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Obstacles to state restructuring may be set in concrete

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By Merilee Dannemann

In the old days, a friend reminisced long ago, we had to move after every election.
State office buildings were rented, she explained. After the election the new governor could reward political supporters with leases.
Mediocre facilities, scattered all over the place, imperfectly matched to the needs of their occupants or the public. Short leases.
With all the talk of reorganization and consolidation, don’t we wish those good old days were back again. Many of New Mexico’s state institutions are now, literally, set in concrete.
Within the last couple of decades, somebody decided that state government was here to stay, not just a passing fad, and the state might as well build and own its buildings. Everywhere.
A particular incentive, back in the early 1990s, was a mysterious loss of interest by landlords in renting to the state. Quite suddenly, property owners were submitting bids for much higher rental amounts than ever before, or not bidding at all. A legislator friend asked me if I could find out what kind of scam was going on.


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