Bhasker keeps his hat in the ring
El Defensor Chieftain Report
Socorro Mayor Ravi Bhasker has announced, in a news release, that he will be running for another term as mayor.
“My Administration has always been open to the public and goal-oriented,” Bhasker said in his release. “One of our primary goals is to have a city where business can thrive and the people who live here can afford a high quality of life for themselves and their families.”
Bhasker listed the city’s major projects as completed in 2013:
• Sewer line extensions on Harold Drive, Chaparral Drive and the Fire Academy at a cost of $5.2 million.
• Construction of two arsenic treatment plants at a cost of $4.7 million.
• The City’s landfill certification at a cost of $3.2 million.
• Multiple City street upgrades at a cost of $400,000.
• Flood control project in the City at a cost of $1.5 million.
• Municipal airport rehabilitation, including the housing of a medical helicopter unit, at a cost of $450,000.
Additionally, he said, there are numerous projects currently underway including:
• Water line extension to New Mexico Tech at a cost of $900,000.
• Sewer line extension on Hope Farms Road at a cost of $1.2 million.
• Continuation of the Community Development Block Development Grant drainage project on Texas Street and the surrounding areas at a cost of $450,000.
• A joint project with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to widen Highway 60 at a cost of $6 million.
• Working with the County of Socorro to place a new jail facility in the City’s Industrial Park.
• The construction of a rodeo arena/soccer field facility at a cost of $2.5 million.
• The acquisition of the National Guard Armory for use by the City as a civic center.
• Landscaping projects on the north and south entrances to Socorro as well as the medians.
• Developing Isidro Baca Park including a Veteran’s Park Memorial.
• Levee project on the Rio Grande River which will reduce individual flood insurance costs.
The current city administration has developed and funded the above project list without imposing any new taxes on the residents, he said. “The many projects throughout the city of Socorro illustrate a level of confidence by other companies/agencies who are choosing to expand the business and services in our community,” Bhasker said.
He said the current administration has worked with Dicaperl to decrease their production costs and improve their efficiency by using natural gas (provided by the City) rather than the waste oil which they previously used.
Walmart has recently completed a massive remodel, he said. Socorro General Hospital has added space for a modern emergency room as well as added a new clinic building. Presbyterian Medical Services has added to their medical offices currently located at the city’s industrial park. New Mexico Tech continues to grow both in infrastructure and student population. Socorro Physical Therapy has recently completed a major remodel.
“These projects are all concrete signs of a healthy economy and strong business environment,” Bhasker said. “The people and boards who make these decisions for companies/agencies would not be expanding in our community if they felt Socorro did not have a strong economy and stable government to support their growth.
“Socorro may be viewed as stagnant by only those who are politically discontented, cynical and self-serving.”
Socorro is financially stable even in the context of a long-running national recession, he said. The City has an unemployment rate of 5.1 percent which is substantially lower than most communities around New Mexico.
“My Administration has always been open and non-partisan,” Bhasker said in the release. “My wife, Addy, and I have created job opportunities for the city and continue to be blessed by the high quality of our employees. As a community with a strong future, we cannot afford to go back to the partisan, closed-door Administrations that preceded us.”
According to the release, before Bhasker was mayor the city was subject to days of negativity and partisan politics and the city saw a nine percent unemployment rate, mismanagement and the deterioration of basic infrastructure. He is afraid his opponent would bring those days back and feels his opponent lacks experience.
“These are some of the reasons I will run for another term and continue the work the current administration is doing with the help and input of all members of our great team,” Bhasker said. “Running city government is truly a team effort and a big part of that team are the residents of this community. There is more work to be done to keep Socorro moving forward.”