La Coalición de Taos

Town Council/Mayoral Candidate Forum Questions Submitted by the Public

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Subject: Economic Development

Your position on the “industrial complex” by airport?
What is your first priority? Be specific.

Clean energy can contribute to the Town’s economy in a number of ways — by providing tax revenues, by improving the livability of the community, by lowering the cost of energy, etc. Will you support building new solar arrays and transmission lines that will allow the expansion of clean energy including for export?

During the Taos News forum you proposed that businesses could be developed to reuse or to manufacture new products from recycled materials. What sort of manufacturing can you envision, and what  evidence do you have from other towns and cities that recycling could be a sustainable, job-producing business in a place like Taos? 

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

You stated in the Taos News that you would emphasize the development of a skilled workforce and investing in career technical education. What does this mean and what specific steps would you take to make this happen?

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

What is your plan to create a more diverse economy?

Do you view the influx of second homeowners, short term rentals, and the rate of new building development as a problem or a benefit to the people of Taos County?

What is your position on the airport expansion?

How would you address the redistribution of the $20 million that’s going to the airport when a large part of that $20 million should be used for Taos needs such as roads, Kit Carson Park and low income housing??

In the recent mayoral Forum sponsored by The Taos News, you proposed that the Town’s first actionable opportunity to create new jobs is to “get into the business of recycling”. What evidence do you have from other towns and cities that recylcing could be a sustainable, job producing business in a place like Taos?

What kind of Ordinance or zoning changes do you propose so that more local businesses, and diverse types of businesses can be started?

Would you support the proposed Town Land Trust for Housing to also include acquiring commercial real estate for local businesses instead of it always going to big corporate investors, which is another form of gentrification?

Taos has long been overly reliant on the tourism industry, resulting in seasonal ebbs and flows in the health of the economy, a local economy overly susceptible to recessionary pressures, few opportunities for citizens to access middle class wages, and a dearth of professional services. 1.) What is our path to economic diversification and a more stable and stronger local economy? 2.) What industries have you identified as priorities for investment and what would your administration do to help them grow?

Your platform indicates that you want to create a 4-year university in the heart of Taos. Why do you think this is a key economic development initiative, and how does this conflict with the work that has been done to support the growth of UNM-Taos in our community?

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