When it comes to tacking names on New Mexico state buildings, …
Updated: Friday, 19 Nov 2010, 10:14 AM MST
Published : Thursday, 18 Nov 2010, 12:52 PM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The New Mexico State Transportation Commission voted Thursday morning to name the Coors Boulevard and Interstate 40 interchange that was reconstructed in 2006 after Gov. Bill Richardson.
There was opposition during public comment.
Commissioners from the five transportation districts in the state made the motion for and passed the nomination during Thursday morning's meeting.
They cited the GRIP road construction projects that have been completed during his administration and proclaimed him the "transportation governor."
The few people that were on hand for public comment voiced opposition to the proposal saying it shouldn't recognize just one person, regardless if it was the governor. Some recommended fallen military members from New Mexico. Another aspect upsetting opposing the issue was that the commission did not take public input other than at the morning meeting.
Commission Chairman Johnny Cope fired back saying that it's essentially written policy that it's up to the commission to decide.
The commission did not disclose how or where the governor's name would appear at the interchange or how much it would cost taxpayers to put it there.
Earlier this week, News 13 investigative reporter Larry Barker exposed Governor Richardson's own involvement in a so-called name game. He's the first governor in New Mexico who has named state buildings, even Rail Runner trains, after people who are still alive. That also includes State Transportation Commission Chairman Johnny Cope.
In the past, there was a policy for naming state buildings after deceased individuals who'd made a major contribution to New Mexico history.