Santa Fe's fiscal track record makes John Gordnier, a member of the Santa Fe Coalition for Good Government, skeptical of the most recent bond proposal.
The $30 million general obligation bond would fund a variety of projects, including citywide broadband and affordable housing, through increased property taxes [news, Oct. 26: "High Coss"]. But Gordnier points to a federal tax lien filed on the city in August for $59,000 as an example of why the city's fiscal management "is not what it ought to be."
Gordnier also says a $30 million bond for public park improvements passed by city voters in 2008 was mismanaged. At a Sept. 6 Finance Committee meeting, Parks Division Director Fabian Chavez said parks bond money could be used for salaries. City Attorney Geno Zamora contradicted this statement at another finance meeting in November.
Gordnier's group lobbied in the spring against city efforts to balance the budget through property taxes.
The Internal Revenue Service lien relates to payroll taxes that weren't paid by a March 2010 due date. But according to Mel Morgan, the city's finance director, the IRS issued the lien by mistake.
"They said we missed the deadline by a few days, but we didn't," Morgan tells SFR.