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Q&As with District 5 City Council candidates

Robert Aragon.

ROBERT ARAGON
1. What is the biggest issue facing your district, and how would you address it?

The biggest issue is crime; without exception, this is the No. 1 topic people in my district bring up when I am at their door. To address this issue, we first and foremost need to prioritize fully staffing, and properly funding APD. Additionally, the government entities and our courts must work openly and collaboratively to keep the criminals out of our communities.

2. Do you support high-density residential and commercial development in any portion of your district?

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Property owners have the right to utilize their property to its “highest use” provided that it complies with zoning ordinances and is consistent with their surrounding communities.

3. What do you believe is the optimum number of officers for APD and what, if anything, would you do to reach that number

Without giving an arbitrary figure, it is clear that the number of officers we currently have is grossly insufficient. However, at a minimum 1,200 officers is a start point. We achieve the staffing goal by properly prioritizing the safety of our citizens through the budget process, properly funding the needs of APD.

4. In what circumstances, if any, would you support raising taxes? Which taxes would you be receptive to increasing?

Our communities have seen increased taxes over the past two years, and our citizens cannot continue to sustain this dramatic rise in taxes without putting at risk our economic growth and job creation. Therefore, I oppose any increase in taxes.

5. In recent years, the city has been issuing revenue bonds to pay for major capital projects. Would you support the continued use of revenue bonds to fund capital projects?

Our bond program is a vital and integral component of maintaining Albuquerque’s infrastructure and must be fully utilized.

6. What plans do you have to raise the quality of life for Albuquerque residents?

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First we properly staff and fund APD, ensuring that we have safe communities. Second, we reduce the burdensome regulations, red tape and taxes that stifle economic growth and impede upon established businesses. Third, APS is failing our children; I fully support the creation of a new, separate West Side school district.

7. The Healthy Workforce Ordinance has garnered both praise and criticism. If approved by voters on Oct. 3, the ballot initiative will require any business with a physical presence in Albuquerque to provide paid sick time off to full-time, part-time, and temporary workers. Support argue that the ordinance would ensure that workers don’t have to choose between their paychecks and caring for themselves or a loved one. Opponents argue that it would hurt businesses because of higher costs and record-keeping requirements. What’s your position on the ordinance?

I oppose the Healthy Workforce Ordinance. It is a job killer that will strangle economic growth, and will most dramatically impact small business owners. Ordinances like this will further facilitate the exodus of our best and brightest millennials.

8. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been subject of any state or federal tax liens?

Yes, both of them have been paid in full.

9. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

No.

10. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If yes, explain.

I have never been charged or convicted of drinking and driving or any felony. I have had a few parking tickets over the years, all of which have been paid. My children however, have operated vehicles titled in my name and have had numerous parking citations, all of which have been resolved. Additionally, arising from an incident involving a dog I do not own, I was cited with having an unlicensed animal; this issue has since been dismissed.


 

Cynthia Borrego.

CYNTHIA BORREGO
1. What is the biggest issue facing your district, and how would you address it?

Crime. Increase the number of officers on the street, work to take repeat offenders off the street, support community mental health program, reinstate community policing, strengthen neighborhood watch programs, and cultivate an economy that provides opportunity for all.

2. Do you support high-density residential and commercial development in any portion of your district?

Yes, in areas zoned and designated for these types of land use, and density. I believe in smart growth, our economy depends on it, but we must it do it in a way that respects our unique Albuquerque environment/landscape.

3. What do you believe is the optimum number of officers for APD and what, if anything, would you do to reach that number?

1,200 officers. Review city budget hiring new officers. Work with police/fire unions to build new leadership, changing the culture. Ensure support for officers, while maintaining DOJ (Department of Justice) reforms. Also, strengthen neighborhood associations, increase crime prevention programs, and implement safer community design.

4. In what circumstances, if any, would you support raising taxes? Which taxes would you be receptive to increasing?

Not an advocate for raising taxes, but we should study the idea of a public safety tax, if our community is at a tipping point of being at risk, then a public safety tax should be brought to public vote.

5. In recent years, the city has been issuing revenue bonds to pay for major capital projects. Would you support the continued use of revenue bonds to fund capital projects?

Yes. Bonds are a key financial tools that help finance income-producing city projects. We should be fiscally responsible how they are spent. The Westside is in desperate need of infrastructure, fight to improve our roads, parks and community centers.

6. What plans do you have to raise the quality of life for Albuquerque residents?

Make our city safe again! Work collaboratively on a vision to build a world class economy, becoming a destination place, rather than a pass-through city. Work to fix Westside traffic issues, and ensure complete infrastructure development.

7. The Healthy Workforce Ordinance has garnered both praise and criticism. If approved by voters on Oct. 3, the ballot initiative will require any business with a physical presence in Albuquerque to provide paid sick time off to full-time, part-time and temporary workers. Supporters argue that the ordinance would ensure that workers don’t have to choose between their paychecks and caring for themselves or a loved one. Opponents argue that it would hurt businesses because of higher costs and record-keeping requirements. What’s your position on the ordinance?

We need to strike a balance supporting our workers, and our businesses. When a worker gets sick they deserve paid sick leave, but, the business community should be at the table and buy in to this idea.

8. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?

No.

9. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

No.

10. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If yes, explain.

No.


 

Catherine Trujillo.

CATHERINE TRUJILLO
1. What is the biggest issue facing your district, and how would you address it?

Currently, property crime.

District 5 is tired of triggered home alarms, shattered windows, and property crime. Crime is the number one priority. We need to recover from the recession and we cannot attract new business in a dangerous city with high crime rates.

2. Do you support high-density residential and commercial development in any portion of your district?

The West Side has experienced residential sprawl over the past several years. District 5 needs more high-paying jobs which will alleviate traffic across the river. We have great families in our district, now it’s time to bring the work.

3. What do you believe is the optimum number of officers for APD and what, if anything, would you do to reach that number?

1,300. We need more APD recruiters, police vehicles, raises, and retention plans. I will work with rank and file officers to determine what the council needs to do to improve retention and increase the size or number of academy classes.

4. In what circumstances, if any, would you support raising taxes? Which taxes would you be receptive to increasing?

I am in full support of raising gross receipt tax to staff APD in order to lower crime. Fluctuating between 800-900 officers is not safe for our city of over 557,000. We cannot afford to lose officers.

5. In recent years, the city has been issuing revenue bonds to pay for major capital projects. Would you support the continued use of revenue bonds to fund capital projects?

Gross receipt bonds must be used to finance city operations. The priority should have been to increase the number of sworn officers. It should not be an option to pay for capital projects when crime was increasing.

6. What plans do you have to raise the quality of life for Albuquerque residents?

First, we need to develop strategies and implement policy to tackle public safety issues. We need increase transparency and include more community input. I want ABQ citizens to continue to invest in our city with ideas, entrepreneurship, education, and employment.

7. The Healthy Workforce Ordinance has garnered both praise and criticism. If approved by voters on Oct. 3, the ballot initiative will require any business with a physical presence in Albuquerque to provide paid sick time off to full-time, part-time and temporary workers. Supporters argue that the ordinance would ensure that workers don’t have to choose between their paychecks and caring for themselves or a loved one. Opponents argue that it would hurt businesses because of higher costs and record-keeping requirements. What’s your position on the ordinance?

I am supportive of paid leave for employees, but we need to be sure and limit the impact a policy has on businesses. The proposed ordinance does not address front loading, differentiation between safe time and sick time, or public health emergencies.

8. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?

No.

9. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

No.

10. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If yes, explain.

No.


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