There is no hurry for bond

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By Richard Hannemann

Dear Editor,

I think we should wait on the school bond for a bit.  Not like the high school or Aspen are going to cave in this year.

 The short-term business cycle is about 18 months.  Means that the economy should finally bottom out end of ’09.  With falling property values, a credit market in meltdown, falling gas and oil revenues to the state which translates as lost revenues for state school funding, probably right now is not the best time to be voting tax increases, bond debt and ambitious capital expenditure programs.  And no telling what the Congress will do regarding Lab funding.

 By the end of this year, I think we’ll have a better picture on where the national, state and local economies are moving, at which time school bonds and spending programs will make more sense.

 We have already seen, far too often in the past year, what happens when programs and expenditures get pushed forward too fast and too hard, in a need for speed that has no objective foundation. The county has way too much on its plate and will have to scale back.  We are already carrying $75 million+ in debt. If the schools go forward and then get in a bind, neither state nor county will be in a position to bail them out.

 This is not a rush job and the better course of wisdom would suggest we pause, take a breath and get a sense of which way the wind is blowing rather than drive our little boat full sail into the teeth of the maelstrom.

 This year, I’ll have to vote no. Next year, I’m more likely to vote yes.

Los Alamos