Such an impressive outpouring of support made our hearts sing at Communities In Schools of New Mexico. Our extended community of individuals and businesses once again showed its incredibly generous spirit, and we are filled with gratitude for the contributions we received to our Urgent Shoe and Clothing Drive of a few weeks ago. A drive that began with social media posts on a Friday surpassed its goal by Monday and went on to multiply that goal amount after a week. This is just one recent example of how the Santa Fe community coalesces around students’ needs. Our Communities In Schools site coordinators are an integral part of 11 Santa Fe public schools, interacting with students every day in a way that allows them to understand the obstacles students face. The best part is they then facilitate the means to get beyond obstacles so kids can focus on being in school and learning.
Thank you, Santa Fe, for showing our community’s students they have your support. As a member of the Communities In Schools Board, I extend sincere gratitude.
JoAnne Vigil Coppler regularly cites her government experience. Yet, her LinkedIn page shows she hasn’t worked for government in 19 years. Everything has changed since then. The job of mayor shouldn’t be a ”trainee position,” to quote Vigil Coppler. For the past 19 years, Vigil Coppler has been a Realtor. Her LinkedIn page touts her skills with “luxury” homes and “Real Estate Development.” Her realtor.com page states she has helped “numerous clients make Santa Fe their home.” How many of her clients are not from here?
Vigil Coppler has incited division by accusing the mayor of ordering police to stand down during the attack on the obelisk, according to her unnamed source. Yet the mayor and Chief Andrew Padilla have denied this accusation repeatedly. Vigil Coppler constantly criticizes the mayor, yet usually votes with him. She criticized the CHART process but ultimately voted for it. We need a mayor who is experienced, accomplished and straightforward.
A recent mailer from the Alan Webber campaign makes it look like The Santa Fe New Mexican rendered this opinion: “Vigil Coppler for mayor? Absolutely not.” In fact, this quote reflected a citizen’s opinion. You have to turn the flyer over to learn this. Misleading? Not the first time — Webber had the Don Diego statue removed in the dead of night without consulting city councilors and neglected his legal obligation to protect the obelisk, located on the Plaza, a National Historic Landmark.
I believe he failed to follow the city’s Procurement Policies when selecting an LED street-lighting contractor. He bypassed the formal bidding process, maintaining he could piggyback off Albuquerque’s selection of Dalkia for the nearly $3 million job. But Dalkia wasn’t selected by Albuquerque — Citelum was. Citelum installed Albuquerque’s LEDs, then sold the maintenance contract to Dalkia. Dalkia modified 1,047 lights against the vendor’s recommendation, resulting in a lawsuit. Webber seems to make unilateral decisions as a CEO, not as a public servant.
Will I vote for Mayor Webber? Absolutely not!
Still the best
After attending two Santa Fe mayoral forums sponsored by the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Fe Housing Action Coalition at the Lensic, it has become crystal clear to me — Mayor Alan Webber is by far the best choice for Santa Fe. I attended the forums with the intention of evaluating Councilor JoAnne Vigil Coppler. On paper she seemed somewhat reasonable. I had been disappointed in Webber over his mishandling of the unsanctioned demolition or our beautiful obelisk and the following racial rifts. Vigil Coppler seemed like someone with the ability to mend fences and repair community spirit. I wasn’t considering Alexis Martinez Johnson; her views are too far right for an artistic and liberal city like Santa Fe.
After listening to the candidates, it became clear to me that Vigil Coppler is not a leader. I expected her to offer more ideas, but ideas she was short on; criticism of the mayor seemed all she could offer. While I think Webber could have done better, I have serious doubts about both Vigil Coppler and Martinez Johnson. I’ll be casting my vote for Mayor Webber.
Porfirio “Pilo” Bueno
Whether a mayoral candidate is “from here” or not isn’t the issue. The real issue is the candidate’s match with our city’s place in history and what we represent. Santa Fe has an incredible cultural richness and diversity that demands a mayor who seeks to understand and include the values of our diverse citizenry.
Our current mayor has placed citizen input at the back end of projects such as the Zia Road development and LED lighting for the city, seeking input only after called on to do so. He unilaterally removed a statue from Cathedral Park and attempted to do that with the Plaza obelisk. He then failed to protect the obelisk. Mayor Alan Webber does not provide the culturally sensitive leadership our community needs. I will be voting for JoAnne Vigil Coppler.