Martinez vetoes bill to create Roswell air authority | KOB 4
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Martinez vetoes bill to create Roswell air authority

Casey Torres
March 08, 2018 08:00 PM

ROSWELL, N.M. -- On Wednesday, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed a bill that would have created an independent regional air authority in Roswell. Those who support the bill said it would have created jobs.

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"It was just baffling," said Timothy Jennings, a member of the Roswell International Air Center Task Force. "That just kind of out the dark here comes a problem."

Jennings was shocked when the governor decided to veto a bill he helped create. The bill would have created an authority to manage and govern the Roswell airfield. He said the idea was to have the authority work as part of a broader plan to expand the Roswell airport and boost the economy.

"That’s where the concept came, it’s to get jobs here for people in Roswell and we want our area to grow," Jennings said.

The private group of individuals would be appointed by the city and county to attract business to the air center. The legislation had a few provisions the governor did not like, said Jennings.

"She complained that it was going to create some unfair tax advantage," he said. "Well, it’s not really because it’s all city property now, which is not taxed anyway."

The governor had other concerns as well, saying the air authority would be granted powers like eminent-domain with little accountability to the public, said Jennings.

"Eminent is a non-issue because all the land is owned by the city," he said.

Jennings said he wants to make it clear that the air authority would not have been part of a land grab; its only goal was to create jobs. They plan on trying again next year. The task force is hopeful a new governor will see it their way, Jennings said.

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Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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