by Santa Fe Mayor Mayor David Coss

We must get Santa Feans back to work.

That is why I’ve come up with a blueprint for our economy to create 4,000 jobs over 4 years. Our target is for 18 percent of those jobs to be implicitly in green energy and sustainability. It’s going to take innovation, collaboration, and creativity; but I think we can do it.

Santa Fe, like the rest of the country, is being hit by a down-turned economy and a recession that is resulting in hard budget choices and job loss. National trends such as falling home prices, limping credit markets, and rising unemployment rates are equally plaguing Santa Fe. I’ve made Santa Fe’s economic recovery and job growth one of my top priorities. In 2009, with the City Council, we made $13 million in budget adjustments and tough belt-tightening to the City budget to adjust for falling gross receipt taxes, but prevented any layoffs, which would have added to the jobless rate and created distress for many Santa Fe families.

I believe, on average, each $80,000 of investment into Santa Fe creates one job. To create 4,000 jobs in 4 years then, will require approximately a $320 million in investment into Santa Fe through multiple sources. This investment will come from a combination of existing city resources, federal stimulus funds, partnerships with other local governments, and the private sector. By using existing funds, leveraging other funds and building new partnerships, we can bring this investment to Santa Fe’s economy together, without raising taxes. We must use today’s resources to position ourselves for tomorrow’s economy.
It is important that we are pursuing alternative forms of solar energy to decrease electric bills, reduce the city’s carbon footprint, and help local business and homeowners to use solar energy whenever they can. These initiatives have the capacity to create high paying, good jobs. We also want to retrofit homes with energy efficient materials and make water conservation cost-effective for local families. These are Santa Fe values. We can draw on them to revitalize the economy, innovate, and get Santa Feans back to work.

A key component of our blueprint is helping local Santa Fe businesses to be ready to expand. That means capacity building for small businesses so they can grow smartly and sustainable, so that small local business have the capacity, for example, to bid for local contracts to be providers of alternative energy.

Also key, is ensuring the types of good jobs that give young people interesting employment opportunities in Santa Fe – so they stay here, buy homes here, and contribute to our community and our local economy. We know that good jobs in green energy and sustainability can inspire young people.
Over the next several months I will be meeting with leaders in the proposed sectors to refine the blueprint and develop detailed plans to create jobs. There are opportunities that can be acted on immediately such as parks & trails and affordable housing initiatives, and plans that can be drawn to lay a strong foundation for future job growth that will benefit all Santa Feans and bolster our local economy. I welcome your input as we move this important initiative forward. Let’s revitalize Santa Fe’s economy together.
We must get Santa Feans back to work.
That is why I’ve come up with a blueprint for our economy to create 4,000 jobs over 4 years. Our target is for 18 percent of those jobs to be implicitly in green energy and sustainability. It’s going to take innovation, collaboration, and creativity; but I think we can do it.
Santa Fe, like the rest of the country, is being hit by a down-turned economy and a recession that is resulting in hard budget choices and job loss. National trends such as falling home prices, limping credit markets, and rising unemployment rates are equally plaguing Santa Fe. I’ve made Santa Fe’s economic recovery and job growth one of my top priorities. In 2009, with the City Council, we made $13 million in budget adjustments and tough belt-tightening to the City budget to adjust for falling gross receipt taxes, but prevented any layoffs, which would have added to the jobless rate and created distress for many Santa Fe families.

I believe, on average, each $80,000 of investment into Santa Fe creates one job. To create 4,000 jobs in 4 years then, will require approximately a $320 million in investment into Santa Fe through multiple sources. This investment will come from a combination of existing city resources, federal stimulus funds, partnerships with other local governments, and the private sector. By using existing funds, leveraging other funds and building new partnerships, we can bring this investment to Santa Fe’s economy together, without raising taxes. We must use today’s resources to position ourselves for tomorrow’s economy.

It is important that we are pursuing alternative forms of solar energy to decrease electric bills, reduce the city’s carbon footprint, and help local business and homeowners to use solar energy whenever they can. These initiatives have the capacity to create high paying, good jobs. We also want to retrofit homes with energy efficient materials and make water conservation cost-effective for local families. These are Santa Fe values. We can draw on them to revitalize the economy, innovate, and get Santa Feans back to work.

A key component of our blueprint is helping local Santa Fe businesses to be ready to expand. That means capacity building for small businesses so they can grow smartly and sustainable, so that small local business have the capacity, for example, to bid for local contracts to be providers of alternative energy.

Also key, is ensuring the types of good jobs that give young people interesting employment opportunities in Santa Fe – so they stay here, buy homes here, and contribute to our community and our local economy. We know that good jobs in green energy and sustainability can inspire young people.

Over the next several months I will be meeting with leaders in the proposed sectors to refine the blueprint and develop detailed plans to create jobs. There are opportunities that can be acted on immediately such as parks & trails and affordable housing initiatives, and plans that can be drawn to lay a strong foundation for future job growth that will benefit all Santa Feans and bolster our local economy. I welcome your input as we move this important initiative forward. Let’s revitalize Santa Fe’s economy together.