What’s an elected official to do regarding significant capital expenditures when economic uncertainty still prevails? Well, for one, I’d suggest that they take notice of how Albuquerque Mayor Berry handled this recent decision:
Mayor Richard Berry isn’t ready to support plans for a Downtown event center and hotel project, but he said he is willing to consider securing land that could be used for the effort eventually.
“I’m not saying ‘no, never.’ I’m saying now isn’t the time,” he told an audience gathered at the Convention Center for his first State of the City address.
“At the end of the day, I simply have not gotten to the point where I can look the taxpayers of Albuquerque in the eye and tell them that now is the right time to spend $300 million or more on a Downtown event center and headquarter hotel,” Berry said Thursday in his speech, delivered to a Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
“I believe that if we do, we are at risk of spending significant tax dollars in an industry that is in decline, when the convention center market is currently overbuilt nationwide.”
See it’s pretty simple. Sometimes you just have to say, “No.” Of course, I don’t completely agree with the Mayor. I’d have to say, “No, never.” If it makes good business sense, let a business build and run the convention center.
Speaking of wise decisions, kudos to Governor-elect Susana Martinez on her choice of Heather Wilson as her transition chair. Smart choice in more ways than one.