Wednesday, the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) voted 14-2 to put a $26 MILLION a year tax increase on the table to pay for the operation of the system (Journal - Subscription).
(Sidebar)The Bernalillo County Commission isn't wasting any time getting the wheels rolling on the Rail Runner tax increase. They're taking the first step towards putting the $26 MILLION yearly tax increase on the ballot tomorrow - just two days after the MRCOG vote. At the unusual hour of 11:00 am, the commissioners will vote on whether or not to publish the required legal notice indicating that they will debate (rubber stamp) the proposed MRCOG Rail Runner tax increase and whether or not it will be placed on the November ballot.
We've often been critical of MRCOG representatives and City Councilors Sally Mayer and Don Harris. Wednesday, they got it right by voting against the tax increase. We give credit where credit is due and both councilors acted in the best interests of not only their constituents but in the best interests of all of us living under the influence of MRCOG.
The legal notice is required by law. What's unusual is the time chosen to vote on notice placement. It's damn odd that the commission is meeting at 11:00 am in the first place. The only time the commissioners meet during the day is to perform time-sensitive functions like the Board of Canvass. The rest of the time they convene after work at 4:30 or 5:00pm.
Look... The commission tends to fly under the radar most of the time anyway, but we'd be willing to bet that even Geraldine Amato will have a hard time making the meeting. Seems to us that the commissioners really don't want to have any shall we say... interruptions (or debate) over the issue. Tomorrow's meeting is the first opportunity for opponents of the tax to prevent its inclusion on the November ballot - keeping it low profile allows commissioners some cover and protects them from criticism.
Meanwhile over at the city, Marty's busy trying to get his trolley back on track again. It's trains coming from every direction and no matter how many times they get derailed or how many times we're reassured that tax increases are "off the table forever" (KOB.com) the trains just keep coming. (Don't even get us started about the undersized, unwanted, over priced downtown arena.) It just goes to show you that it's hard to stop a train!