Archive for March, 2011

  • For the eighth year in a row, Santa Fe has made Travel + Leisure (T+L) magazine’s “World’s Best Awards” list of top 10 favorite Continental United States and Canadian travel destinations. For 2009 Santa Fe is ranked as the fifth most popular travel city in North America by the magazine’s travel-savvy readers. In 2008 Santa Fe was also in the poll’s fifth spot while in 2007 Santa Fe ranked fourth. Clearly, Santa Fe remains an enduring favorite with the publication’s large group of sophisticated and passionate travelers.
  • On Sperling’s Best Places to Live list dated March 15, 2007, Santa Fe is second among the Ten Best Places to Live, and takes second-best place for artists and creatives.
  • Santa Fe is second on a list of 11 cities acclaimed as Best Places to Live in the October 2007 issue of Resident magazine.
  • Santa Fe ranked fifth in Best Towns 2007 by Outside Magazine in its August 2007 issue.
  • Santa Fe is the second best place to live in the United States, according to Cities Ranked & Rated. The book released in 2004 gave Santa Fe the second highest marks as the most livable city in the country.
  • Santa Fe was rated America’s Healthiest City by Organic Style magazine in September 2003.
  • Santa Fe appeared in the “10 Best Places for Business and Careers” as determined by Forbes magazine in the May, 2003 issue.
  • In April of 2003, AARP Magazine named Santa Fe one of the 15 best places in the country to “reinvent yourself.”

As our nation faces a nine percent unemployment rate, a $14 trillion debt and budget deficits in nearly every city and state, the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce strongly believes that any regulations that could hinder economic growth should be carefully considered before being enacted. The recent proposal by the city council of a six-month moratorium on the construction of all cell towers is one such economically harmful measures. This proposal has the potential to weaken the economy of Santa Fe by limiting the expansion of crucial wireless communication infrastructure.

As a city grows and develops, the need to communicate becomes of the utmost importance. Santa Fe, just as any other city, has many businesses that depend on reliable cellular coverage. With so many people moving to cellular-only phone service, they need  to know that they can contact businesses, family members or research information using mobile broadband connections. Similarly, business owners must be reachable by customers, suppliers and employees, keeping operations running smoothly and meeting customer needs.

Unreliable network coverage could damage our city by driving away potential companies who want to settle in Santa Fe. Many factors influence the decisions of business executives searching for their next corporate headquarters or regional location. In these situations, we cannot give companies a reason to decide Santa Fe does not provide the right business and technological climate for economic development.

With over a million tourists visiting Santa Fe each year, our businesses and community profit significantly from the revenue non-residents bring to the city. If cellular coverage becomes spotty for our visitors, we may see fewer people vacationing in our city. In this case, businesses will certainly suffer from lower sales and in turn, Santa Fe will reap less of the valuable taxes it relies on to operate. Tourists bring millions of dollars each year, and we would be hard pressed to find an alternative to this income. When communications networks are strong, businesses thrive, and everyone benefits.

Everyone in Santa Fe benefits from dependable cellular coverage, whether it’s for calling, texting or mobile Internet usage. We all need a means to reach other. From businesses to educators to families to emergency responders, cell phones have moved far beyond a luxury – they are an everyday necessity. Better coverage ensures a better quality of life for our citizens and our visitors.

As populations grow, our technological needs grow in tandem. The city council must recognize this and help Santa Fe move forward into the next era of technology. If we’re not moving forward, we’re getting left behind and business that would have chosen our city have moved on to technologically greener pastures.

Santa Fe cannot afford to enact policies that run directly counter to our economic interests. By passing a proposal to ban the construction of cell towers in Santa Fe, we will hurt our businesses, the tourist industry and our citizens.

Simon Brackley

President and CEO