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Santa Fe City Council District 2 candidates answer the Journal North’s questions



AGE: 59

Rad Acton

Rad Acton

DATE OF BIRTH: 12/6/54


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EDUCATION: Grinnell College- B.A. (Art History and Anthropology); M.I.T., Masters of Architecture

OCCUPATION: Licensed architect

FAMILY: Two children, divorced, in long-term partnership

POLITICAL\GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: City Historic Districts Review Board; City/State task force for design of Capitol parking garage.

COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES: Former president of Canyon Neighborhood Association, current director; past vice president of Old Santa Fe Association, current director; Co-chair of Atalaya School/Community Task Force; community task force for county courthouse; recipient of 2010 State Heritage Preservation Award



AGE: 47

Joe Arellano

Joe Arellano

EDUCATION: Santa Fe High, 1984


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OCCUPATION: General contractor, landscaper

FAMILY: Fiancé Eilani Gerstner; Two-year-old daughter Emma; Angel, my 19-year-old Jack Russell Terrier.


COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES: Current member and former chaplain and esquire, Elks Lodge #460.



AGE: 44

Mary Bonney

Mary Bonney

EDUCATION: Stephens College, Columbia, Mo.

OCCUPATION: Gallery owner

FAMILY: A daughter, Lily, age 10


Occupancy Tax Advisory Board, appointed by Mayor Coss, five years and still serving.

COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES: Past president, Artsmart; founding board member, executive board, Canyon Road Merchants Association; City of Santa Tourism Committee; city Marketing Committee Workgroup; volunteer, Santa Fe Public Schools; founder, Making Music Santa Fe.




AGE: 34

Jeff Green

Jeff Green

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree with majors in History, Political Science & Middle East Studies, Rutgers University (2004); Graduate-level elementary and secondary (K-12) teaching certification, Alternative Licensure Program, Northern New Mexico College (2013); Permaculture design certification, “Earth Activist Training” (2006).

OCCUPATION: Currently employed as Southwest Regional Coordinator with the Real Food Challenge, a national non-profit organization focused on training college students to be sustainability leaders and increasing student access to healthy, local and sustainable food; licensed teacher, NMPED (endorsed in social studies) and substitute teacher, Santa Fe Public Schools; member, Environmental Education Association of New Mexico and National Education Association.


FAMILY: Single, never married, no children.

POLITICAL\GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: Elected and served as student government president at Northern New Mexico College, 2011-12; led the passage of a constitutional amendment for student rights through the state House and Senate in the 2013 legislative session; appointed to serve on Santa Fe Food Policy Council subcommittee; organized local and state advocacy for consumer “Right to Know” legislation improving New Mexico food safety.


COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES: Winner of 2013 Sustainable Santa Fe award for Green Journalism for volunteer-based grassroots independent multimedia coverage on local social, environmental and human rights issues; completed training in nationally renowned “Democracy School” program in community rights advocacy, empowering communities to protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents and the natural environment, and establish environmental and economic sustainability.




EDUCATION: Espanola Valley High School graduate, 1978; Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, 1983; Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, Arizona State University, 1991.

OCCUPATION: Supervisory civil engineer, Bureau of Reclamation.

FAMILY: I’m married to Martha Vazquez and I have a son, Joey.

POLITICAL\GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: Mayor of Española (2006-2010); Española City Councilor (2000-2006); president, New Mexico Municipal League (2006-2007); member, National League of Cities Board of Directors (2003-2005); appointee, New Mexico Economic Development Partnership Board (2007-2010); appointee, Blue Ribbon Water Task Force (2001-2004);

COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES: Vice President, Conservation Voters of New Mexico (2012-2013); chairman, New Mexico Voices for Children Board of Directors (2012-2013); member, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern NM (2008-2010); and member, Santa Fe County Open Lands, Trails, and Parks Advisory Committee (COLTPAC) (1998-1999).



1. Why are you running for City Council? What distinguishes you from the other candidates?

ACTON: When you love a place, have been inspired and supported it’s people, you want to give back. My 25 years in District 2, as a professional architect and longtime advocate for our community’s neighborhoods, has given me both an understanding of the interdependence of our city’s many challenges, and solid leadership experience for the collaborative processes necessary to address them.

ARELLANO: I am running for City Council to represent the citizens of District 2 and the entire City. I have owned my own business in Santa Fe for 24 years, and I have lived and worked in the City my entire life. This experience gives me a unique a perspective on the needs of the community as a whole.

BONNEY: I have been a community advocate/activist for many years, giving hundreds of hours of time, and I want to do more for the city as a public servant. This is a natural progression of my current involvement with the City of Santa Fe, serving on boards and being involved. I am the best candidate with the ability to `hit the ground running’ because of my current work with the City of Santa Fe.

GREEN: I’m running for City Council because I care deeply about cultivating a vibrant future for all people who live, work in and visit our amazing city. My unique strengths include being the youngest and most progressive candidate in the field, the only licensed and certified educator, and the most experienced and trained leader in grassroots environmental sustainability and community empowerment.

MAESTAS: As a husband and father, I care deeply for our community and hope to put my experience to service to help make Santa Fe the best place to live, work, and raise a family. My progressive values, public service experience, and pragmatic problem-solving skills are qualities I would bring to the Council. I have strong environmental conservation values and proudly endorsed by the Sierra Club.

2. What would be your highest priority as a councilor?

ACTON: To address our low graduation rates, high property crime rates, climate change, and promote sustainable economic development. I would do this by creating new cross-sector, multi-cultural collaborative partnerships between businesses, schools, health and community services, neighborhoods, and police. My intent is to fully optimize our extensive local human resources to address our challenges, while conserving our essential natural resource- water.

ARELLANO: Listening to the citizens of District 2 and the City. Citizens keep telling me they want the City Council to focus on core functions and respond to basic needs.

BONNEY: Two priorities — water conservation and tourism as a vehicle to grow economy.

GREEN: My highest priority as councilor would be addressing the interconnected crisis of climate change, drought, water scarcity and unsustainable energy dependence on polluting and non-renewable fossil fuels. Much more must be done to ramp up Santa Fe’s clean energy production, climate adaptation, long-term water security and watershed protection. I’ll fight to create community solar for every neighborhood that wants it!

MAESTAS: Securing our future water supply is my highest priority. Climate change impacts on our surface water supplies and a 30% supply gap of our sub-basin’s 2060 projected demand require the acquisition of additional water rights and infrastructure development. Conservation and growth management alone cannot fill this gap. We must also implement aquifer storage and recovery; wastewater reuse, and watershed protection.

3. Do you support Santa Fe’s existing “living wage” ordinance setting a local minimum wage? Do you support capping the minimum wage at the rate set to go into effect March 1 index? (probably about $10.65) or continuing with annual increases based on the consumer price index?

ACTON: Yes, as it will assist in reducing the 64% of our workers leaving town with their wages at the end of the day. I believe that the living wage increases needs formal annual review that takes into

account the changing consumer price index. I do not support capping the living wage.

ARELLANO: Yes, absolutely. I believe the living wage should continue to increase with the cost of living based on the consumer price index.

BONNEY: I do support the Living Wage and it should grow in accordance with the index.

GREEN: Yes, I strongly support Santa Fe’s existing “living wage” ordinance and I support continuing the policy of annual increases linked to the CPI. I also support Charter Amendment 3 that would enshrine a policy supporting “the rights of all to earn a living wage” in the Santa Fe Municipal Charter. The living wage strengthens our local economy and all workers.

MAESTAS: I strongly support Santa Fe’s Living Wage Ordinance. The minimum wage is adjusted upward, corresponding to an amount, if any, of the previous year’s consumer price index (CPI) for the western region for urban wage earners and clerical workers. I oppose capping the minimum wage and fully support continuing to implement the annual CPI adjustment.

4: What would you do as a councilor to improve Santa Fe’s economy or increase good-paying jobs?

ACTON: I would create development incentives for live/work villages for businesses in film production, renewable energy and creative arts; “Be Kind to Visitors” program, with parking garage vouchers, expanded shuttle routes and public restroom on Canyon Rd.; round-table identifying out-sourced goods and services, then incentivize creation of local businesses to provide “Graduation contracts” and “entrepreneurial mentorships” for students; cross-city broadband network.

ARELLANO: I would work to provide better City support for Santa Fe-based businesses because strong local businesses boost our local economy. To attract good-paying jobs, we need to market Santa Fe better and work with SFPS to improve the graduation rate (businesses with high-paying jobs are less likely to move to a city with a 60% graduation rate).

BONNEY: Tourism is our industry. We need to invest in promoting our city on a global scale and support sustainable tourism ideals. The impact from strong tourism is felt in all areas of Santa Fe, and all level of jobs — it is an area where we can excel.

GREEN: I will focus on increasing Santa Fe’s high-wage employment in the areas of green jobs, clean energy, eco-tourism, the creative arts, health care and small business entrepreneurship. I would establish a Green Jobs Commission, open a Santa Fe Film Office, and pass a community rights ordinance allowing local clean energy startup companies to compete with PNM in the power market.

MAESTAS: Attract high-wage jobs in emerging industries in the green, technology, and knowledge-based sectors through leveraged opportunities in our creative arts, business incubator, and existing business parks. Building the proposed Santa Fe e-Cequia Project, a $10M community-wide, fiber optic backbone that would provide high-speed broadband to key community institutions, will attract these industries and extend coverage to thousands who don’t have Internet access.

5. What measures would you support to reduce crime in Santa Fe, particularly burglary and drug-related crimes? Please include specifics for how you would finance any proposals that require funding, such as adding police officers or treatment programs.

ACTON: These measures only require fund re-allocation: neighborhood housing and “beats” for officers; investigation teams focused on crime-ring busting; household enrollment in information sharing site; maintaining funding for La Familia, Life Link, and Santa Fe Recovery Center, to rehabilitate, not incarcerate, for non-violent crime; “Graduation Contracts” for “at-risk” students in exchange for SFCC tuition assistance and skills training.

ARELLANO: We need to have our police department fully-staffed with qualified officers who go through regular training. We need to look at how our resources are allocated now and how to use those resources more efficiently; for example, I do not think our police department focuses enough resources on opiate drug dealers and related crimes. Drug treatment programs are necessary.

BONNEY: Fees and services is an area where we can increase revenue without taxing our citizens. Perhaps a `second home’ fee to generate income to pay for more policemen on the streets, and breathing more life into our existing affordable housing programs so that our force can live in town in our neighborhoods. Technology is a fairly inexpensive yet high impact opportunity for police to communicate with citizens regarding crime, getting the word out via text/technology when crimes are happening to alert citizens.

GREEN: I favor progressive taxation, such as enacting a municipal tax on large corporations, to increase funding available for city programs. With burglary crime at a 14-year low, I’d allow the police to continue doing their job. I’ll expand the city’s LEAD program to rehabilitate drug offenders. I support decriminalization; drug addiction should be treated primarily as a public health concern.

MAESTAS: Many burglaries are committed by frequent, non-violent offenders that are addicted to drugs – mainly heroin and other opiates. I support the law enforcement assisted diversion program (LEAD) as an alternative to more costly prosecution and incarceration that helps these offenders overcome their drug dependency. We must increase patrols in high crime areas and leverage resources among Federal, State, and county law enforcement agencies.

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






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






8. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony?




GREEN: Yes, in the peace and justice-loving spirit of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, I have been arrested several times for participating in non-violent civil disobedience activities in protest of unjust wars and government policies. None of the charges in these cases were felonies. One charge was dismissed; for the others, I completed community service and/or paid a small fine.