Talk of bringing City Hall and all other city services — along with parks, government-supported housing, library expansions and more — to the midtown campus ignores a basic reality: Every acre of the campus not generating rental income or tax revenues to the city leaves taxpayers holding more of the bag.

The city still owes payments of about $40 million toward the site’s purchase. Add another $100 million or more for restoration and construction, plus the cost of carrying vacated city land and buildings until disposed of — who knows when or if there would be a gain?

Going this direction also opposes adopted resolutions 2017-78 and 2018-54 with their detailed midtown “planning guidelines.” Neither called for city offices there; the “guidelines” in fact dismissed this concept following extensive community input. One thing was sure four years ago as site-use considerations began: City leaders sought options that would help pay down debt, not add financial burdens on taxpayers.

Has momentum shifted? Or is this a shallow easy out, a lack of vision, or fatigue that will squelch innovation and counters previous research and city commitments — and is fiscally irresponsible?

Berl Brechner

Santa Fe

Climate summit’s hot air

Has anyone considered the carbon footprint of the governor and state Cabinet members flying to Glasgow, Scotland, to attend the climate summit? And how about the footprint of all the other attendees who will be flying there from all over the world?

In these days of so many technological advances in communication, is it really necessary for thousands of people to get on airplanes? It seems to defeat the purpose of the summit.

Lynn Plata

Santa Cruz

Keep Webber

I’m endorsing Mayor Alan Webber because he has been a champion for issues I care deeply about. As mayor, he appointed a woman to the position of city manager in Santa Fe and appointed women to the majority of executive positions in the city.

Additionally supporting women, he established the first Women’s Commission in Santa Fe’s history to develop an ongoing agenda to promote gender equity in Santa Fe, reduce violence against women, and advocate for equal rights and equal representation for women. He also cares deeply for the welfare of our animals and wildlife and has the support of Animal Protection Voters. Santa Fe needs a second term from Webber, and I’m happy to support his reelection.

Ali MacGraw

Santa Fe

Greed is a sickness

“Affluenza” (aka “never-enough-itis”) is a terrible infectious disease whose sufferers are plagued with a constant, burning need to acquire and consume the best of everything, while sadly never being able to achieve a sense of satisfaction or satiation.

Thankfully, it only infects about 1 percent of us. In their selfless desire to prevent the spread of this horrific contagion to the other 99 percent of the population, the disease’s victims willingly segregate themselves into separate, walled and gated communities, much like the leper colonies of old.

Perhaps the proposed, exclusive development on Cow Creek should be permitted on humanitarian, medical grounds. Think of the afflicted souls it would serve.

Stephen Dubinsky

Santa Fe

Experience matters

I did not vote for former weatherman Mark Ronchetti for U.S. senator because he knows virtually nothing about the job. He had neither run for nor held public office prior to his 2020 campaign.

I will not be voting for Ronchetti for governor because, once again, he knows nothing about running the state of New Mexico, and he still has not won or held public office.

I did like him as a weatherman. I am sorry to see him leave KRQE once again, but there are other qualified people who can predict what the weather might be. Bye, Mark.

Barbara Holloway

Galisteo

(12) comments

Khal Spencer

Ms. MacGraw, bless her heart for her support of animal causes, can endorse to her heart's content. I prefer hearing from folks who live here, pay their taxes to the city, foot the bill for the Black Hole of the Midtown Campus, dodge the lunatics on St. Francis Drive, and read the papers.

As far as women, there are two of them running against Mr. Mayor. I guess ideology actually trumps (no relationship to the Orange Cur) women's advancement.

Richard Reinders

People of the county do there banking, shopping, buy our gas and dine in Santa Fe but are not a financial burden to the city, additionally county homes in this valley have property tax that goes to the school system . Santa Fe is the capital city of N.M. so everyone in N.M. have a dog in the fight. So decision Webber makes effects us more than the county commission.

Stefanie Beninato

Sorry, Richard, but Webber does not appoint the county commission. They are elected by all county wide voters--like you. It is their decisions that affect you more than whether the obelisk is in place.

P.J. Catanach

Was thinking about consolidating the city offices at the Midtown campus. I can see where Mr. Brechner is coming from, but I have to wonder. If the City put buildings up for sale, which does one think would get a better price. Buildings a block from the Plaza or those on the Midtown Campus?

Khal Spencer

I had the same thoughts, P.J.

MP Paul

It’s so disappointing to read a mayoral endorsement based on Webber’s support for women’s issues when we have two other articulate candidates who are both women. The endorsement smacks of support for a gender glass ceiling, suggesting that women are most successful in a supporting role. Our community is also waiting for a response from Webber who allegedly called a female department head “clerkie” repeatedly and told a female pier “not to get her panties in a twist”. It matters what leadership does when they believe no one is looking and speaks to ethics. It also matters that a democracy reflect the will of the people in our community rather than being influenced by outside money pouring in from the east and west coast that’s based on who knows who, with little concern on actual performance.

If you want a city government that supports women and a voice that actually represents the people who live and work in Santa Fe please vote for Joanne Vigil Coppler or Alexis Martinez Johnson.

Stefanie Beninato

Sorry, MP Paul, your quotes are without sustance. Those are remarks that Vigil-Coppler alleged were made. Why has no one else come forward with verification about Webber calling Yolanda Vigil "clerkie"? V-C's attempt to rewrite her remarks on wearing masks (I want to sell houses--I am not going to require someone to wear a mask) is a big red flag for integrity. IMHO only Martinez Johnson can make a claim to integrity and transparency in this campaign.

Patrick Brockwell

Barbara, I believe the correct spelling is Wrongchetti, FYI.

Emily Koyama

Ancient joke. Need new material, dude.

Stefanie Beninato

Richard Where did you get the info that Webber is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on outside consultants? Are these contracts approved by the city council including Vigil-Coppler? What was her position on these contracts?

And Berl--you have nailed it in terms of the city employees/appointed officials ignoring public input and NOW--almost 4 years later trying to do yet another reversal on the old CFS, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly (think debt payment alone).

PS Love the way Ali McGraw, Richard Rendeers and Wm Mee support certain mayoral candidates when they cannot vote in the city election.

Richard Reinders

Webber is the rudder on this boat regardless who is on the council. Strategics Economics consulting from the Bay Area $325,000. , Proyecto, Llc California based Daniel Hernandez $52,000.00, U3 Advisors from Pennsylvania $65,000.00 these are one i can find so far and that is just for Midtown.

Richard Reinders

Berl Brechner I believe this is a panic move, and no good outcomes come from panic. Webber lacks focus, and depends on out of state consultants to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars that have no idea what is happening here in Santa Fe. And this disconnect is at the heart of the Mayors problem.

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