We sent questionnaires to the candidates for Truth or Consequences City Commission, Positions #1 and #3. The responses below are from Ron Fenn, a longtime critic of various civic and government affairs in Truth or Consequences. Most recently, he spearheaded the campaign to halt the city’s intended action to secure financing for a new law enforcement complex in the old armory building.
SCBN: What is your vision for the city of Truth or Consequences?
Fenn: My vision for Truth or Consequences is to improve the sustainability of this community as a quality Retirement Community with greater emphasis on in-filling our large housing inventory and breathing new Civic life into our community.
What about about your background and professional experience makes you a good candidate to help implement that vision?
My work in management consulting across the U.S. and abroad required problem solving ability for improving operations of companies and businesses. These are the important and necessary tools to tackle our community’s most serious problems.
What role should the Downtown Master Plan (adopted in 2014) play in City Commission going forward?
The Downtown Master Plan must be viewed as a guide and not a set-in-stone program. The community is constantly undergoing change and therefore such plans need to be reviewed and adjusted to meet current conditions.
People live together in communities in part because of the mutual benefits of social cooperation. What is your track record in helping your community thrive?
Working to reduce unnecessary City spending and lack of benefit for the residents has led to the successful referendum that blocked the expenditure of $3.3M for the Armory renovation. That success should help empower the citizens of T or C in understanding their role and ability to veto unpopular or unnecessary government actions.
What is the single most important reason you decided to run?
To help affect the changes necessary to end the population decline and improve the city’s economic position for the benefit the People, who are the City.
If elected, what will your top three priorities be for improving the lives of the citizens of Truth or Consequences?
- Hiring a City Manager with proven managerial skills and qualifications whose primary
motivation is the welfare of the community’s residents.
- Returning Commission meetings to evenings, for our working population’s access
and improving public participation in the governing of our community.
- Restructuring our local government employment to a level which can be supported without utility income and thus reducing those costs to the public.
If elected, what actions will you take to improve the business climate of Truth or Consequences?
Business requires people therefore the growth of our population must be considered an important factor. This can best be accomplished by making the city a desirable place to live both aesthetically, financially and culturally. There are no instant solutions to our City’s decline but long-term improvements must be formulated and begun now.
Would you support the general idea of a historic preservation measure to prohibit national corporate brands (like Dairy Queen or Payless Shoe Source) from opening franchises in the historic downtown? Why or why not?
I believe this to be an unnecessary concern as such franchises would not likely consider this small area as a proper location for their business.
Would you support the general idea of a public safety and economic revitalization measure to require registration, insurance, and regular city inspection of vacant buildings in the historic downtown business district? Why or why not?
Of course I support the idea of Public Safety and economic revitalization but it should not be exclusive to the downtown business district but include the entire city. Qualified personnel to conduct such inspections would be necessary in any case.
Which taxes and fees should raised, lowered, or kept the same? Why?
Taxes and fees should only be set or imposed at levels that can be truly justified and meet specific needs and purposes, without overburdening the finances of our citizens. These issues must be examined and dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
What role, if any, should the city play to increase tourist spending in our area?
The only role that the city should play in increasing tourism would be in improving the living conditions and appearance of our community for all, making it a friendly and welcoming place to live, work and Recreate. Tourism is a business and should be the concern and work of our Chamber of Commerce and the business community.
What else would you like to say to our readers?
In order to effect change new ideas and new thinking must be employed and that requires new people. Expecting anything but the status quo is unreasonable without such change or it would have already happened. If you’re not satisfied with things as they are, make a
decision for change. I will provide that difference. Thank you for your attention.