By Nick Vottero
One of the biggest things I’ve noticed about living in the South Valley is how unincorporated it is. There are certain parts that are, and some that are not. How has the history of the South Valley in those aspects made it difficult for some of those districts to receive public funding? I don’t think it makes it difficult to receive public funding. I think that throughout the years it has been an area that has been underserved, I hate to say underrepresented, but the previous representatives did the best they could when communities had been historically redlined by several factors. The South Valley has been incorporated in a checkerboard pattern. There are some areas that are within the City of Albuquerque, and that is a result of some lax rules in terms of getting property incorporated into the City. Previously the only standard for incorporation was contiguity, but now the County requires permission for incorporation. I think the initial plan was to incorporate the area as the City grew, but now that the County requires permission there are some additional factors to consider. The County is trying to increase their base for tax revenue, which is important to County residents. The checkerboard incorporation has made it difficult to get City services to the incorporated areas. I think a lot of people like the rural quality of the South Valley, and that is something we have to consider as we envision what we want to see. We can expand onto the West Mesa, but if people want to grow inward instead of out, we have to look at infilling more rural areas like the South Valley. It sounds great to grow up instead of out, but the infill might affect the rural feeling of the South Valley, something I have a lot of reservations about and something I’ve heard about from my constituents.