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City is heading for financial disaster

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It looks like the city is heading into a financial disaster if it continues on the path it has been on for the last four years.

When you consider inflation revenues have been going down while the city spending has increased, not to mention the debt has increased a great deal, about $62,000,000, not including interest.

I know the sales tax (GRT) increases are not all the city’s fault but they still are another drain on the citizens of Roswell. Those have had a 12 percent increase in the last four years with more coming this year.

Roswell is not a rich city, in fact, far from it. Roswell’s median household income ranks 211 out of 374 in New Mexico, while New Mexico’s median household income ranks 47 in the USA. The higher number indicates a lower income. The worker’s median income ranks 170 of 384 in New Mexico while New Mexico ranks 47 in the USA.

Roswell has also lost population since 2014.

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It appears that the number of visitors to Roswell is going down. I wonder if it has anything to do with an $80 room that will end up costing the visitor $92.77 when all of the taxes are added in? This, plus Roswell was given on the internet the honor of being “The worst tourist trap in the state.” The city’s answer, add on to the civic center. As I see it, Ruidoso and Hobbs have a better chance of attracting more convention traffic because they have more to offer. Roswell seems to do little advertising in the state.

In January 2014, the city had eight employees making between $60,000 and $70,000 per year; now there are 31. In that same period of time, there was one employee making $70,000 to $80,000 and now the city has 16 making that.

In 2014, there were three employees making $80,000 or more, of that three, one was making more than $100,000. Now there are 22 making in excess of $80,000 while seven of those are making in excess of $100,000. Of that 22, 12 were “new hires” during that period. That does not include the cost of burden and benefits (add on another 40 percent or more) plus all of the cost of temporary city managers. This is in a city where the median workers’ salary is less than $25,000 per year and many of those are working for the city.

There are 11 cities/towns that have a higher crime rate in New Mexico while New Mexico is ranked at 49. I think that presents a problem for folks or businesses looking for a place to move or visit.

I think that we a need some new blood in the council that is concerned with the problems and that knows what another $1,000,000 is and one that — when the spending of big bucks is on the table — that believe that the citizens should be allowed to have a say with their vote.

Thank you for considering my views.

Arville Sullins
Roswell

 

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