Declare Ashley Pond a common

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By Joel M. Williams

Dear Editor,

 I sat through the council’s Dec. 16 meeting twice (TV). My view: no one gives much thought to the whole. Council has not followed through with the “Trinity site” plan and the objector’s appear to be declaring that all the area between the four roads is sacred. Where is common sense!

It is unreasonable to consider the territory west of the former muni building as part of the “Ashley Pond Historical Muni Common.” From a city plat approach, it is just another block. There is plenty of room for a fairly large pavilion (not considered) for public activities where the muni  building was. A row of trees between it and old muni parking lot would serve to define the Community Park. The parking lot allows for off-street parking for public events.

That area west of the tree-line is not “Ashley Pond Historical Muni Common,” nor is it the middle of “Santa Fe Plaza.” It is in another city block! Having a JPJ complex there is “grandfathered.” Downtown businesses get coverage EVERY time a patrol comes back to post. JPJ on Openheimer is not a “bad” location!

Let’s explore another side of the issue.

My home is 2,500 sq ft. The police claim they need more than the 12,000 they now have: quite a brigade and they sleep elsewhere. The cost: a bit of mahogany for the justices, stainless steel-earthquake-proof cells and offices for everybody. If I take the current $15 million for 15,000 sq. ft., I get $1,000/sq. ft.: first class. Something strange; golfers are asking for similar building at $2 million; hmmm. Who’s “certifies” these “WAGs”?

With regard to design: this is not a Getty museum! It should not be artistic. It should have one (1) roof for each entity (J+P+J). JPJ is where police rally to protect, courts distribute justice, and the jail incarcerates. JPJ is not a show place. Exterior gaudiness is meant to attract folks to come and meander. A JPJ place is not such a place. It should be a simple building or group of buildings that indicates that it is a no thrills place. Whoever was in charge of having the designer generate anything other than this concept was not acting rationally. Those who approved it, similarly! This house of many gables is New England – not New Mexico!

Millions over the dam (councilors say) and it is unreasonable to expect that bidders will come back and bid lower. I agree if nothing is changed. I disagree if the design is changed to properly reflect what this building is meant to be and some sort of square footage that resembles what most of us are comfortably living in. What other desirable project will not get funded if too much goes into a few (re: LANL bi-pazz.) By building JPJ on Oppenheimer, the council automatically (unwittingly?) defines the “Ashley Pond Historical Muni Common” acreage. I suggest that they declared it officially “the Ashley Pond Historical Muni Common” at the next meeting. This will allow P&R to develop it as a proper park and install a pavilion in time for the summer concerts and other functions.

Los Alamos