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I have been impressed with Santa Fe’s highly dignified and issue-focused Mayoral Campaign. So it was no surprise that all five candidates clearly spent time to respond thoughtfully to the questions in this survey. The goal of this Guide is to focus on a series of specific policies and ask each candidate to make a specific level of support to each policy and then support that position with a comment. You may not support all of the policies included, but by asking candidates to express their views on a range of policies, you can develop an issue-informed perspective on each candidate. If this Guide is helpful, please let us know. And if you can think of better ways to capture differences in candidates, let us know that too.Just comment below.
Retake Our Democracy worked with about a half-dozen local advocacy and service organizations and several statewide groups to create a People’s City Platform comprised of 24 policies each of which, in one way or another, could advance social, racial, economic and environmental justice in Santa Fe. We incorporated the platform in a survey format and gave all five candidates ten days to complete the survey and each has done so.
Candidates were asked to identify how strongly they supported each policy (Strongly Support, Support, More Info, Oppose, Strongly Oppose. In addition, they were provided space to add comments. Retake decided not to endorse any one candidate, but rather to prepare this Voters’ Guilde comprised of how each of the candidates responded to each policy. I hope this Voters’ Guide helps each of you weigh voting options and that it enables you more easily to incorporate each candidate’s positions on issues that are of importance to you.
Budget & Revenue
- Budget Prosperity, Not Austerity. Santa Fe’s dependence on Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) is regressive, unreliable, and inequitable. This dependence has led to painful service and infrastructure cuts, and lack of investment in low-income neighborhoods. It is a significant contributor to Santa Fe’s equity crisis. To begin the process of shifting Santa Fe’s dependence on GRT, the governing body should initiate a community education campaign to address community skepticism about the value of public investment in infrastructure and community services and supports. It should also work with local organizations to mount a campaign seeking voter approval for a package of progressive tax strategies tied to specific infrastructure improvements, internet service, early childhood education, and other broadly supported policies. So, the question has two parts, if elected Mayor will you use the bully pulpit to educate the community on the need for new progressive taxes and will you commit to advocating for a commitment to a package of new progressive taxes.
Ives: Support. I support an evaluation of our tax base and taxing strategies. In the past I proposed a 2 mil property tax increase for two years to build the new fire station we need and fund the city’s IT upgrade. The measure was not supported by anyone else on council.
Maestas. Support. Restoring trust in government is needed before any taxes should be pursued. That entails transforming government into a 21st century government that is accountable, efficient, and transparent; and works for everyone. I would use the bully pulpit to simultaneously pursue municipal tax reform to allow the city to use any taxation authority it feels necessary to meet its needs. This new authority could include excise taxes on Styrofoam or sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, as examples.
Noble. Support. I love the idea of addressing skepticism with a community education campaign. We need to make government services excellent and create extremely transparent and clear communication around what taxes are used for and why they matter. We need to move towards a package of progressive strategies tied to specific improvements. Let’s do some work to build capacity, efficiency, and understanding around public investment, engagement, and outcomes first. Then we can work on new taxes aligned to key gaps in the system.
Trujillo. More Info. Taxation is not the best way to address and solve a city’s financial issues. While it is one mechanism, a city, county, state or nation should not rely on taxation as its primary revenue stream. I have always supported collaboration and input from all sectors of the community to look for better strategies, focus, and programs to work on ALL our issues, not just special interest issues.
Webber. Supports. We have a crisis of confidence in City government—just read the McHard Report. The next Mayor needs to rebuild trust in the City by being inclusive and transparent about budgeting and expenditures. City budgets are moral documents; they should reflect a community’s values. I would first look at the City budget and re-prioritize programs based on need and equity–transportation, affordable housing, early childhood education, safety, and other services. Creating efficiencies in service delivery and re-prioritizing expenses within the current budget must come before new taxes are contemplated.
Community Oversight and Engagement
- City Accountability Commission. Potholes remain unrepaired, “nimbyism” stalls efforts to address affordable housing, parks remain neglected, living wage laws are not enforced, and the City was entirely unprepared to implement Ranked Choice Voting, despite almost a decade to prepare. If voters are going to approve increased tax revenues, they need to trust that those funds will be used wisely. The City Accountability Commission will be an independent, resident-directed commission that will review major city contracts and monitor implementation of voter-approved policies and programs. It will ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the will of our residents, and it will ensure that City funds are spent as intended.
Ives. More Info. We have currently a number of commissions the perform this type of work from the Children and Youth Commission that directs the use of city funds to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission which focuses on parks. The former POSAC brought the 2008 parks bond issues to light. I’m unclear how a new commission would work with the several tested entities that currently perform this work?
Maestas. More info. Potholes remain unrepaired, “nimbyism” stalls efforts to address affordable housing, parks remain neglected, living wage laws are not enforced, and the City was entirely unprepared to implement Ranked Choice Voting, despite almost a decade to prepare. If voters are going to approve increased tax revenues, they need to trust that those funds will be used wisely.The City Accountability Commission will be an independent, resident-directed commission that will review major city contracts and monitor implementation of voter-approved policies and programs. It will ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the will of our residents, and it will ensure that City funds are spent as intended.
Noble. More Info. Restoring trust, transparency, and accountability to City Government is a priority of mine. It’s possible that a City Accountability Commission could be a way to engage a group of diverse people in general oversight. There are already many committees and commissions and I would want to look carefully at how this would complement and/or overlap with those and with the function of the City Council itself.
Trujillo. Support. I always have, and always will, support collaborative efforts and new ideas to solve our issues. Independent bodies are excellent opportunities to keep a watchful eye over city governance and provide valuable insight. I certainly support looking into options like this to see what works best for Santa Fe. My table is round, and I welcome all input.
Webber. More Info. I concur strongly with the problem you have identified. I have a different approach than the one you have proposed: An Office of Neighborhood Associations that would bring City neighborhoods into a positive, inclusive, consultative conversation with the City government around issues of equity, inclusivity, transparency, budgeting, and overall neighborhood quality of life. The Office of Neighborhood Associations can act as an information clearinghouse, a tool for community engagement, and a vehicle for holding the City accountable for the satisfactory delivery of services to neighborhoods and the entire community. I believe that’s a better way to regain the trust and confidence of Santa Feans and, at the same time, move forward on a positive agenda for Santa Fe’s future that is grass-roots based and focused on livability and sustainability.
- Reinvigorate and reform the City’s Neighborhood Association Network to make it a more robust and vibrant framework for neighborhood level community engagement, education, or social/civic action, with monthly meetings, policy discussions, presentations by local organizations and elected officials, and planning for neighborhood community service. Historically, the Neighborhood Associations have been the locus and launching pads for NIMBY responses to progressive initiatives. With City support, we could reclaim this Network and focusing on creating social justice in all neighborhoods of our community.
Ives. Strongly Support: I think that this would be a good start to focusing on these issues and finding common ground on equitable solutions.
Maestas. More Info. Currently, most neighborhood associations (NAs) are primarily in the northern part of town. Many are inactive. The city government can’t force people to organize locally through NAs. Instead, city government must transform its civic engagement model to make aware and educate citizens of upcoming city projects beyond the reactionary early neighborhood notifications and formal public hearings. We also need to beef up the city’s ability to effectively respond to constituent complaints. The city must also embrace and implement open data systems to make information accessible and understandable. This is about empowering our citizens to be more participatory in our government. If we focus on existing NAs now, we would simply continue to invest resources in a North-centric issue. The key is getting everyone involved and organized through progressive government initiatives.
Noble. Support. Working with neighborhoods to pursue equity in housing throughout our city is essential, and we should work to reinvigorate and reform the Neighborhood Association Network to create social justice in all neighborhoods of our community.
Trujillo Supports, Our citizens voices must be heard. Any effort to incentivize, motivate, and facilitate conversations I support. I cannot state that the indicated conditions are the right ones but would expect that once supported such an association would illicit the elements of its charter from its members and the city at large, and conduct itself based on that voice. In brief, it must be the voice of the people, not special interest groups.
Webber. Strongly Supports. Read my answer to the previous question: I have proposed an Office of Neighborhood Associations to do exactly this–remove NIMBYism, end the adversarial relationship between neighborhoods and the City government, and stop pitting one neighborhood against another so we can instead focus on priorities for the entire City.
- Create and pass an ordinance to pay City Council members a $45,000/ year salary with benefits. Currently, City Council members earn between $14.22 and $16.35 an hour for ‘hours worked.’ This level of pay deters many working class individuals from running for office, effectively limiting our pool of representatives to those with a most forgiving employer or for individuals whose personal incomes or wealth allows them to serve on the Council, estimated to be close to a 40-hour a week position.
Ives: Oppose. I am not convinced that creating 8 additional full times jobs is needed or makes sense. Happy to talk through this more, but it is not evident that this would solve more problems.
Maestas. Oppose. The current salary for city councilors is sufficient. Also, city finances have not stabilized and the future of gross receipts tax (GRT) revenues coupled with the heavy mortgaging of future GRT revenues by this administration make committing to future expenses tenuous.
Noble. Support. Yes, I believe in paying people for their work in public service and in expanding the ability of working people to run for office. This is a foundational part of restoring excellence to government. I hope to see more diversity in elected office.
Trujillo Supports, As the longest serving Councilor in the Mayoral race, I know very well the sacrifices made to serve this city. Every worker deserves fair wages for work performed, and when the work is to govern then we must ensure the system is designed to compensate the effort while encouraging equal opportunity for all to serve and avoid the opportunity to corrupt. I agree that the low pay could limit who could run and serve as a Councilor. I am not certain if $45,000 is the right value – perhaps less, perhaps more. I would like to better understand where that value was derived – what study, what comparison, what metrics were used. The disparity must be addressed, but we must strive for a reasonable value.
Webber. Supports. I strongly support full-time, paid positions for the state legislature. I would want to learn more about what comparably-sized cities pay their governing body, and would like to see a more detailed analysis of how many hours per week City Councilors work. As we see how the strong Mayor form of government takes shape, we can also learn about the changing responsibilities of City Councilors, their relationship to the strong Mayor, and the continuing evolution of Santa Fe City government. I am very open to and interested in continuing the conversation about making City government more open, accessible, and accountable to everyone in our community.
- Resident Police Oversight Commission. Create a resident Police Oversight Committee that has authority to conduct investigations, subpoena information and people, impose penalties, and review appeals. Oakland and San Francisco have excellent models from which to learn.
Ives Oppose. Santa Fe has 160 officers compared to San Francisco’s 2100. I do not believe that such an entity is needed in Santa Fe at this time, given these size differences and the number and complexity of complaints about Santa Fe police officers.
Maestas. Oppose. I believe that such an oversight commission not necessary at this point. Our existing public safety committee and the PD’s internal affairs provide the necessary oversight.
Noble. More Info. We need to work on reinvigorating community policing and establish a strong culture of community knowledge. I am committed to this in consistent and constant work with our Police Department and critically, in hiring a new Chief of Police. I would want to learn more about an oversight commission as we have an existing Public Safety Committee.
Trujillo. More info. Oversight, in general, is a positive and beneficial thing, if the intent is to better serve the community through collaboration. However, when we move into imposing penalties we move into legal space and must be certain we have the appropriate structure and precedence. Penalties come in many variants, and those variants require differing authorities. Further, investigations must not be viewed as simple question and answer sessions but may touch into areas that compromise the safety and ability of our law officers to conduct their difficult mission. Should there be responsible oversight? Yes. But we must strive to provide a model that considers the complexities of the intersection of law enforcement and the community – complexities many outside law enforcement cannot understand. We can look to other cities that have implemented such plans and learn from their successes and mistakes.
Webber. More Info. I am a strong supporter of police oversight (and accountability for every department). I want to learn more about the current Internal Affairs Division and its strengths and weaknesses. IAD currently has the power to conduct investigations. I also believe that the hiring of the next Police Chief is a critical decision for the next Mayor to take. In making that choice, as Mayor, I would absolutely convene a citizen group to describe what the qualities of the next Chief should be and to vet the candidates who apply. As I’ve stated, I believe that many problems can be solved with the right management and accountability procedures installed, rather than creating additional layers of bureaucracy.
Affordable Housing & Neighborhood Development
- Expand access to affordable housing for the lowest income residents by prioritizing new housing development as listed below, highest priority to lowest, and consider utilization of Community Land Trust framework for ensuring that housing remains affordable in perpetuity.
- Very low-income rental development;
- Low-income rental development;
- Low-income multi-family development for homeownership;
- Moderate income home ownership development.
Ives: Support. I have consistently advocated for more affordable housing and believe that we must continue to do so. All of these types of housing are needed. Happy to consider a Community Land Trust in addition to the various organizations involved in affordable housing construction already.
Maestas. Support. I think this is a good idea. The more immediate need is to find a permanent funding source, possibly through bonds, for affordable housing. A community land trust would be an ideal long-term solution for affordable housing. I also agree that we must focus on our must vulnerable citizens for housing assistance.
Noble. Strong Supports. This is the single biggest issue facing our community. The priorities outlined above are how the existing Office of Affordable Housing works, prioritizing the greatest need. We must expand and make regular funding for affordable housing in order to make the city’s work in this area effective.
Trujillo. More info. I support providing housing solutions for our citizens – current and future. But we must strive to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all definition of “affordable housing”. Resolution 2015-65 defines affordability as “make housing in Santa Fe affordable relative to household income and other reasonable expenses”. It further goes on to define quality, sustainability, accessibility, fairness sand equity, and community control. 2015-65 lays out the framework – rather than focus on just these options listed, we must support 2015-65 to its fullest intent and ability, which has not been the focus of the current administration.
Webber. Strongly Supports. We must stop the failed system of “project-led housing strategy,” (one politicized project at a time, proposed in an adversarial way that only angers neighborhoods). I will create an Office for Neighborhood Associations to build a collaborative approach between City government and neighborhoods that goes beyond just housing—and focuses on creating healthy, livable neighborhoods, including more affordable rental units.
- Utilize a Community Land Trust approach to organize and sustainably develop publicly owned propertieswith the purpose of creating a range of sustainable, affordable housing and mixed-use employment/small business development enterprises with resident governance, ensuring that the goals of each enterprise align with resident priorities.
Ives: Support. No comments provided.
Maestas. Support. No comments provided
Noble. Support. Maintaining affordability through a Community Land Trust could be an important measure to ensure that people are not constantly priced out of Santa Fe. This tool would need to be adapted to our community and implemented with checks and balances for continued evolution and community input.
Trujillo Supports. We must first identify what properties are appropriate for housing, then work with the County to identify adjacent County properties for possible land swap or annexation opportunities.
Webber. Strongly Supports.
- Citywide Plan for Affordable Housing. To counter NIMBY responses and support expansion of affordable housing in Santa Fe, identify 5-7 city owned lots appropriate to affordable housing development with at least one lot from each council district, and develop a single plan for phased development of affordable housing in districts across the City. Consider the use of a Community Land Trust to govern these developments with a governance structure that puts oversight and future development in the hands of a resident council.
Ives. Support. Much of this I have already sought from City staff and begun proposing. Happy to consider a Community Land Trust as one option to help build and operate such housing.
Noble. Support. Yes. We need to start with the big picture, an equitable approach to where development will occur, and mechanisms to ensure affordability. We should understand the changing nature of tax credits in the current federal environment and adjust our tools accordingly
Maestas. Strongly Support. I strongly support this city-wide plan. In fact, when the city lot at the northeast corner of Yucca and Zia Roads was pre-selected for future donation for a potential affordable housing development, I suggested we open up the process to consider all city lots that were initially screened as developable. I believe there we six total lots. The agreed upon process is that the City’s Community Development Commission will host a community-wide open house to discuss all city lots for future donation for affordable housing tax credits. We must also develop a city support plan beyond just land donation such as infrastructure, impact fee waivers, utility connection waivers, etc. to ensure future affordable housing developments such as the Arts and Creativity Center are viable and competitive for tax credits. The ACC has $2.3M in committed city support which is substantial and must be planned for meeting the future needs for affordable housing.
Trujillo. More Info. As already answered above, affordable housing is important and must be addressed in a reasonable manner. This may be one solution, but we must understand what is our greatest need today, and what solutions we can implement to address needs of tomorrow. High density units address one need, but do not address the needs of other affordability stressed citizens. One lot will not provide adequate opportunity for our first responders and teachers, who live outside the city, to come back to Santa Fe, which has been stated to be a concern of affordability housing initiatives. This may be a good start, but this issue is complex. We must continue to support implementation of resolution 2015-65. Additionally, on November 8, 2017, the Council directed City staff to identify and categorize appropriate city property for affordable housing development. I eagerly await the results so we can begin the implementation of effective affordable housing policy.
Webber Strongly. No comments provided.
- Santa Fe University Art & Design Development. A public process should be initiated to develop a multi-use plan for SFUAD, and the City should continue to fund payments on this property until such a process is completed. A priority for development will be to create mixed use, high density, affordable housing with a significant investment in low and very low-income rental apartments. Incorporate a Community Land Trust for all or part of this development with strong resident governance and incorporate bike trails and walkways as part of the development.
Ives. Support. This process has begun and happy to look at a Community Land Trust as an alternative.
Maestas. Strongly Support. The request for qualifications has hit the street to find a consultant to manage the community engagement and visioning process for the future of the SFUAD. Exciting times!
Noble. Support. Additionally, we should work to use the assets on the property well such as Fogelson Library, the Greer Garson Theater, the film and TV studio spaces, the cafeteria and other spaces.
Trujillo Supports. I support a public process to illicit choices for the SFUAD property – this question states to include the public but then indicates what the priority solution must be. Perhaps affordable housing is the right solution, but this must go before the residence of Sana Fe to determine best use. In a project of this size, we must consider increasing ENNs to allow for full transparency and the best opportunity for community input.
Webber Strongly Supports. The campus at SFUAD is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the City. It represents the geographic center of the City and should be recognized and developed accordingly; we need to create a new centerpiece for Santa Fe. In addition to the ideas above, I would favor the following action plan with three key elements. First, maintain and expand the resources committed to film, TV, and digital entertainment. Grow that into an innovation zone with co-working space added in. Second, attract a nationally recognized educational institution that focuses on technology, entertainment, design, and entrepreneurship, like Stanford’s D School—a perfect match for Santa Fe’s historic and emerging economy. Third, design and develop a sustainable “new town, in town”—with mixed uses including housing of all kinds and densities, retail and shopping, and walkable jobs.
Equitable Sustainable Economic Development
- Actively Enforce Santa Fe’s Fair Housing and Living Wage Laws. Housing affordability is directly tied to a living wage. Fair Housing laws are designed to help ensure that people who work in Santa Fe can live here without harassment and discrimination. The Living Wage law has established a higher minimum wage in Santa Fe ($11.09) than either the state ($8.75) or national ($7.25) minimum wage. But neither fair housing violations nor living wage violations are enforced. The governing body will create funding to retain wage and housing law experts to investigate and enforce Santa Fe’s Fair Housing and Living Wage laws.
Ives. Support. No comments provided.
Maestas. Support. As the sponsor of Santa Fe City legislation (Resolution 2014-103) to strengthen the city’s enforcement of the Living Wage Ordinance, I understand that any law is only as effective as its enforcement. Resolution 2014-103 requires businesses to self-certify compliance when they receive their business license. It also requires better notification when the consumer price index is released which dictates any changes to the living wage. However, this happens in every March, almost two months after the issuance of business licenses. I will introduce and support legislation to improve the enforcement process through progressive penalties and eventual revocation of business licenses. Resolution 2014-103 also called for a proactive field compliance check of businesses with a history of complaints and work sectors that employs immigrants. As the sponsor of the sanctuary city resolution, I ensured that it addresses the language barriers that exist in city hall when receiving initial wage theft complaints from Spanish-speaking individuals.
Noble. Support. We need to enforce the laws we have. Wage theft and fair housing enforcement should be a priority given the impacts this can have on people who earn the least in this community.
Trujillo. More Info. This is a complex issue. Not only do we need to identify and protect a fair living wage, we need to put emphasis on career building economic development. A living wage should be a transitional income. We need to focus on educational and employment opportunities that will lead to wages and benefits to support families living in Santa Fe. A stronger economic development policy would attract the kind of businesses whose pay structure could exceed the current living wage, providing opportunities for longer term, sustainable income solutions.
Webber Strongly Supports. I am proud of the leadership Santa Fe has taken on the living wage. I am a strong supporter of it and agree with the mandatory cost of living increases. A key issue however, is the lack of strong enforcement, to ensure that every person–regardless of immigration status–receives the living wage for the work they do. The same holds true for our Fair Housing laws
- Equal Pay for Women. The city of Albuquerque was the first city in the nation to offer an incentive in contracting to employers that demonstrate low gender pay differentials between women and men in the same job categories. The Pay Equity ordinance became law on July 1, 2015, requiring city contractors to report their employees’ pay by gender and job category – only average pay gaps are reported; personal information is not collected. To receive preferential ratings for all City contracts, companies can have a pay gap of less than 7%.
Ives. Support. No comments provided.
Maetas. More info needed. If the pay gap is calculated throughout the company, it may not reveal gaps by work position classifications. So, I would need additional information on the calculation and reporting of pay gaps. I do firmly believe in pay equity for women and would support such a preferential rating if pay gaps were reported by work classifications as well as an overall company-wide pay gap.
Nobles. Strongly supports. This is a good way to promote pay equity. We should also look at greater representation by women and people of color in management and higher level positions.
Trujillo. Strongly Supports. I support pay equity for our workers. Gender, among many other demographic factors, should not determine pay. I would support such an ordinance in Santa Fe.
Webber. Strongly Supports. Further, I have publicly announced my intention to create a Women’s Advisory Council to address other areas of inequity and the City’s role in creating a more equitable City on gender issues.
- Paid sick leave. Employers with ten or more employees shall pay at least 5 days of paid sick leave annually and employers with less than 10 employees shall provide 40 hours of unpaid but protected sick leave annually (based upon state of Oregon law).
Ives. Support: This would need to be thoroughly vetted and understood before moving forward with it
Maestas. More Info Needed. I’m concerned about the current lack of public trust in city government that would make it difficult to implement a city-wide mandate such as this. I believe in the intent and benefit of paid sick live, however, I wouldn’t consider this until city government in my administration is accountable and efficient enough whereby services are delivered in a consistent, equitable, and reliable fashion
Noble. More info Needed. We should engage the business community in working to provide greater security for employees. We need to move away from launching initiatives without engaging community members affected by ordinances.
Trujillo. More info. Paid sick leave and other incentives are desirable and we must take care of our working citizens. When I am Mayor there will be a round table discussion including workers, the City, and business owners to have a frank discussion of how ordinances of this kind can affect all stakeholders. Rather than being a divisive issue I see this as an opportunity to bring the right people to the table to identify a workable solution. Santa Fe is not Oregon, Massachusetts, or California. Those states have differing incentivization’s to bring businesses in and have larger economic bases to support more mom and pop sized businesses. Enforcing smaller businesses to adjust their revenue streams could have unintended consequences, some of which could be the shuttering of said businesses, which would cause loss of jobs. It is the job of the city to serve the people, not dictate business rule without due process. We must work with our businesses to come to right solutions that will serve and protect our workers.
Webber. Strongly Supports. No comments provided.
- The City should implement a True Connect, low-interest loan program such as has been implemented by the Town of Bernallilo, Dońa Ana County and the Santa Fe Public Schools. Through this program, the city or any large employer can create a low-interest loan program for all employees. Loans are capped at 24% and serve as an alternative to predatory pay day lenders who can still charge up to 175% in NM.
Ives. More info: Definitely need more information on these other programs and how they work.
Maestas. Support. Pay day lenders exploit our most vulnerable and we must provide better lending alternatives to them. I would also create a physical buffer that would prohibit the establishment of pay day lenders around gambling casinos.
Noble Supports. Pay day lenders are predators on working people and we must find solutions to minimize the harm done to lives. The program done through the Santa Fe Public Schools is in its early stage. We should look at the outcomes of that and improve what the city offers.
Nobles Supports. We need to make sure that public transportation works better and offers more options for everyone in the community.
Trujillo More Info. We need to address our citizens being able to afford living in Santa Fe, building a savings plan for their future years, and not being reliant on loans to get them by. We must be watchful that we do not create a system whereby our citizens find it too easy to fall into paycheck to paycheck loan programs, however low the interest rates may be, that allow them to fall farther and farther behind, deeper and deeper into loan repayments. We need to be more aggressive in driving out predatory loan programs in our city and increase awareness of the dangers of these companies. Again, we need to look at economic development and programs that do not manage poverty, but that eliminates it.
Webber Strongly Supports. No comments provided.
- Strengthen Public Transportation. Car-dependency contributes to climate change and can perpetuate a cycle of poverty. Santa Fe Trails bus system is a cornerstone for many Santa Fe residents, helping people break their dependence on cars, reducing car-generated pollution, and delivering low-income residents to their place of employment. Private transportation is entirely subsidized, from our roads to our rails to our airports. Is it time for Santa Fe to subsidize transit for our under-served populations and consider following Denver’s model and making public bus transportation free? Specifically, will you ask the City Council to ensure that 100% of the revenue from the 1991 Gross Receipts Tax for transit go to Santa Fe Trails and to develop a plan to eliminate all fares for public transit.
Ives. Support. Additional research to understand the need for transit services in relation to needs for work, appointments, school and other destinations would need to be accomplished before implementing some of this.
Maestas. Strongly Support. As a candidate for Mayor, I’m proposed free public transportation as the city only raises approx.. 3% of operating budget in the form of fare revenues. This is completely possible. However, paratransit service would also have to be free and could be overwhelmed by demand. So we must plan for expanding paratransit fleet to accommodate the increased demand. This is an equity and mobility issue that must be addressed.
Noble. Supports. We need to make sure that public transportation works better and offers more options for everyone in the community.
Trujillo Supports. There are options the city can implement to provide low cost or no cost transportation. We need to consider this problem from a few angles: better fleet management of our buses and similar vehicles, and a consideration of a sliding scale based on economic need. Large capacity buses are not cost effective for all routes. Some routes should utilize smaller vehicles that cost less money to operate, and that can access all our neighborhoods and business locations. Cost of ridership should be based on economic need, based on that need. A “work pass” could be generated that allows those in greater need to pay less for transportation, providing low cost or free transportation to work.
Webber. Supports. I am a strong proponent of public transit. I am open to eliminating all fares for public transit but would first need to understand its impact on the budget
- Sustain the effort to create a Public Bank to democratize our local economy. The Task Force will not likely have answered all the questions or explored all the options involved in a Public Bank, so the City will continue researching and developing a Public Bank and will fund securing the technical input of national leadership and expertise.
Ives. Support: But waiting for the business plan identified by the task force as the next step in the process.
Maestas. Strongly Support: I support the public bank and presented at the inaugural public banking symposium on the topic of infrastructure. I also advocated for and was successful in incorporating bond funding recommendations from the public bank feasibility report where the past practice of bonding the entire capital project has been discontinued. It is now policy that the city will divide up the capital project in two parts and fund them separately. The project development phase, which takes the longest to complete, will be funded with line-of-credit or commercial paper; and the construction phase will only be funding with bonds. This will eliminate the protracted nature (> 5 years) of fully expending bond proceeds and will save the city money in bond interest and expenses.
Noble. More Info Needed. We should follow the recommendations of the completed public bank feasibility study to improve the financial management practices of the city and keep more of our banking business in the community. I believe this should include working with our local credit unions and community banks to utilize their expertise and abilities.
Trujillo Opposes. As I have said before, the city needs to look internally for solutions before considering a major shift in policy. Examination of the goals for establishing a chartered Public Bank for Santa Fe shows that many of the potential benefits can be gained by other mechanisms or may be offset by increasing risks for the financial health of the City.
Webber. Strongly Supports. No comments provided.
- Improve south, west, and midtown resident access to healthy, affordable food using zoning changes and incentives to promote development of an array of community food gardens, greenhouses and a network of mercados that allow sale of local and regional farmers’ produce and food produced in the community gardens rather than seeking major corporate markets like Albertson’s.
Ives. Strongly Support. This would be great.
Maestas. Support: I supported the urban farming ordinance and feel that growing food locally is key to our sustainable future. I grew up on a self-sufficient, small farm and understand the importance of local food production. As Mayor of Espanola that governed during the great recession of 2008, I worked with organic farmers in developing a contingency plan (harvesting acequia water, providing food to local schools, etc.) for feeding the valley in the event of a prolonged recession.
Noble. Supports. We need to build the our capacity to produce food locally. This includes expanding greenhouse capacity and operational savvy given the short growing season.
Trujillo Supports. I would work to bring together local and regional farmers, community gardens, local businesses and chain stores to create a task force to identify and implement policies that would allow access to healthy, affordable food.
Webber Strongly Supports. I have met with numerous individuals about the problem with food deserts on the Southside. Increasing access to healthy, affordable food is a major priority for me.
- Pass a Buy Local Ordinance. Pass a resolution that provides local business with significant bonus points in competitive bids for all city services and acquisitions.
Ives. Support. We do have such opportunities in place. How do you propose to do it differently?
Maestas. Strongly Support. We already have a local preference ordinance in place for professional services RFPs and cost proposals. We recently amended it by offering more local preference bonus points if more than 50% of the prime provider’s subcontractors or sub-consultants are also local.
Noble Supports. The long standing buy local preference in city bids is 10%. We should look at the impacts of increasing this and understand the different categories of purchases by the city. We can look at sourcing local in the areas that make most sense and invigorate our local economy by looking at the full chain of supply for city goods and services.
Trujillo, More info. As with the question above, this requires a collaborative effort to create a sustainable economic business base.
Webber Strongly Supports. No comments provided.
- Create an energy conservation division within the Public Utility Department to support development of energy conservation options for low-income Santa Feans.
Ives Strongly Support. I have brought forth such an effort previously,
Maestas. More Info. I need more information on this. I did support the creation of a Public Utility Board (PUB) when water utility funds were being transferred to the general fund. A PUB would not usurp or undermine the existing Public Utility Committee, but provide a public forum for such issues as energy conservation options, rate structures, etc. A PUB would be comprised of community members with expertise in utility management, financial management, accounting, etc.
Noble Supports. We should partner with the public schools on this initiative to imbue the values of conservation in our kids. We can empower the young people and create experiential learning opportunities through a grassroots, from the ground up effort built in partnership with our schools.
Trujillo. More info. The conservation of energy should not be directed by a person’s economic status. This question is really asking (couched in conservation language) how the lower income can pay for their utilities, which are a vital service. If you use more energy, by having a larger personal environmental footprint, extra usage fees could be used to subsidize lower income at risk families. I support the evaluation of how all socioeconomic strata impact the environment when it comes to energy usage and conservation, and how said evaluations can be used to implement policy that allows for equal access to utilities.
Webber. Strongly Supports. No comments provided.
- Solarize City Facilities. Because PNM has lobbied successfully to prevent community solar from becoming legal in NM, the City has limited options in terms of solarizing city-owned facilities. The city should lobby in the Roundhouse to seek passage of Community Solar so it can issue an RFP to seek competitive bids to solarize its facilities. In the meantime, the City should assess which of its 22 facilities are certain not to be consolidated or moved, and where rooftop solar can easily be mounted. The City should seek competitive bids for installing rooftop solar on those sites, as recommended by the Sustainability Commission.
Ives. Strongly Support. No comments provided.
Maestas Strongly Support. I amended the PNM partnership project resolution, which has since been withdrawn, for providing renewable energy to city facilities to ensure that placing rooftop solar on existing city facilities be including as a viable option to PNM’s proposed project and be evaluated on a cost/benefit basis. Ultimately, if I’m elected Mayor, I will first have a city facility consolidation study done before further investing in existing city facilities.
Noble Supports. Yes. We need to aggressively pursue solar energy on the buildings the city will continue to use. The new Sustainable Santa Fe plan is very good and the recommendations contained in that should be pursued whenever possible. Also, we should lobby the state to allow for Community Solar, and continually work to move the City to renewables whenever possible.
Trujillo Supports. The use of alternative power should not be controlled by power generating companies, limiting the options for municipalities and individuals to utilize the most environmental sound and affordable energy solutions. So yes, the city should begin investigating these options, and work to change this irresponsible and special interest driven policy.
Webber Strongly Supports. I support a Santa Fe that is 100% powered by renewable electricity and battery storage. There are steps the City can take right now, including: create incentives and financing mechanisms for energy conservation in Santa Fe homes and businesses, recognizing that the best way to generate electricity is to use our existing supply more efficiently; install distributed solar on all or most City buildings (and cooperate with other governmental agencies, such as the schools and the County); advocate for a change in State law to allow for community solar and a strengthened Renewable Portfolio Standard in the 2019 Legislative session; conduct research on whether community choice aggregation would be beneficial for Santa Fe. In addition I would look into ways in which Santa Fe can use its purchasing power to negotiate the critical question of who builds and who owns clean energy as a way to make the transition to renewable energy faster and the benefits to the ratepayers greater. I would also use my good working relationships with members of the PRC (I have been supporting Stephen Fischmann in his candidacy and have been endorsed for Mayor by Valerie Espinoza) to advance regulations at the State level that would be beneficial to Santa Fe and all of New Mexico.
- Expand development of walkways and bike paths throughout the City
Ives. Strongly Support. Comments: Definitely.
Maestas. Strongly Support. As an avid bicyclist and chair of the city’s Bicycle Trails Advisory Committee, we are focused on the Bike Master Plan update and developing a permanent funding source for the next phase of our great bicycle trails network that will include, for the first time, as operations and maintenance budget.
Noble Supports. We need to continue to invest in making sure tha Santa Fe becomes a more walkable and bikeable city, and that people who are not driving can safely travel in all parts of our community. This is an investment in our economy, quality of life, and sustainability. Plus, it not only helps us get closer to being carbon neutral— it makes our community more vibrant.
Trujillo. Strongly Supports. This is a good investment in our city – ecological and health oriented.
Webber. Strongly Supports. Non-motorized transport should be an important piece of our transit program. For health, for carbon reduction, and for livability, our system of walkways and bike paths must be more robust so that it reaches every part of the city and there is demand in every part of the city.
- Fund and Implement SWAN Park Phase 2. Santa Fe’s Airport Road Corridor is one of the fastest growing areas where a large portion of Santa Fe’s young people live, but it disproportionately lacks investments in city amenities such as parks. Completion of SWAN park will be an important step toward addressing this problem and increasing equity in the city. Therefore, the governing body should actively pursue and fully fund construction for phase 2 of SWAN Park.
Ives. Support. This said other areas of the City also need to be addressed, so consideration of these issues should be expanded.
Maestas. Support. Our parks master plan is complete and will be presented soon. We need to ensure that we allocated sufficient resources to maintain what we have before building more new facilities.
Noble Supports. We need to pursue equity of services and amenities throughout the City, and this means greater investment in the south and west parts of Santa Fe. Completing and maintaining SWAN park is an important piece of this work, especially as the youth population continues to shift to this area of town.
Trujillo Supports. We need to insure we have the water resources for maintenance needs before adding more demand on the already strained system. Parks are important, but if we cannot maintain them they become a source of mistrust of the management of public spending and resources. I have always supported parks and have voted in favor of SWAN Park on all occasions. We must complete this park so that the residents of District 3 have a park that they can enjoy and one that has a variety of features for everyone.
Webber Strongly Supports. No comments provided.
Children & Family Services
- Expand Funding for Health and Human Services for Children and Adults. Currently, the City’s Human Services Committee disperses two percent (2%) of the gross receipts tax to local nonprofit programs addressing the essential health and human service needs of Santa Fe’s adult residents. The Child and Youth Commission disperses three percent (3%) of the gross receipts tax to community programs that promote the healthy development of children and youth. These two revenue streams are inadequate to meet the growing need for services. The City should raise the percentage of GRT contributed for health and human services by 1% from each of these two funding streams.
Ives. Support. We already are working on this at the City.
Maestas.Opposed. Yes, I agree that the total funding allocated is insufficient. However, the current administration has over-committed the general fund in the upcoming years by: committing to a 6% employee salary increase for the next three years, the finance plan for the defeasance of the 2008 parks bond requires $2M, the $2.2M annual debt payment for the SFUAD bonds, and $1.2-2.7M for street maintenance. We need to weather this storm first before we increase these funding allocations. As a Santa Fe City Councilor, I sponsor the repeal of the 1993 resolution dedicating the Human Services Funding and also sponsored a new ordinance making the dedication law. The resolution was always subject to appropriation but the ordinance protects it and ensures its allocation.
Noble Supports. These investments are foundational and will help build security and prosperity in all other things. We need to invest in supporting the children and youth in our community and breaking the cycles of addiction, poverty, abuse, and other difficult issues in families. We should be actively partnering with the public schools and working to provide security and support for families. We also need to actively and regularly convene and coordinate efforts with partners, including Santa Fe County.
Trujillo Supports. As a member of the City Council we took steps at our most recent meeting in early January 2018 to increase from 3% to 4% for such services. It is imperative that the city insure that these vital services are provided sufficient funding in order to serve the community.
Webber. Strongly Supports. I strongly support children and youth services, but there are several mechanisms that could do so, with the GRT being one of them. I commit to increasing funding but want to be open on how we do that.
- Support a proposal to fund Pre-K in Santa Fe through a sustainable, progressive revenue structure.
Ives. More Info. Some of this is logically the responsibility of the State, so pursuing changes in State funding need to be explored. We should be seeking to lift the various privately owned Pre-K programs to 4 and 5 Star programs, which are more eligible to receive state funding.
Maestas. Support. I believe we can make pre-k a central emphasis in our Youth and Families strategic plan and allocate more money to it. As Mayor and with a new Governor, I would lobby for more State funding from the Permanent Fund for statewide pre-k.
Noble Supports. This is the single most important investment we can make. We need to push a new governor to work on this issue and unlock state funding. We should also pursue creative ideas in our community, and with the Santa Fe Public Schools to expand the pre-k programs and offer more support for families with young children.
Trujillo. More Info. Clearly the population will not stand for additional taxes to fund this issue (as in the soda tax and the County GRT increase). We need to bring all critical stakeholders to the table to identify and implement the best policy.
Webber. Strongly Supports. Similarly, Pre-K can be funded through a variety of mechanisms, including through a simple allocation of the City budget. Budgeting must be done as a whole–to promise specific revenue streams for specific projects often leads to an unbalanced budget.
- Trained Responders to Domestic Violence Incidents. Domestic Violence remains a severe problem in Santa Fe. Police departments in other cities equip their officers with additional resources to effectively respond to 911 domestic violence calls. The City should include in its operating budget funding for trained DV counselors to accompany patrol officers on DV calls and should equip patrol officers with cell phones so that the Santa Fe Police Department can fully implement a Lethality Assessment Protocol.
Ives. More Info. Need to know more about these types of programs, their effectiveness and the costs involved.
Maestas. Support. Almost ¼ of all EMS calls are behavioral health-related. We presently have fire dept. and EMTs trained in behavorial health call responses that use a coordinated, de-escalated response in the Mobile Crisis Response Team. We lack the same institutionalized training for our police officers that EMTs and FD staff have received. This will be a priority in my administration. I’m not familiar with this assessment protocol, but would also consider such a protocol to develop an appropriate response that wouldn’t escalate the situation.
Noble. Supports. Our police force needs training to identify high risk victims in domestic violence and other situations. They need to be able to de-escalate in the moment and be networked into services for follow up and intervention. Officers also need support and access to counseling to effectively deal with the traumas they encounter during their regular course of work.
Trujillo. Supports. Domestic Violence is a symptom of the larger mental health issues we face as a community. We need to provide our officers and dispatch with access to the resources to better manage their response to non-criminal mental health calls. There should be professional mental health crisis personnel available at all times through dispatch to not only assist when a DV call comes in, but to also provide continuity in response to assist officers when they arrive at the scene. More training for our officers is a top priority for my administration.
Webber Strongly Supports. No comments.