The Solution Is Within Reach
By Senator Pete Campos
It is easy to become discouraged these days in New Mexico as crime is out of control, our economy is in shambles and our public education system is among the worst in the country. As difficult as it is to acknowledge these hard truths, doing so also points the way to an achievable solution.
The link between our investment in our children's education and safer, more prosperous communities is undeniable. Educated children grow up to be productive, engaged, law-abiding members of their communities, which leads to safer communities with plenty of jobs, which in turn will encourage young New Mexicans to remain in New Mexico rather than flee to surrounding states.
According to Alex Brown, Town Manager, the Town of Silver City is increasing its donation to the University Golf Course (Silver City Course) from $75,000 last year to $100,000 this year. Grant County will keep its donation the same as last year at $25,000.
According to the WNMU budget the golf course is budged to take in $500,616 from operations of the golf course, grill and bar. Expenses are budgeted at $814,168. That’s an operating loss of $313,552. The loss is going to be covered by the $100,000 donation from the Town, $25,000 donation from the County and $66,890 transferred from WNMU student’s fees. There is still over a $120,000 in loss to be covered, it may be covered by reimbursement from the Town for repairs to the course done by the University.
At the next Regent’s meeting in Albuquerque on October 2, 2017, Western New Mexico University is planning to purchase a 9.68-acre parcel of property from the St. Francis Newman Center Parish. The property has been vacant and was planned by St. Francis for a church. The property is located west of the Guadalupe Montessori School. Access to the property is from Alabama Street, which comes directly into the north side of the WNMU campus. The cost is $121,000.
WNMU’s plan is to develop the property into one or two directions. The first is to create a research park. This would allow WNMU to forge links between New Mexico's educational institutions, and business, industrial communities, and government. This would also help promote the economic development of Silver City. The second direction is to develop the property into student or faculty housing. It’s possible that it may develop into a mix of the two planned uses.
Silver City NM
Our view - Editorial by The Santa Fe New Mexican. September 29, 2017
Keep investments under advisement
Allegations of pay-to-play involving New Mexico’s investment dollars are back — this time, instead of a Democratic governor and his minions standing accused, it’s Republican Gov. Susana Martinez on the hot seat.
Scandal is bipartisan, it seems.
Thank you, Alfred Milligan. Your analysis of all things WNMU over the years has been very educational, very disturbing. Now the golf course! Oh, my.
I've been praising City Manager Alex Brown for foisting the golf course onto WNMU, putting the deficits into the state budget and out of SC's. Ha! As a wise man once said, "It ain't a foist if you gotta pay 'em to take it."
Thanks again and email me if you'd like to meet me for a cup of coffee. I buy.
Letter to the Editor:
Now someone might say that WNMU runs the golf course and can do what it wants with its money. The problem is that the golf course is not run with only WNMU money. The Town and the County DONATE at least $100,000 a year to the operation of the golf course.
If you take a look at the 2017-18 WNMU budget for the golf course, income from operation of the golf course is $500,616, expenses are $814,168. That’s a loss of over $300,000 made up from student funds, donations from the Town and County and having the Town reimburse WNMU for repair expenses.
By Rep. Rebecca Dow (R-District 38)
Deciding when to add new employees can often make or break a small business. While it is exciting to see your business grow, adding new employees can strain the bottom line of any enterprise. Business owners often have to shift resources from other areas of their company to devote time to new hire training, and the onboarding process can lead to a temporary decline in productivity as well as revenue until the trainee is brought up to speed.
The New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) can help New Mexico business owners with this situation through the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP). JTIP supports business growth by reimbursing 50 to 75% of employee wages during the training period for newly-created positions. With this assistance, employers can invest the time and resources required to train their new workforce while reducing the impact of these training costs on their businesses.
By Carla J. Sonntag
President and Founder, New Mexico Business Coalition
New Mexico is the land of enchantment.
Our state is blessed with breathtaking natural vistas and a rich multicultural history. And our people are some of the warmest and kindest you will ever meet.
With all of those blessings you would think our great state would be prospering and rank at the top of every national indicator in growth, jobs, and education. Unfortunately, that is just not the case.
In June 2017, New Mexico had an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent, and it was ranked 42nd by Forbes for growth prospects. Its poverty rate is 20.4 percent, and New Mexico's college attainment is just 26.5 percent. The state also ranks 49th for educational quality.
How do we explain to our children that we, the business and political leaders of our state, have failed to provide them with the prosperity and opportunity they deserve?
Well it's time we stop explaining our failures and start taking the bold and necessary steps to secure a future for young New Mexicans and attract talented people from other parts of the country. One of the things we can do is let employees decide if they want to join a union rather than forcing them to do so.
Right-to-work laws allow workers to opt out of union membership and dues without fear of losing their jobs. Twenty eight states have right-to-work laws on their books, including nearly all of New Mexico's neighbors. But thanks to a recent federal court decision, local governments can pass their own right-to-work ordinances. And that is exactly what Sandoval County and the City of Rio Rancho have decided to do.
As President of the New Mexico Business Coalition, I support the officials of those jurisdictions in their decision. I am proud to sponsor and include the New Mexico Business Coalition in a letter of support which can be read on our website at nmbizcoalition.org. Other business organizations, community leaders, and liberty-oriented nonprofits have co-signed and we are glad to have them all.
There will be the usual complaints and attacks from organized labor, which has fought right-to-work everywhere. They say that right-to-work increases poverty. But that's ridiculous. New Mexico already has an unacceptable poverty level without right-to-work protections for our workers, and California has the highest poverty rate in the nation, and it is also not right-to-work.
Union leaders will also say that right-to-work is a Republican attack on workers. Not true; in fact states that have traditionally voted Democrat have recently gone right-to-work, including Wisconsin and Michigan.
Another argument against right-to-work is that it allows workers who don't join the union to "free ride" on union representation without paying for it. This is also false. Unions can choose to only represent their members; the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), for example, has thousands of people covered by members-only contracts.
The truth is that right-to-work is good for jobs and good for growth. As one spokesperson for a manufacturers association put it in the New York Times, "75 percent of businesses rated locating in a right-to-work state as 'important' or 'very important.' Moreover, up to half of businesses consider right-to-work as a pass/fail factor when deciding where to invest. They view right-to-work, as dubbed in Site Selection Magazine, as 'the box that must be checked.'
It has always been important for economic growth, but as more and more states go right-to-work, it has become an absolute necessity. And it is popular, too: In New Mexico, right-to-work polls favorably at 60 percent. Nationally, nearly three out of four Americans approve of right-to-work, according to a Gallup survey.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the New Mexico legislature will pass a state right-to-work anytime soon. That is why we are supporting the push for local ordinances in Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, and any other jurisdiction in the state that wants to take the prosperity of its citizens into its own hands.
The New Mexico Business Coalition (NMBC) is a statewide nonprofit association that works to improve the business environment for companies and the quality of life for all New Mexicans. NMBC's nonpartisan educational efforts focus on providing New Mexicans the facts about regulation, legislation and elected officials' decisions affecting them.
The Grant county Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.
The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.
The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.
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