BY ROBIN GURULE
I was recently at Overlook Park and the bathrooms were locked up tight. Instead, there was a filthy, overflowing port-a-potty.
Last summer our aging sewage system spewed thousands of gallons of untreated sewage into Pueblo Canyon. An emergency road was bulldozed into the canyon, causing lots of damage, many living trees were bulldozed unnecessarily into the creek and left there. The County said they would do what they could to mitigate the damage, but nothing was done.
Some of our tennis courts are crumbling, our softball fields are in disrepair, and the county does not maintain their properties up to the county code for weed mitigation. The power went out (again) yesterday morning.
Yet, we have plenty of money to pay out-of-state consultants to tell us how to run our county. We hire consultants from Florida to tell us how to develop our golf course. We hire out-of-town consultants to tell us how to develop bike trails so they will be “like those in Colorado.” Now we are hiring consultants to tell us how to spend $7M to put in tennis courts for tournaments that will happen at most 3-4 times per year, for 3-4 days each, when participants could be bused from the Urban Park courts to the UNM courts (as they are in other tournament locations, and we already have 19 under-utilized tennis courts). Once we have paid hundreds of thousands to these consultants, we feel that we have enough investment in the project that we can’t stop it.We have already put aside the County’s Comprehensive Plan where residents overwhelmingly stated their preference for open, natural space; opting instead to cut our forest, bulldoze, and forever change the landscape for small special interest groups.
I wish that our core needs like utilities and maintenance were better funded, and the money taken from our Community Service Department which initiates all of these poorly-conceived projects which ignore the actual priorities of our citizenry.