During the Nov. 5 Albuquerque municipal elections earlier this week, 11 general obligation bonds and two propositions appeared on the ballot.
In unofficial results — with all precincts reporting — all of the bonds passed by a 58% or greater margin. The results keep with past Albuquerque election trends that pass most general obligation bonds. The bonds total $128.5 million toward services provided by the city.
The bonds go toward various city maintenance and improvement projects for public transportation, parks, libraries and public safety buildings.
The bonds for the upkeep and renovation of facilities at the Albuquerque Public Schools for $100 million and the Central New Mexico Community College for $84 million both passed.
The only measures to result in increased taxes both passed — a capital improvements tax of 0.2% of property value to support APS maintenance and a public transportation tax to improve ADA accessibility and infrastructure improvements also passed.
The controversial bond for $22 million to fund the construction of a new centrally located homeless shelter passed. The bond was proposed by City Councilor Pat Davis. The single-site proposal raised concerns about the manner of services which could be provided by a single site shelter.
The language of the proposal does not specify for the bonds to go towards a single site. The city still may use the funds from this bond to improve the current shelters or to develop new multi-site homeless shelters.
Proposition 1 passed with 57% of the vote. The proposition will clarify ethical rules and public finance law by "(requiring) candidates to follow public finance contribution limits for one year before asking for public funds," according to the measure, as well as increases the amount of public money available to mayoral candidates.
Proposition 2 for the 'Democracy Dollars' measure was voted down with 39,317 in favor and 41,356 against, a difference of only 2%. 'Democracy Dollars' was a measure intended to give each city voter $25 to designate to any campaign. As a response to low election turnout, Democracy Dollars would have given voters a measure of financial influence in local races.
In denying the measure, voters ensured the current system of public finance will remain in place. According to the New Mexico Secretary of State, the statewide turnout of eligible voters in the Nov. 5 election was 18%.
Colin Peña is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @penyacolin