The expansive area that is Santa Fe County District 1 covers both the northeastern corner of the city of Santa Fe and a southeastern smidgen of Española, plus all the pueblos and hamlets in between. The Democratic race to replace outgoing County Commissioner Harry Montoya remains packed, though the field has narrowed slightly. A fifth declared candidate, Sef Valdez, tells SFR he dropped out of the race April 6 for personal reasons. The remaining four candidates for the June 1 primary were subjected to SFR’s election-season staple, the Pop Quiz. The rules: We make an appointment, they answer our questions, we print the answers verbatim. No Googling, no hints, no phone-a-friend callbacks.
1. How many road miles is Santa Fe County responsible for maintaining?
2. Explain Santa Fe County’s new Renewable Energy Financing District.
3. To cut down on drunk driving, the county’s CADDy program subsidizes the cost of a cab ride on weekend nights. What is the CADDy fare?
4. Think like a survivalist: If society collapsed, where in District 1 would you bunker down?
5. What’s the biggest problem in District 1 your opponents aren’t talking about?
6. The Santa Fe County Healthcare Assistance Program, formerly known as the Indigent Fund, pays certain hospital bills for people who can’t afford them. Eligibility is limited to those whose gross household incomes fall within 80 percent of the area’s average median income as defined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. What is 80 percent of Santa Fe’s median family income?
7. The National Indian Gaming Commission licenses tribal gambling operations. According to the NIGC, how many licensed gaming operations are there on Pojoaque Pueblo?
8. Approximately 14,000 cubic yards of soil at the new courthouse site in downtown Santa Fe are contaminated. With what pollutant is the site contaminated?
Daniel “Danny” Mayfield, 42, former chief of staff for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission
1. Corey, they’re responsible for maintaining many of the miles of roads; I don’t know the exact number.
2. The Renewable Energy Finance District is an option for residents, and the way it was set up was that the residents and commercial property owners who wish to develop renewable energy on their property can do that, and there’s some benefits to the contractors and the residents so they don’t have to come up with up-front cash; and there are some tax credits involved.
3. I don’t know what the cost is. I would assume it would be a reduced rate because we have an epidemic problem with drunk driving, and we don’t have mass transit in our county or our state. I would hope that it would be free, and that we could subsidize that program.
4. I would hope society would never collapse, and I would do everything to make sure that society was safe. And I would bunker down in my local parish.
5. My belief is the biggest problem facing District 1 is finances. It’s facing Santa Fe County as a whole, and it’s facing the nation. There’s significant and huge water issues, as a whole. Finances are a huge issue. Property taxes are a huge issue. And it boils down to the spending level. We need to be prudent; we need to be responsible; and we need to maintain responsibility.
6. I believe the median family income in Santa Fe County is approximately $30,000.
7. How many licensed operations are there on Pojoaque Pueblo?
There’s at least three different casinos that I know of on Pojoaque Pueblo: There’s one at the gas station on 66, where you can go and play slots; there’s the Buffalo Thunder resorts; and there’s the Cities of Gold. I would say there’s three.
8. They found gasoline in that soil from an old station, and that’s what I believe the major contaminant is. There might be a lot of nitrates in there.
Jon Paul Romero, 42, “civil engineer [with] my own consulting firm”
1. A lot of ’em. The Public Works Department is responsible for a lot of them, I can’t tell you the exact mileage. I’m going to take what I call a wild guess, and I think it’s about 12,700 miles.
2. Well, the way I understand it, the way the new Renewable Energy Finance District works is that they’re going to help with tax credits through the property tax base for individuals who want to do renewable energy projects for their home.
3. I should know this down to the T because I sit on the DWI Planning Council. I have not had to use the CADDy program. I think it’s 2 bucks.
4. In District 1, huh? That’d be easy. I live in Cuyamungue. Right behind the hills we have a land grant. I’d just go set up a little shop down there. It’s over 6,000 acres of undeveloped land. There’s a lot of hills, bluffs and mountains back there.
5. [Sigh] I think the biggest problem we face in District 1—everybody’s talking about different issues—is building relationships.
District 1 is the most diverse of all the districts. We’re encompassed by north Santa Fe County, the City of Santa Fe, five pueblos, Española, and building relationships with all the entities within those boundaries.
6. I believe the median income for a couple is $44,500, so 80 percent of that is gonna be about $35,600. They break it down for a single person, a couple, a family of three, four, five.
7. I believe there’s three. 8. That’d be petroleum gas.
Leonard J Roybal, “70 years young,” Santa Fe High School boy’s basketball coach
1. Wow. Road miles, huh? Uh, probably about 1,800 square miles, maybe. But I don’t know how many road miles that would make. That’s a hard question. Probably about 50,000.
2. The renewable energy? I believe there’s a Senate Bill 200 that the Sierra Club—the chapter, what is it called, the Rio Grande?— put through the Legislature. The renewable energy plan says that they want everybody to—not everybody, but government buildings, schools and things of that nature—want them to insulate and become more energy efficient with toilets and water fountains, insulation, electricity—they’re trying to make them more reasonable and lower their bills by 30 percent. I think I had that question the other night on a forum. New buildings, I believe, have to meet certain standards. The old buildings have to come up with some standards, but you know what they say, when you remodel it’s more expensive than building new. The old buildings, they have to do what is reasonable rather than forcing them to do things.
3. I think it’s free. I don’t know about the DWI stuff, but I know to ride that county bus, you need to give them 24-hour notice, and they’ll give you a ride to get your groceries or whatever. I would say it’s free.
4. I would bunker down right here where I’m at because I have an acre of land that I can farm, and I also have a couple of cows in my backyard and buffaloes next door, and I also have irrigation rights. So, I’m home. SFR: Where’s your place? It’s in Cuarteles, C-u-a-r-t-e-l-e-s, between Santa Cruz and La Puebla. One side is Rio Arriba; the other is Santa Fe.
5. Well, I would say that my district, probably the quality of
life, safety of roads and highways. Sewage has to be dealt with because
we have a lot of wells here in our area, and everybody has a septic
tank. And also our acequias; they need a lot of work over here in my
area. We’re the orphans of Santa Fe County. We don’t get any services.
Once you vote for a county commissioner, they never come this way again.
That’s why everybody needs to vote for me: Because I live here.
6. How much money does a person—probably whoever’s making minimum wage right now. Close to $100 a day, maybe less. That’d be $400 a month—I mean $400 a week. So about $25,000, $35,000 a year. About $25,000.
7. On Pojoaque Pueblo? I would say there’s probably—licenses? I would say there’s at least three or four, if they require a license for each place that has that. If they license all the areas in Pojoaque, it’d just be one. But I say three or four.
8. I believe it’s oil and gas.
Paul White, 57, “glass artist, small business owner, community advocate”
1. [Long pause] 200,000.
2. That has to do with a lien on your property tax that is ongoing with the sale of the house. The new owner would continue the lien if it’s not been paid off by the previous owner.
4. [Long pause] I’d stay at home right on my property where I have agricultural uses, a river, water, neighbors, friends and family.
5. [Long pause then a sigh] The lack of water security. The issue of transferring water rights from unsecure sources that will be used for large river diversions. These water rights are subject to drought, priority protection issues, priority calls, as well as concerns about the extent of these river diversions in energy costs, ongoing operations and maintenance charges, fees and taxes that the entire county is going to have to pay through property taxes. Rampant development, based on an insecure water source, and other development issues that are tied to a water resource that is based only on a 40-year horizon, which can deplete the aquifer and lessen our water security for the future.
6. [Long pause] $30,000.
7. Two. Three with the bar, the sports bar.
1. According to the Santa Fe County Road Maintenance Division’s website: “Within the boundaries of the County, there are approximately 2,900 road miles including state highways, city streets, private roads and county roads. Of the total mileage, Santa Fe County has maintenance responsibilities for approximately 573.81 miles.”
2. The Renewable Energy Financing District is intended to help property owners defray the high up-front costs of installing solar panels, wind turbines or geothermal systems. Participating property owners will be able to repay a loan from the county through an additional charge on their property taxes. The concept was enabled by two bills supported by the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club and passed in 2009 by the state Legislature: SB 647 and HB 572. Though the county and City of Santa Fe each passed ordinances establishing the district, the program has yet to be fully implemented. To get your name on the applicant list, email Santa Fe County Economic Development Director Duncan Sill: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. The cost is $5 for one or two passengers, or $10 for three or more; the cab’s meter will start running once you leave Santa Fe city limits. Call 995-9528 for a CADDy ride on Friday and Saturday nights.
6. According to HUD, the Santa Fe area median income for a “base” family of four is $65,500. So 80 percent of that, the limit for health care assistance, would be $52,400. For a family of three, the eligibility limit would be $47,160; for a family of two, $41,920; and for a single person, $36,680.
7. According to the NIGC’s March 2 report, there are five: Buffalo Thunder, Cities of Gold Casino, Cities of Gold Sports Bar, Kicks 66 and the Towa Golf Course Gaming Slots.