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Monahan: Govs for a Day

Monahan: Govs for a Day

What ideas would you bring to the table if you were governor of New Mexico for just one day?

ColumnMonahanMugBY JOE MONAHAN

What ideas would you bring to the table if you were governor of New Mexico for just one day? That’s the question we posed to our readers and what we received in return was an impressive roster of proposals from dozens of would-be governors. So take that, Mr. Apathy.

Without further ado, let’s swear in our governors for a day and get them working those 24 hours on setting things right around here.

Frank Gilmer would be a clever governor: “I would order that the Expo New Mexico grounds be traded for the Santolina property on the West Side. This would enable the Santolina developers to immediately bring their promised housing and industry to central Albuquerque and would give Expo room to completely re-build and expand.” Gilmer adds: “And extend the Rail Runner north to Raton (we already own the tracks) and south to Las Cruces.”

Myra Segal says: “Let’s send voters that proposed constitutional amendment to allow spending 1 percent of our $14.9 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund each year for early childhood education. Now is the time to invest in our future students and workforce.”

Gov. Brent Eastwood would stop the nay-saying over the state’s dependence on the feds and double down. “Instead of trying in vain to recruit companies to New Mexico, focus on recruiting new agencies, departments, bureaus and offices of the federal government to relocate here. Establish a ‘Federal Government Center of Excellence’ that would be responsible for this recruitment. The Center would also provide management consulting services to the federal government in order to promote best practices in federal solutions.”

Laura Sanchez of Los Lunas comes with this gubernatorial triple play. “Return behavioral health services to New Mexico companies. None have been shown to be engaged in wrongdoing as the administration charges. Second, dump mandated student testing sold by outside corporations and also dump the current teacher evaluations. Third, re-staff the Environmental Improvement

Board with people knowledgeable about New Mexico’s air, land and water instead of the current fossil fuel shills.”
Kevin Bersell is going to use every hour of his 24. He’s got a lot of work to do. “What do we have more of than anything else? Dirt and sunshine. If you employ more than 100 people in New Mexico, as governor, I’ll give you a nearly free land lease to produce all the energy you need to run your business (you provide the solar panels). The State Land office does this for oil, so let’s do it for solar, too. As governor, I’m going to offer free education in computer programming, nursing, medicine and dentists. Legalize marijuana and support marijuana production. New Mexico has the climate and culture to grow the best marijuana in the world. Regardless of what you think of marijuana, it will be legal soon. Let’s get ahead of the curve and start building an industry that will generate billions in revenue.”

It would be difficult to have an “anonymous” governor but maybe we could get away with it for 24 hours. Here she is: “The lottery scholarship is not financially sustainable and the average scholarship recipient comes from a family with a median income of at least $100,000, while the majority of those who buy lottery tickets come from low-income backgrounds. If I were governor, I would work with the Legislature to reform the scholarship by making it needs-based and create a formula where the poorest districts receive the largest number of awards.”

Gov. Robert Palacioz would “establish a Trades Program similar to the one in Germany that instills respect, excellent training, and good wages. This program will work with the education system to advance our students to college and beyond with help in tutoring, partial payment (students must work in the community and make a commitment to stay in New Mexico a minimum of five years). The Trades Program will be a positive step for our young and New Mexico’s future.”

So take a day off, Susana. Our would-be governors have your back, are brimming with ideas and are ready to work around-the-clock. At least for a day. And best of all, not one of them mentioned a run for higher office.

— Joe Monahan is a veteran of New Mexico politics. His daily blog can be found at joemonahan.com.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.