Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Letter to the editor — Sept. 28

Non-monetary returns something to consider

I’m having a difficult time understanding the point of Robert Arrowsmith’s column about return on investment in Wednesday’s CNJ.

It makes sense if he were referring to private industry. Every retail company spends a great deal of time studying potential locations for stores that will provide the best return on investment.

As Arrowsmith hardly mentions, there are non-monetary returns for governmental investments such as quality of life and also safety issues. If the inhabitants of the Montana town he mentioned desire a library, recreation center or fire station there are numerous ways to get funding. There are grants, property tax increases and direct federal or state appropriations. Someone can also bequeath funding in a will or donate the money. Second guessing the necessity for funding is the job of town residents or their representatives — no one else.

In the case of the Clovis jail, justification must be made to Clovis and Curry County citizens so that they will approve funding. So far this hasn’t happened.

In the case of water, the future of Clovis totally depends on its availability. The most cost-effective solution may or may not be the best but we need to consider — as we are doing — both long- and short-term solutions to this problem. The return on investment is water and Arrowsmith can rest assured that a number of local residents are aware of the problem. And “numbers” or financial return on the investment is of secondary consideration.

Karl D. Spence