There are countless examples of Marty's increasing desire to build a legacy on the backs of city taxpayers. Wading lagoons, downtown arenas, balloon museums, trolleys, even Pandas have all been on the mayor's personal agenda. Some have been realized while it took the Red Chinese to kill other.
Our point? No matter how many times the council or the public says no, The Almighty Alcalde will continue to pursue his agenda either overtly or covertly. "No" is simply a temporary inconvenience to be endured.
Marty's choo choo train has a long history of trying to slip past the public. Monday, November 6th 2006 - the day before the hotly contested 2006 election - the mayor tried to slip his trolley by the public with the aid of the council. Since that time we've been treated to task farces and propaganda designed to make a trolley with the capacity to serve a very small number of people at a price tag of $240 MILLION plus look cost effective and environmentally friendly.
At least it seems that the council has started to get the message. Last week the council sent up a resolution to the mayor directing him not to use Obama's spending, uh... stimulus money on a trolley (read it here). Unbelievably, the measure was sponsored by none other than our socialist in chief, Councilor Isaac Benton.
[Sidebar]What The Almighty Alcalde actually did was to use his line item veto to take out language that modified the Transportation Improvement Plan so that a 19th Century Street Car - no matter where the money came from - would have to go to the voters before the city started railroading the public.
Obama and his accomplices insist on calling the $750 BILLION spending package ARRA - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In reality it's the American Repugnant Redistribution Act. It's bad enough when these yahoos in Washington wastefully spend our tax dollars but it's simply repugnant to be blowing tax dollars that haven't even been collected yet. In other words... borrowed.
I have exercised my authority as Mayor of Albuquerque to line item veto the portion of R-09-229 that prohibits the use of federal monies to build a modem rail system in Albuquerque. I believe that Albuquerque should no longer remain one of only a handful of D.S. cities without a diverse transportation portfolio including modem rail. I have agreed that a city funded system should be a matter for the voters of Albuquerque. I disagree that either the Regional Transportation District or the federal government with their own funds should be similarly restricted.There are a number of problems with Marty's logic here. First of all, nothing is free even if it comes from the federal government. Second, using that borrowed money to build a tiny trolley to serve a few people moving from downtown to the airport. A trolley that would make an already congested area worse by taking up space needed for vehicle traffic.- Mayor Martin Chavez Veto Message
Third and worst of all, even if the trolley were free it creates a long term operational drain on the city's general fund. This is exactly the wrong kind of project to waste borrowed money on. If we're gonna spend Obama's money, we're far better off spending it on projects like the I-25 / Paseo Del Norte interchange - a project that serves tens of thousands of people daily. Something Marty's Tiny Trolley will never be able to do.
Meanwhile the council plans on sticking an extension of the Transportation Infrastructure Tax on the October ballot without funding for a trolley. Here's the problem... that 1/4 cent tax can be easily reprogrammed by the council at anytime. So what's sold to the taxpayers as roads, bike paths, and buses magically becomes a source of revenue for a 19th Century Streetcar.
It doesn't seem to matter who pays for it or how much it costs, Marty will have his trolley. Of course if voters decide to send him packing after 12 years, maybe, just maybe we can put a stake in the heart of the Trolley that Won't Go Away.