Our Eyes tell us that the purchase of a new cathedral for the county commission is officially dead. We have yet to ascertain the exact reasoning behind the move, but the general consensus is that buying a new $42 MILLION building to house county offices isn't the best idea right now. You know, it just doesn't look good.
Well duh... It didn't look good back in August either, yet the commission charged ahead with the purchase. By September, the building had been approved and the county had already sold $42 MILLION worth of bonds to pay for it.
[Sidebar]You'd think that we'd be happy that the county's extravagant purchase had tanked. The problem is the county has already sold the bonds. That means all of us are still on the hook for $42 MILLION in principle plus interest to be paid to the purchasers of the bonds.
To be fair, it wasn't the entire County Commission that voted to blow $42 MILLION on an unneeded building. The vote was 4 in favor (Alan Armijo, Dina Arculetta, Theresa Cordova, Tim Cummins) and 1 against (Michael Brasher).
Our Eyes tell us that the bond money can only be used for a building. Which means that regardless of how things look or how ridiculous it is to be buying a building when gross receipts are way down, the county will in all likelihood buy a building eventually.
In a matter of just a few days the Bernalillo County Commission not only approved the sale of almost $41 MILLION in bonds to pay for a new home for themselves but sold the bonds. We've never seen government work quite as quickly as the commission did in this particular case. It's been our experience that when government works with this kind of alacrity it's either under attack from terrorists or doing something that the voters wouldn't approve of.As you can tell, we've always been suspicious of this deal. It's not as if this was the Louisiana Purchase - a monumental deal that couldn't be passed up. Indeed, the Albuquerque Journal reported that the property at 500 Marquette was most likely waaaay overpriced (ABQ Journal - Subscription).
At the end of the day, we're left with more debt that was meant for a building we didn't and don't need, and now we're paying for it even though we don't have it. Not exactly government at its finest.