SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Business Coailtion says that only Bill Dimas responded to an issues questionnaire it sent to the three candidates running for Santa Fe mayor.
Javier Gonzales and Patti Bushee are the other candidates. In an email news letter about several topics, the coalition says this about the Santa Fe mayoral race:
Because Santa Fe is home to our State Capital, this race is critical. New Mexico needs a Santa Fe Mayor who is pro-business and supports community safety and job creation. Although there are three candidates, only one chose to respond to the NMBC, a nonpartisan, pro-business association. The responses by Bill Dimas are strong and well-reasoned, providing a fresh approach to the issues facing Santa Fe.
The email provides a link to Dimas’ responses to the coalition questionnaire. Here they are:
1.What are the key issues you would like to address as Mayor of Santa Fe?
The key issues for the new mayor will be to A) Improve the business climate in Santa Fe by keeping taxes low, B) improving the efficiency of city government, C) eliminating the high crime rates by dealing with drug dependent burglars and D) keeping the city on track by dealing with the issues that matter to citizens.
2.What is the role of the Santa Fe Mayor in the city’s economy?
The Mayor’s role in the economy should be to balance the city budget, first and foremost. Auditing the city departments to evaluate programs and eliminate wasteful spending is the key to keeping the city running smoothly. Helping economic development by holding the line on the minimum wage is important to small business and particularly the hospitality industry, in staying in business in Santa Fe. Establishing better broadband capabilities is an essential element to attracting small business in the future. The Mayor should promote each and every one of these initiatives.
3.What is your position on the Santa Fe Living Wage?
I support the Living Wage, but insist that we need to more carefully study the effects and particularly the automatic increases. I’m not convinced that two of the unintended consequences are that the Living Wage has driven small businesses out of business and prevented others from moving to Santa Fe. I don’t think the studies that support the Living Wage have been entirely fair.
4. What would you do as Mayor to facilitate job creation?
We have to take job creation more seriously. I believe that people that know how to facilitate job creation are the small business men and women who have already worked hard to create jobs. I would form a working group to make recommendations to the City Council. If suggestions don’t require the Council approval, I would seriously consider implementing creative ideas on my own. At any rate, I would put energy and effort into recruiting others in the community to help spread the good words about Santa Fe and its business‐friendly climate.
5.What is your position on Construction Work Agreements (CWA)?
I oppose the CWA because it seemed to only create work for the Albuquerque union member.
6.What is the Mayor’s role in Santa Fe’s budget?
The Mayor’s role is to lead the Governing Body to make wise choices in the program, planning and budgeting process. The Mayor should work closely with the City Manager and the Finance Director to develop a sound budget that meets the needs of city services. The planning process should not just consider next year’s budget, but also plan five years out. Departments should learn to set goals and meet them.
7. What is your opinion of Santa Fe as a sanctuary city?
Many of Santa Fe’s crime problems are related to drug abusers. Property crime in particular is the favorite income source for dangerous drug users. It appears that many of the drug abusers are in this country illegally. The identification of Santa Fe as a sanctuary may be attracting more of the drug gang members. We need to reinforce our efforts to stop the drug trafficking by reinstating a narcotics unit within the police department.
8. What role should the Santa Fe Mayor have in setting a social agenda in regards to issues such as marriage, abortion, etc.?
I have very strong feelings against setting agenda items that stray from the important issues that confront our city. Police and fire protection, streets and trash collection are the issues upon which I intend to focus as Mayor.
9. Regarding energy: (a) What is your position on coal‐fired electric plants?
Coal‐fired electric power plants need to make use of advance technology to reduce emissions, but these are not problems that a city government would ordinarily become involved.
(b) What is your position regarding drilling for oil and gas?
Oil and gas drilling are necessary for supplying the energy needs of the country.
10. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
I have never had a personal or business lien.
11. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
I filed personal bankruptcy in 1987 and have since recovered financially. My wife and I have excellent credit ratings now.
12. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state?
I have never been arrested, charged or convicted of a misdemeanor or felony.
13. Is there anything else you would like voters to know?
Generally, I support the Charter Amendments on the ballot. However, I do not support the increase in the Mayor’s powers and salary. This city has functioned well for decades without a mayor in such a role and I think it can continue in the same fashion for many years to come. The true ability of a Mayor to lead is to select intelligent and experienced personnel to operate the city and to implement the policies established by the elected officials.