Roswell Municipal Elections

 

Under 4,000 Roswell citizens went to the polls March 6th, to make critical decisions for 47,000 of us. 

All in all the majority of voters that turned out were seniors who came out to defeat the provision put forward by Mayor Jurney to marginally increase the local gross receipts tax in support economic development for our city. Apathetic locals, who this proposal would have benefited most, stayed home. This is no surprise to me, seniors have historically voted to defeat such measures time and time again. But this time they voted against their best interest. 

To understand why, we need to look back on the the days when local economy was suffering and needed an influx of spending to boost the city's revenues. In their infinite wisdom the city fathers began a campaign to recruit retirees to our fair city touting low property taxes, affordable housing, low crime rate and most importantly easy access to healthcare. The city, in conjunction with the local Chamber of Commerce, specifically targeted seniors of a conservative bent (Republicans) not wanting to affect the status quo. 

Here's the rub..., without economic development Roswell will shrivel up and die. I've watched, over the last twenty years,  as business’ have packed up and left this area with no new business’ moving in to replace them. Unemployment rates have increased, so has welfare assistance. We have all seen St Mary’s hospital close, recently Roswell Regional hospital has suffered a fatal blow. Eastern New Mexico Medical Center has cut way back on services to protect profit margins, and Doctors fleeing to communities that have better schools for their children.

Without employment opportunities the crime rate will become an even more serious issue than it already is. What then will have been the benefit of moving to Roswell to retire? I think these initiatives should be on the ballot during elections when the greater percentage of voters go to the polls. These results are nothing short of a slap in the face  of Local Leaders, the Economic Development Foundation and Small Business. A system that allows less than 10% decide what is best for all is fatally flawed.