keeping an eye on how the city spends our tax dollars. The extension of the Transportation Infrastructure Tax was initially passed by council and then later withdrawn when even sponsors Heinrich and Benton received so much pressure from their constituents that they had no choice. The trolley jumped the tracks.
The result of all of this hulla baloo was two bills to study the trolley. One sponsored by Councilor Harris, called for a $50,000 appropriation for an independent cost-benefit analysis. The second sponsored by Councilor Winter, called for the formulation of a task force to study the problem. Both bills appear to have serious problems. The $50,000 "independent" analysis could easily be handed to streetcar contractor HDR and we all know how that would turn out. Not to mention that believe it or not $50,000 is not near enough to perform the type of comprehensive transportation study necessary to determine what the future of transportation in Albuquerque will be and whether or not a trolley should be a part of that future. The task force approach sounds good but our Eyes tell us that its make up will include an inordinate number of declared streetcar proponents which would likely make the outcome a foregone conclusion.
Call it a lack of trust or perhaps a healthy skepticism, we believe that Mayor Chavez and most of the council would like to put this back on the fast track regardless of whether it's a good idea, would actually improve Albuquerque's transportation future, or even whether anyone would even ride it. As always we'll keep our eye on it.
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The Piercing Truth
This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes