By Bob Steiner
Governor Richardson has appointed previous Governor Tony Anaya as the executive director of the state Recovery and Reinvestment Office. This agency will monitor how stimulus funds are used to insure that the expenditures are helping to promote jobs and have a lasting effect on economic prosperity.
According to a recent press release, Mr. Anaya has emphasized that requests for stimulus funds which stress regional collaboration will be “rewarded”. One example of such regional action, which he cited was the animal control center in Edgewood. That facility was originally to be developed with the idea of serving most communities in the Estancia Valley but had to be scaled back to serving only the town of Edgewood because of a lack of funds. Now, with an infusion of federal stimulus money, the original concept of a “regional center” could once again be pursued. I sincerely hope that the mayor and town council of Edgewood will aggressively follow up on this issue!
While not as “regionally oriented’ as the animal center, Ms. Mahalick, the town planner, had prepared a detailed request for other capital expenditures for Edgewood. This was a well-written document which listed the “high priority” needs of the community and was given to our legislators in November. Unfortunately, when it came time for the money to be appropriated, the funds were not available.
Although most of the projects on Edgewood’s list do not necessarily meet the “regional” designation, in view of their urgent need (The public works facility and the town sewer, for example), I strongly recommend that Ms. Mahalick’s list of last November be resurrected and presented to Mr. Anaya. I would hope that the town could prepare another direct and forceful “in person”verbal presentation, as was done for our area legislators last November 12th. I would also look at this as an opportunity to bring up funding for the after school program being promoted by Audrey Jaramillo and Roger Holden.
It has often been said that “the squeaky wheel” gets the oil” I would hope that “this time” our town leadership can and will squeak loudly.