May 18 Letters to the Editor
May 17, 2005
We should have braced ourselves for BRAC
Everyone on the Committee of Fifty and on the local commissions just didn’t believe Cannon Air Force Base would be on the closure list.
Yet here it is — Cannon is the only base in New Mexico to make the closure list.
Kirtland will gain personnel and both Holloman and White Sands will lose just a handful of personnel under realignment.
I tried to tell the Curry County Commission that we should already be in the planning stage just in case this happened, but no one listened or took me seriously.
I wonder how local government feels now?
Everybody’s real estate values just took a big hit. There will soon be an excess of homes for sale as the base begins to wind down. I'm not as optimistic about the economy as some who have been quoted in the CNJ in the past week. While the cheese plant and such are going to help to some extent, that only represents a few hundred jobs.
Cannon represents more than $200 million annually in our economy and that will hit us hard when it's no longer there.
It will be interesting to see how this news impacts Curry and Roosevelt counties and how local governments react. Only time will tell.
Relationship with Cannon is real
The news that Cannon Air Force Base was on the Base Realignment and Closure list came just as I was leaving my civil service job at Tinker Air Force Base to attend my son’s graduation at Eastern New Mexico University last weekend.
I was numb as I made the drive from Oklahoma City to Clovis.
I spent seven years stationed at Cannon on active duty and have many friends in the area. My youngest son Jeremy was born at Plains Regional Medical Center and in many ways Clovis is home to our entire family.
Your staff could not have been more accurate when it said the relationship that Clovis and Portales have with Cannon is what sets the area apart from the rest of the region.
According to the Department of Defense, the number of jobs lost on base is approximately 2,800. The CNJ that I picked up at Cook’s on my way out of town had the base reporting an employment number of 4,000.
What accounts for such a large difference in the numbers?
One of the criteria the BRAC is supposed to look at is economic impact. On the surface, it appears the lower DoD employment numbers are biased and do not represent the true economic picture.
Economics of BRAC worth caring about
In response to a local hairstylist who said “In a way I care, in a way I don’t…” regarding the proposed closure of Cannon:
As a student of economics, I feel compelled to discuss the impact of a closure of Cannon. As one BRAC commissioner indicated, a base closure would be a tsunami on the local community. I project home equities would evaporate, stores would close, some services would cease, the “Cannonites” would move and many others would follow. More than one in five regular paychecks would not be deposited.
Imagine more than one in five customers not getting their hair styled. Competition for the pool of fewer clients would increase. Consumers would be able to demand more for less. Competition amongst service providers would become fierce as fewer customers could afford such discretionary services. As a consumer, this would be nice and housing would be very plentiful.
The 4,000-plus DoD employees would be moving. Hundreds of government-leased housing units in Portales and Clovis would be vacated and resold. The same applies to the vast array of houses on the base. Between 600 and 800 private homes would be sold or bought back by the government, at reduced prices of course. Business space would also become plentiful.
Soon a drive along North Prince may seem like a walk down Main Street, Clovis. If you aren’t convinced, take a few minutes at lunch time and look for Cannon vehicle stickers and out-of-state license plates along Prince Street.
To the hairstylist: I project you would have more time to study economics.
Base more necessary here
The boom at the announcement Friday morning was the sound of my heart breaking, the sound almost as loud as the sonic boom that I loved to hear as a child growing up in Clovis.
My childhood friends were “base brats.” My husband of 35 years was stationed at Cannon. Our son, born at Cannon and now active Air Force, has tried to be stationed there.
My heart is heavy at the thought of the end of Cannon. I cannot imagine the tunnel vision that the committee had to come up with this hairbrained idea!
Utilizing the property that the government owns is a fine idea. Cannon has been owned by said government for more than my 51 years on this Earth.
Albuquerque has other businesses and avenues to recoup the losses it would face should Kirtland be closed.
Why Cannon? Why crush Clovis?
Victoria (Pitts) Lucas