Q&A Albuquerque City Council District 5 Dan Lewis - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A Albuquerque City Council District 5 Dan Lewis

Dan Lewis

Name: Dan Lewis

Political party: Republican. Albuquerque City Council races are non-partisan.

Age: 51

Education: Secondary teaching degree, Wayland University, 2007; MDIV, Southwestern Theological Seminary, 1996; BA, Grand Canyon University, 1992

Occupation: Director of operations, Davidson Oil, 2 years

Family: Wife Tracy, 2 children, 1 grandson

Relevant experience: An executive, and seasoned public servant. Named a “Top CEO” by Business First, creating high-paying private-sector jobs at Desert Fuels, one of “New Mexico’s Top 100 Private Companies” (Albuquerque Business Journal), and one of the “Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S.” (Inc. magazine). Elected to the Albuquerque City Council in 2009 and re-elected in 2013.

Campaign website: Lewis4ABQ.com

What is the biggest issue facing your district right now, and how would you address it?

Albuquerque is plagued by an unprecedented rise in crime. I will work with the Northwest Area Command to ensure a neighborhood watch organization on every street in the district. I will ensure that uniform officers and marked police cars are proactively policing in every neighborhood and enforcing every law.

What, if anything, can the Council do legislatively to reduce crime?

Fund the police. Make it policy for APD to enforce all laws and respond to all crimes from loitering to homicides. Reverse the legislation that made Albuquerque a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants who commit crimes. Hold the administration and APD brass accountable for their failed leadership.

APD continues operating under a U.S. Department of Justice settlement agreement that outlines reforms, policy changes, and mandatory training that police need to complete over several years. Should the city continue with that agreement or try to modify it? If so, how should the city try to modify it?

Now six years into the four-year agreement, we have completed the outline of reforms, policy changes and all mandatory training. The legal agreement should end immediately, and the DOJ should go back to Washington, D.C.

About 31% of all the city’s general fund spending currently goes to the police department. Is that the right amount? If not, should it be higher or lower and why?

The city should ensure that our police officers are well-led, better-paid, and have every resource they need to do their job effectively. We should evaluate the resources given to APD by ensuring that every resource is resulting in reducing crime and creating a safer city.

What else in the city’s current budget, if anything, do you believe should have more or less funding and why?

The mayor and his bloated staff are excessively over paid while extremely ineffective. I would support less funding to the Mayor’s Office. The city is swimming in money with an increase in GRT without the voter’s approval and millions of federal stimulus dollars. Yet crime is higher than ever before.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support raising taxes?

I do not support raising taxes. If we prioritize, then we already have funds to finance public safety, expanding our tax-base with new businesses, helping home-grown businesses thrive, create jobs and increase gross receipts through a growing economy.

What is your top idea for boosting the city’s economy?

The best economic development is community development. First, ensure a safe and fair place for business and job creation. Focus on strengths — help our home-growth businesses expand such as our creative economy, directed energy, big data, health and bio-sciences, data visualization, and other industries with great potential for exponential growth.

If city voters approve a $50 million gross receipts tax bond for a new multipurpose soccer stadium, where do you think it should be built?

In the Northwest City Council District 5, the largest and fastest growing council district and the lowest crime rate in the city. The area has the land necessary for a project this size. Building the stadium Downtown will cost millions of dollars more.

What specific strategies do you have for reducing homelessness?

Supporting successful programs such as Albuquerque Heading Home — where every homeless organization and ministry in the city is utilized to identify those living on the streets, understand their needs, meet their specific needs, and ultimately find them housing. This is a proven effective model.

What should the city do to ensure the success of its first Gateway Center?

The Gateway Center is a flawed concept. Government cannot solve the homelessness challenges better than private organizations. Creating a government-run facility is limited and gives the community a false-sense that the city is solving the issue. I support a proven successful housing-first model such as Albuquerque Heading Home.

What, if anything, should the city do for people living on the streets who do not want to stay in a shelter?

Fully support ABQ Heading Home, a proven successful housing-first model. I have personally volunteered in the program and helped match the specific needs of those living on the streets with the resources available through many successful organizations and ministries in the City.

What large infrastructure projects would you push for in the city’s next capital implementation program?

Transportation infrastructure on the West Side such as widening Paseo del Norte to four lanes west of Golf Course Road, widening Unser Boulevard to four lanes, widening and completing McMahon Boulevard, widening Universe Boulevard, and completing the Paseo del Volcan Northwest bypass.

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

Real quality of life starts with safe neighborhoods and a city government that ensures good return on tax dollars, rapid emergency response times, low energy and water rates, clean public spaces and streets and an accountable city government.

What differentiates you from your opponents?

As an employer and entrepreneur, I’ve created local private sector jobs. I understand how city government can both hurt and help job creation.

Name one issue not mentioned in the questions above that you would plan to tackle as a councilor?

Lead the effort to clean up the Petroglyph National Park that borders District 5 and is the largest urban national park in the country. I will help clean it up, protect it, and create the access needed for our residents to fully enjoy it.

Personal background

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

No.

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

No.

3. 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?

No.

 


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