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Union votes ‘no confidence’ in SF mayor

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal


Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber

SANTA FE – Hundreds of workers with the city of Santa Fe are calling for the removal of Mayor Alan Webber.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3999 recently conducted a vote among its members for a resolution declaring “no confidence” in Webber, after a series of controversies surrounding his administration.

“Due to the lack of responsible supervision at City Hall, we felt compelled to speak up,” a release by the union says. “We are at a point where we cannot tolerate Mayor Webber’s inability to govern anymore.”

Chris Armijo, a council representative organizer for AFSCME, told the Journal 240 members voted in favor of the resolution and 12 voting against it. Those who voted represent 36% of the union’s 696 total membership.

The resolution lists a series of grievances against Webber’s administration, which date back to 2018, when he assumed office.

Specifically, the union highlighted the city’s decision to furlough more than 1,000 employees in April in response to economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution says the furloughs unfairly impacted lower-wage workers, some of whom had their pay reduced by 40%.

The union also noted the city failed to make payments to the Public Employment Retirement Authority for 2½ months, even after the money had already been deducted from the employees’ salaries. The city failed to submit contributions and reports on six occasions.

And a recent audit found the city had not followed general accounting procedures for funds it received from the federal government.

The resolution also calls on city councilors to suspend and remove Webber from office. However, the city’s charter does not include a method for the council to remove the mayor from his position.

Armijo said if the council cannot remove the mayor, the union will seek a recall vote, meaning voters would have the opportunity to vote out Webber.

To make that happen, petitioner would have to collect valid signatures from at least 33.3% of the number of votes cast in the 2018 mayoral election, or about 6,800 signatures from eligible voters.

The mayor was attending a City Council meeting Wednesday night and he declined to comment, a spokesperson said.

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