It’s your vote, your choice
On Tuesday, residents in Rio Communities and the Chamesa subdivision will head out to the polls to cast their votes on the future of their community. They will be deciding whether to incorporate into their own municipality.
Rio Communities residents have contemplated this move for many years, having voted it down several times in the past.
Those spearheading the incorporation efforts say it’s time for people living east of the river to take matters into their own hands and forge their own destiny.
By being in control of a small geographical area that has long been just a small area of a larger county commission district, proponents hope to improve things such as law enforcement response times and enforcement of nuisance laws.
Some aren’t so sure the myriad of burdens and obligations can be handled by a novice group of elected officials who will be put into office if incorporation is successful.
While becoming a municipality would be breaking away from county government and services, county commissioners and administrators have shown themselves more than willing to stick by the new town until it is self-sufficient.
But even with that support, the new town will ultimately be responsible for ensuring that services such as police and fire protection are in place, that a judge is elected to deal with lawbreakers and that there are laws to break in the first place.
There are many unknowns at this point, as the process waits on the cusp for the next step. Where will funding come from? Who will provide law enforcement? Will taxes increase? What kind of zoning will be put in place? Who’s going to answer the phones?
All questions with several possible answers but without resolution until there is a final decision to incorporate.
Each resident must weigh the pros and cons — the cost of independence versus the cost of the status quo — and make their own determination.
It’s a heavy decision, a hard decision and one that will ultimately be the right one.
But no matter which way the vote goes, we are proud to have people in this county who care so much for their community, their neighbors, as to make the bold bid for incorporation.