Historic Rosenwald Building Purchased By City For $1.7 Million Sold By City For $350,000 In “Private Bid”; City Leases Space For APD Substation; Following The Money Leads To Mayor Tim Keller; Council Derelict In Selling Historic Building

The Rosenwald Building is a historic building located In Downtown Albuquerque on Central and built in 1910. It was the first reinforced concrete building in the city. It is a massive 42,000-square-foot three-story building with a two-story recessed entrance and simple geometric ornamentation. The building was added to the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties and the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The Rosenwald Building was renovated in 1981 and the upper floors were converted to office space. The city of Albuquerque bought the building in 2007 for $1.7 million under Mayor Chavez who left office in 2009. The building remained vacant with the city never developing it for its own use and city services.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenwald_Building

https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/city-moves-to-sell-historic-downtown-albuquerque-building/

CITY SELLS ROSENWALD BUILDING

On June 7, it was reported that the Albuquerque City Council voted to approve the sale of the historic, 3 story Rosenwald Building in the heart of downtown Albuquerque. There are two well known sayings that apply to the sale of the Rosenwald building, one when it comes to real estate and the other when it comes to politics:

In real estate: “Location, location, location is everything!”.

In politics: “Follow the Money!”

TOWNSITE QO21

Online records reveal a company called Townsite Qo21 LLC put in a private bid for $350,000, the so called appraised value of the building. The company intends to build condominiums. Qo21 is a New Mexico Domestic Limited-Liability Company created on January 16, 2019. The company’s filing status is listed as Active and its File Number is 5814235. The Registered Agent on file for this company is Edward Garcia, who is also one of the principals with the Garcia Automotive. The Garcia family, the principal owners of the Garcia Automotive group, are also major stakeholders in the Albuquerque downtown real estate.

https://www.bizapedia.com/nm/townsite-qo21-llc.html

https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_nm/5814235

The approved legislation includes a proposed lease agreement for the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) to move the downtown substation now located at the Alvarado Transportation into the first floor of Rosenwald Building in a 1,100 square foot space. Renderings include a reception area, workspace, offices, and a kitchenette. The initial lease would be just under 14 years with the option to extend it.

Links to news sources are here:

https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/apd-proposes-leasing-part-of-rosenwald-building-for-downtown-substation/

https://www.krqe.com/video/apd-new-tenants-or-massive-downtown-building/6699715/

FOLLOWING THE MONEY LEADS TO TIM KELLER

The measured finance committee formed to support Mayor Tim Keller’s bid for a second 4 year term is called “BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE”. Review of the third Financial Statement filed by Build Back ‘Burque reveals the following information:

STATED PURPOSE: “Support Mayor Tim Keller’s re-election to a second term for the city of Albuquerque”

The Chairperson for “Build Back ‘Burque” is Michelle Mayorga. According to the American Association of Political Consultants “Michelle Mayorga has spent nearly 2 decades working on campaigns, progressive issues, and in local and national administrations. She previously served as Western Field Director at the AFL-CIO, Western Political Director at the DCCC, and Coordinated Director for the Democratic Party of New Mexico in 2012.” The Treasurer for “Build Back ‘Burque” is Robert Lara. Mr. Lara is a licensed New Mexico attorney and is the former State Treasurer of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: -0-
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $22,500
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: $500.64
CLOSIING BALANCE: $21,999.36

MAJOR DONORS

ED GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $5,000
TOBY GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $5,000
ED GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $2,500
TOBY GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group:$2,500
NEW MEXICO BUILDING TRADES: $5,000

Note that Ed Garcia and Toby Garcia are listed as with Garcia Automotive Group. Both donated $7,500 each for a total of $15,000 of the $21,999.36 closing balance for “Build Back ‘Burque”.

The link to the 2021 Campaign Finance Reports for BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE is here:

https://campaignfinance.cabq.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/OrganizationDetail.aspx?OrganizationID=7112

NOT THE FIRST TIME MAKING CONTRIBUTIONS TO HELP KELLER

On January 7, 2019, Mayor Tim Keller announced the creation of the One Albuquerque Foundation. It’s a foundation formed by the city to collect donations from the general public to support city initiatives and projects. According to the city’s website page:

“… the endowment Fund raises funds in support of and to supplement measurable city priorities, including the housing voucher program for people experiencing homelessness, recruiting and retaining public safety officers, expanding opportunities for young people in Albuquerque, and equipping our workforce with the skills they need to succeed. Additional funding for these priorities will accelerate progress and help scale significant investments the City is already making go much farther, much faster.”

On February 7, 2020 the Albuquerque Journal reported that Mayor Tim Keller’s “Albuquerque One Foundation” raised nearly $250,000 with Mayor Keller involved with the solicitation of the donations. Records provided by the city pursuant to a request for public records show most of the money came from cross section of well-known businesses and individuals. The donations that make up the $250,000 are not small donations from people but are in the thousands made by a few. All told, 35 entities and individuals donated $248,250 to the fund.

A breakdown of the larger donations to Keller’s “Albuquerque One Foundation” revealed that the Garcia Automotive Group was the single largest donor and donating $50,000. Garcia Subaru is part of the Garcia Automotive which also owns several car dealerships, including Honda, Volkswagen, Infiniti, Cadillac, Mercedes, Jaguar, Land Rover and Alfa Romeo. The Garcia family also own significant parcels of commercial real estate in the Old Town Area and has a stake in the New Mexico United professional soccer team, with the city currently looking for a new site for a soccer stadium.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1421506/familiar-businesses-back-abq-foundation.html

DOWNTOWN PUBLIC SAFETY DISTRICT CREATED

It was on September 12, 2018 that Mayor Tim Keller and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) announced the creation of a “Downtown Public Safety District.” Keller made the announcement at the Alvarado Transportation Center where the substation was to be located. The announcement was made by Keller with great fanfare surrounded by all his top administrators, including APD Brass. The creation of the district was in response to a petition drive by Downtown businesses and residents demanding such a substation.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1219908/keller-unveils-new-downtown-public-safety-district.html

https://www.koat.com/article/mayor-we-re-trying-to-move-beyond-the-notion-of-a-band-aid-solution-for-downtown/23109157

The Downtown Police District was to be headed by an APD Deputy Chief with a Lieutenant and Sergeant assigned. The goal was to have a permanent police presence in Downtown Albuquerque. The congregation of the homeless in the area have been a chronic problem especially around the Alvarado Transportation Center. Consequently, a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) was to be assigned to the district to address homelessness and behavioral health needs.

Several other city departments a well as community organizations were to provide services to the homeless and mentally ill. Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR) was to increase its presence near Central Avenue during high-volume call times and by driving a loop around the district after each call for service. The Transit and Municipal Development departments were to contribute security personnel to the district in coordination with APD’s patrol plans. The Municipal Development and Solid Waste departments were to expand the use of street cleaning machines throughout Downtown, including alleyways, and add collection routes for Downtown businesses to address overflow of trash from Saturday nights. 5. Solid Waste was to use its Block-by-Block program to wash sidewalks and its Clean City Graffiti crew to eradicate graffiti as soon as possible.

https://www.cabq.gov/police/news/mayor-tim-keller-unveils-new-downtown-public-safety-district

SIXTY DAY TACTICAL PLAN ANNOUNCED

During the May 17, City Council meeting, City councilors asked questions regarding the safety of downtown Albuquerque on Central after two consecutive weekends of violence and mayhem. On Friday, May 7, mayhem in Downtown Albuquerque when APD Officers were called around 9 p.m. to a parking lot at Second and Central for reports of a man with a gun. The man fled, ramming a vehicle that had two women inside to escape the parking lot. Over the May 14 weekend, a shooting, sexual assault and reports of general mayhem in Downtown Albuquerque. On Sunday, May 16, APD Police said a man was shot Downtown late Sunday night after a group of motorcyclists, allegedly members of the Bandidos gang, opened fire on a car.

Valley Area Commander Josh Brown announced during the council meeting that APD will initiate a 60-day operation on May 29 in Downtown. The tactical plan will utilize DWI-units, traffic police and other investigative units. Commander Brown said the operation will run Thursdays through Sundays and there will be “zero tolerance” on modified exhaust, racing and traffic violations.

Commander Brown told city councilors that crowds have always congregated around Downtown but the problem is “outliers” who “are there strictly to commit crime.” Brown stressed that APD is not targeting the Downtown cruising scene and told councilors:

“We don’t have a problem with them, they have high-end cars that they’ve invested money into. They’re there with their families and they’re not causing problems. We’re targeting the other groups that are coming in that have nothing better to do – drinking in public, shooting guns, things like that. … Public perception is just that, it’s a perception of safety. If people don’t feel safe it’s my job to make sure that they do. ”

The link to quoted source material is here:

https://www.abqjournal.com/2392645/city-councilors-decry-downtown-chaos-apd-planning-crackdown.html

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

The City of Albuquerque owns tracts of land and buildings that are sometimes no longer needed to satisfy a public purpose. These types of properties are known as “surplus properties.” Once the Real Property Division identifies a potential surplus property, it seeks to have it declared not-essential by the City Council. Not-essential properties are then marketed for sale in accordance with City Ordinance and are sold through a bidding process. The question that remains unanswered is why was the Rosenwald Building sold in a private sale and when was it declared surplus property and not-essential?

https://www.cabq.gov/municipaldevelopment/city-real-estate-sales-services/surplus-city-properties-for-sale

Next thing you know, Keller and the City Council will want to sell the historic KIMO to developers in a private bid process so that the public will never know about it.

The sale of a building by the city on the National Register of Historic Places is what you get when you elect a Mayor and a City Council that has absolutely no clue as to the history of the city. Instead of selling the building, the City and the Mayor should have given the developer a 100 year lease, as opposed to title to the building.

In order to prevent this from ever, ever happening again, the City Council needs to enact an ordinance that strictly prevents city hall from ever selling historical buildings once bought by the city. The ordinance would mandate maintenance, repairs and remodeling as the need requires for city use.

It’s the land ownership that matters the most as to location, location, location. Once title transfers, the new property owners can do whatever they want with it, including building the proposed condos, renovate it for office space, or just hold on to it as a vacant building. The building owners can even seek to have the building declared substandard as to making it a danger for occupancy and have it torn down and build a high rise. Many a downtown structures on central have been turndown and are now dirt parking lots.

Mayor Keller and the City Council have no clue of the importance of preserving a community’s history and has forgotten the teardowns of historic structures. First there was the Franciscan Hotel and then the Alvarado. Then you had the 1970’s urban renewal that literally torn down many historical structures and residential areas with urban renewal which essentially destroyed the downtown area making it a “ghost area” as the city grew to the north east heights.

Simply put, the sale of the Rosenwald building should never of happened and was a dereliction of duty by the Mayor and City Council.

It was a sure act of stupidity on the part of Mayor Tim Keller and the Albuquerque City Council to sell a landmark building the city owns in the heart of Albuquerque on Central for the building of condos in the very area that is becoming a war zone. A question that the city council never asked is how successful has the Downtown Public Safety District located in the Alvarado Transportation center been and why does the APD need a 1,100 square foot office area in a condo building just a few blocks down from the Alvarado transportation center?

What is also pathetic is that the City Council agrees to a 14 years sub lease for a 1,100 square foot APD substation in a 42,000-square-foot three-story building. You would think the city could have at least demanded to give the city option to use the entire first floor as a substation and not a mere 1,100 square feet of it. Another question that should have been asked is if the real purpose of the APD lease is to provide police protection for a residential development?

The sale of city owned historical building is what you get when you elect a Mayor like Tim Keller who secures $65,000 for his personal agenda and election efforts and a City Council that is derelict in it duties and forgets the city’s past mistakes and its history.

Links to two related blog articles on the history of downtown and uptown Albuquerque are here:

A Brief History of Downtown Albuquerque: 1952 to 2019

A Brief History of ABQ Uptown: 1952 to 2019

Promise Made: “Gateway Won’t Be A Giant Emergency Shelter”; When It Comes To Tim Keller, Better Get It In Writing; Sheriff Gonzales Attempts “Political Plagiarism” On Homeless Crisis

“I may have promised, but I never gave no firm commitment.”

Former three term Governor Bruce King to NM legislator when King withdrew his support on legislation the legislator was sponsoring

While running for Mayor and since being elected Mayor, Tim Keller has made it known that building a city operated homeless shelter is one of his top priorities. Keller deemed that a 24-hour, 7 day a week temporarily shelter for the homeless critical towards reducing the number of homeless in the city. The city owned shelter was projected to assist an estimated 300 homeless residents and connect them to other services intended to help secure permanent housing. The new facility would have served all populations of men, women, and families. Further, the city wanted to provide a place anyone could go regardless of gender, religious affiliation, sobriety, addictions, psychotic condition or other factors.

The city facility was to have on-site case managers that would guide residents toward counseling, addiction treatment, housing vouchers and other available resources. According city officials, the new homeless shelter would replace the existing West Side Emergency Housing Center, the former jail on the far West Side. The west side facility is unsustainable costing over $1 million in transportation costs a year for the homeless. The goal was for the new homeless shelter to provide first responders an alternative destination for the people they encounter known as the “down-and-out” calls.

Notwithstanding Mayor Keller’s desire for a city run shelter, there were many critics of the proposal. The critics included downtown business organizations such as the Greater Albuquerque Business Association (GABA) and neighborhood associations that mounted strong opposition. Critics argued against mixing populations and argued that a large facility would unduly burden any one neighborhood or business area of the city. Bernalillo County officials, homeless service providers and residents of neighborhoods surrounding potential locations seriously questioned the city’s efforts for a one centralized shelter.

On November 5, 2020 voters approved a general obligation bond package of $128 million which included $14 million for the city operated 24-7 homeless shelter.

ABANDONMENT OF SINGLE GATEWAY HOMELESS SHELTER

On Wednesday, May 7, 2020, Mayor Tim Keller conducted one of his daily briefings on the City’s response to the Corona Virus. In a surprise announcement, Keller said that the city was abandoning the development concept of a single, 300-bed homeless shelter. He announced the city will be proceeding with a “multi-site approach” to the city’s homelessness crisis. Mayor Tim Keller went so far as to state that the 300 bed Gateway Center was “off the table”.

When Keller abandoned plans to build one large homeless shelter, city officials said the new multi-site approach could mean a series of “smaller facilities” throughout the community. Ostensibly, there would be no single resource hub in one large facility as was originally proposed with the 300 bed Gateway Center.

City Family and Community Services Director Carol Pierce offered insight into what the city means when it refers to small shelters and had this to say:

“We’re often talking 100 to 150 beds of emergency shelter that could be defined as a smaller shelter.”

CITY BUYS GIBSON MEDICAL CENTER FOR $15 MILLION

On Tuesday, April 6, Mayor Tim Keller held a press conference in front of the Gibson Medical Center, formerly the Lovelace Hospital, to officially announce the city had bought the massive 572,000 square-foot building that currently has a 201 bed capacity, for $15 million. The facility will be transformed into a Gateway Center for the homeless. In making the announcement, Keller said in part:

“The City of Albuquerque has officially bought the Gibson Medical Center, the cornerstone of our Gateway Center network. In total, this represents the largest capital investment that Albuquerque has ever made for the unhoused. We have roughly 5,000 homeless people. … what we’re looking at here is to move past this question of where … No matter how you feel about it, we’ve answered that question .”

After his April 6 press conference, Keller came under severe criticism for his failure to reach a consensus and take community input before the Gibson Medical Center was purchased. Keller said he planned to confer with residents in the future. Keller made it clear either way, like it or not, the site has now been selected and the Gibson Medical facility will be used to service the homeless population as a Gateway Center.

On Friday, April 9, neighbors who feel they have been ignored and overlooked in the planning process and being asked to shoulder too big of a burden protested near the site. Some held signs with the messages:

“NO INPUT, NO INFO, NO FAITH IN GATEWAY”
“KELLER LIES ABOUT SIZE”
“I VOTED FOR A SUBSTATION AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY MEGA SHELTER”
“KELLER NEVER ASKED US”
“GATEWAY = KELLER’S ART”
“KELLER NEVER ASKED US”
“MAYOR KELLER, NO MORE DISRESPECT”

ABQ JOURNAL GUEST OPINION COLUMN

Since February 2018, Carol Pierce has been the city’s Director of the Family and Community Services Department appointed by Mayr Tim Keller. She earned her RN diploma from the Presbyterian School of Nursing, has an undergraduate degree from the University of Denver and earned her Master’s degree from the University of New Mexico. Ms. Pierce has more than 30 years of experience working in the health field in the public and private sectors in New Mexico. She was the Manager for the School-Based Health Center Program at the University of New Mexico, Department of Pediatrics. Ms. Pierce also spent more than a decade as a health care provider and administrator, including 9 years at Presbyterian Healthcare Services.

https://www.cabq.gov/mayor/news/mayor-keller-announces-executive-appointments

On Sunday, June 13, the Albuquerque Journal published a guest column from Pierce. In it, she makes a number of clarifications and promises regarding the Gateway Center. For that reason, the article merits publication.

Following is the Pierce ABQ Journal guest column in full with the link:

“GATEWAY WON’T BE A GIANT EMERGENCY SHELTER”

“With needed health resources, and as one of the multiple sites, Gibson shelter part of the City’s high-impact strategy”

“Homelessness has been in the Albuquerque spotlight for years, and the city is committed to building a system of care with community partners and working together toward solutions.
As a step toward that goal, the city purchased Gibson Medical Center (GMC) in April, building on its long history as a health hub for the community. We are expanding health services for the community and adding a Gateway Center to provide trauma-informed shelter and supportive services to those experiencing homelessness.

We continue to reach out to neighborhoods surrounding GMC and are hosting community input meetings. It’s important to address misconceptions and set the record straight about the GMC:

1) The 572,000 square feet facility will not be transformed into a giant emergency shelter with 500 beds. It will continue to serve as a health hub with existing tenants and be expanded to provide needed health resources in our community. The Gibson Health Hub will include a Gateway Center component to connect shelter participants to services and housing through individualized transition plans.

2) The city has not abandoned the dispersed shelter model in favor of a single, large shelter. The existing dispersed shelter model will continue and the Gibson Health Hub, including the Gateway Center, will add another piece to that system.

3) While medical respite for people who are unhoused will be one of the services offered at the Gibson Health Hub, this isn’t the same as shelter. Albuquerque has limited availability of medical respite beds and needs more. This is a good example of investing in services that save money down the line. Medical respite beds will provide a place for people to recover from surgeries or injuries that aren’t severe enough be hospitalized for but are too serious for them to be discharged to the street or taken care of in a shelter.

4) The city will work with community nonprofit organizations, as we already do, to operate the shelter, medical respite and support services – creating jobs in the community.

5) The Gateway Center is not a replacement for affordable housing, supportive housing or other community resources. Housing and support options are critical to helping those who come to the facility to transition into housing.

We know this Gateway Center won’t solve the issue of homelessness in Albuquerque, and this is not the end of the road – it’s another step that will expand the system of care for our unhoused neighbors. The city continues to invest in these priorities through $29.6 million in social services contracts with local partners that provide shelter and behavioral health services, along with rental assistance and case management to attain and retain housing. Our annual investment in supportive housing increased by 44% since FY18. More affordable housing will be made available through $11 million in the Workforce Housing Trust Fund and on top of the $5.4 million spent in FY21 to build/renovate affordable housing. Recently, a $21.6 million investment for emergency rental assistance added new support for landlords and tenants to keep people who are in danger of losing their homes.

This administration is making bold decisions to create change. Voters gave a clear mandate. The decision to move forward at GMC was not done in a vacuum and was the result of working on high-impact strategies with the Homeless Coordinating Council – comprised of CABQ, Bernalillo County, UNM and many community partners who sat on committees to dig into the work. Unfortunately, one of our partners, Hopeworks, which receives $3.5 million in funding from the city for supportive housing, didn’t participate much and now seems to be only interested in criticizing the progress being made instead of being part of the solution. That lack of participation apparently makes its officials unaware the city has allocated $4 million toward operations and $3.5 million toward facility maintenance and trauma-informed renovations.

The Gibson Health Hub and Gateway Center is a continuation of the city’s commitment to address the health needs in our community, as well as the needs of our unhoused neighbors. This project will complement the existing network of support in our community. Learn more at cabq.gov/unhoused.”

https://www.abqjournal.com/2399353/gateway-wont-be-giant-emergency-shelter.html

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

Most, if not all, of the promises Keller made when he was running 4 years ago, he has broken. Keller’s broken promises include not to increase taxes without a public vote, implementation of all the Department of Justice Police APD reforms, and reducing high crime rates just to mention 3.

Advocating and building of a homeless shelter is the only real promise that Mayor Tim Keller can say he has kept to some extent during his tenure as Mayor and he deserves credit for it.

Sherriff Gonzales has been in office for 6 years, the entire time the city’s crime rates have spiked. Gonzales proclaims he can do a better job than Keller and with his tough on crime policies will turn things around. Candidate for Mayor Gonzales is now making the City’s Homeless crisis a priority, something Keller has emphasized with his Gateway Homeless Shelter Project. Gonzales has done absolutely nothing for 6 years to address the homeless crisis other than having his deputies break up homeless encampments. Gonzales is now essentially committing “political plagiarism” attempting to steal the homeless issue as his instead of sticking to what he know best, which is unconstitutional law enforcement practices.

The citizens of Albuquerque, especially the neighborhoods around the Gibson Medical Center soon to be the Gibson Gateway Shelter need to keep vigilant to make sure it is not transformed into a 300 to 500 bed facility despite the promises made by Director Pierce. As is the case with all Mayors and their appointed Directors, eventually they all come and go, but the Gateway Shelter is here to stay and could be easily transformed into a Mega Shelter despite promises made the Keller Administration.

What is needed is to get the promises made in writing from Mayor Tim Keller and his Department Director Carol Pierce. To that end, the Albuquerque City Council needs to enact a resolution outlining all the promises made by Director Pierce to make sure we have a “firm commitment” and not just broken promises in the future.

Links to two related blog article are here:

Führer Trump’s Favorite Democrat Sherriff Manny Gonzales Runs For Mayor; A DINO And Law Enforcement Dinosaur

Mayor Tim Keller’s Promises Made, Promises Broken As He Seeks Second Term; Voters Will Decide If Keller “Has Done A Good Job”

ABQ City Clerk June 14 City Council Races Nominating Petition Signatures And Qualifying Contribution Tally; City Council Measured Finance Committee Established; Issues Identified

On the November 2 election ballot will be the 5 odd numbered city council districts of 9 city council seats. The council seats up for election are City Council seats 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9.

Albuquerque City Councilors are paid $30,600 annually and the Council President earns $32,600 annually. They are also eligible to join the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) and earn a pension after they have served 5 full years. Health Insurance is also made available to them.

From May 31 to July 5, 2021, publicly finance candidates for city council are required to collect both nominating petition signatures and well as $5.00 qualifying donations for public financing. .

On Friday June 11, the Albuquerque City Clerk updated the petition and qualifying contribution tally in the city council races. Following are those tallies:

PROCESSED PETITION SIGNATURES:

All City Council candidates must gather 500 qualifying signatures from registered voters within the district the candidate wishes to represent. As of Tuesday June 14, following are the City Clerk numbers for Processed Petition Signatures in each of the city council districts

DISTRICT 1 CITY COUNCIL

EDITORS NOTE: Petition signature tallies for Victor Segura are no longer listed by the City Clerk as a candidate and he has ostensibly dropped out the race.

LAN SENA (Incumbent)

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 61
Rejected Petition Signatures: 9
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 439
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 12%

DISTRICT 3 CITY COUNCIL

KLARISSA PENA (Incumbent)

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 113
Rejected Petition Signatures: 32
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 387
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 23%

BENJAMIN TELLES

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: -0-
Rejected Petition Signatures: -0-
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 500
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: -0-

ANTHONY ZAMORA

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 23
Rejected Petition Signatures: -0-
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 477
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 5%

DISTRICT 5 CITY COUNCIL

CYNTHIA BORREGO (Incumbent)

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 59
Rejected Petition Signatures: 6
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 441
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 12%

DAN LEWIS

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 295
Rejected Petition Signatures: 13
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 205
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 59%

PHILLIP RAMIREZ

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 8
Rejected Petition Signatures: -0-
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 492
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 2%

DISTRICT 7 CITY COUNCIL

EMILIE DE ANGELIS

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 70
Rejected Petition Signatures: 17
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 430
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 14%

TAMMY FIEBELKORN

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 111
Rejected Petition Signatures: 9
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 389
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 22%

TRAVIS KELLERMAN

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 86
Rejected Petition Signatures: 18
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 414
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 17%

MAURO WALDEN-MONTOYA

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 70
Rejected Petition Signatures: 4
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 430
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 14%

ANDRES VALDEZ SR

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 108
Rejected Petition Signatures: 22
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 392
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 22%

DISTRICT 9 CITY COUNCIL

ROB GRILLEY JR

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 47
Rejected Petition Signatures: 1
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 453
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 9%

RENEE GROUT

Required Petition Signatures: 500
Verified Petition Signatures: 125
Rejected Petition Signatures: 24
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 375
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 25%

https://www.cabq.gov/vote/candidate-information/2021-candidates/petition-qualifying-contribution-tally-1

PROCESSED QUALIFYING CONTRIBUTIONS

From May 31 to July 5, 2021, the same time frame for gathering nominating signatures, publicly financed candidates for City Council must gather the $5.00 qualifying donations. The number of qualifying donations required and the amount of public financing given vary in each city council district based on the population of registered voters.

DISTRICT 1 CITY COUNCIL

City Council District 1 candidates who qualify for public finance will be given $41,027.

EDITORS NOTE: Qualifying donation tallies for Victor Segura are no longer listed by the City Clerk as a candidate and he has ostensibly dropped out the race.

LAN SENA

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 411
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 52
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 4
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 359
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 13%

DISTRICT 3 CITY COUNCIL

City Council District 3 candidates who qualify for public finance will be given $40,000.

KLARISSA PENA

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 315
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 89
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 8
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 226
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions:28%

BENJAMIN TELLES

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 315
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: -0-
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: -0-
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 315
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: -0-

ANOTHONY ZAMORA

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 315
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 17
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 1
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 298
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 5%

DISTRICT 5 CITY COUNCIL

City Council District 5 candidates who qualify for public finance will be given: $50,489.

CYNTHIA BORREGO (INCUMBENT)

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 505
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 70
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 6
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 435
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions:14%

DAN LEWIS

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 505
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 311
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 9
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 194
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 62%

PHILLIP RAMIREZ

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 505
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 4
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: -0-
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 501
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 1%

DISTRICT 7 CITY COUNCIL

City Council District 7 candidates who qualify for public finance will be given $44,194.

EMILIE DE ANGELIS

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 442
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 14
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: -0-
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 428
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3%

TAMMY FIEBELKORN

Required Petition Signatures: 442
Verified Petition Signatures: 91
Rejected Petition Signatures: 1
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 351
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 21%

TRAVIS KELLERMAN

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 442
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 60
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 382
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions:14%

MAURO WALDEN-MONTOYA

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 442
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 51
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 391
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 12%

ANDRES VALDEZ SR

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 442
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 79
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 12
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 364
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 18%

DISTRICT 9 CITY COUNCIL

City Council District 9 candidates who qualify for public finance will be given $41,791.

ROB GRILLEY JR

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 418
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 32
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 1
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 386
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 8%

RENEE GROUT

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 418
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 119
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 23
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 299
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 28%

https://www.cabq.gov/vote/candidate-information/2021-candidates/petition-qualifying-contribution-tally-1

MEASURED FINANCE COMMITTEE FORMED TO PROMOTE AND OPPOSE CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

Under the City of Albuquerque’s campaign finance laws, a Measure Finance Committee is a political action committee (PAC), person or group that supports or opposes a candidate or ballot measure within the City of Albuquerque. Measure Finance Committees are required to register with the City Clerk within five (5) days once they have raised or spent more than $250 towards their purpose. Measure finance committees are not bound by the individual contribution limits and business bans like candidates. No Measure Finance Committee is supposed to coordinate their activities with the individual candidates running for office, but this is a very gray area as to what constitutes coordination of activities and it is difficult to enforce.

On June 7, a Measured Finance Committee Registration was filed with the City Clerk identified as Albuquerque Ahead:

STATED PURPOSE: “To support those candidates for city council who will move Albuquerque ahead and oppose those who will not.”

The Chairperson is identified as Jill Michel, the Treasurer is identified as Andrew Thornton and the alternate contact is identified as Maralyn Beck.

On June 9, Albuquerque Ahead the required third financial state for the time period of May 4, 2021 to June 7, 2021

CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: -0-
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $2,100
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: -0-
CLOSIING BALANCE: $2,100

MAJOR DONORS

Taylor Hall, Dallas, Texas, Food Services (SODEXO): $300
Azeez Hindi, Not currently employed: $200
Lois Hindi, Not currently employed: $1,000
Greg Bendis, Reviticell, Office and Adminitrative Occupations: $100
James Grout, Phoenix, Arizona, Financial Investments: $500

https://campaignfinance.cabq.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/OrganizationDetail.aspx?OrganizationID=7127

MAJOR EXPENDITURES TOTAL: -0-

The link to the third 2021 Campaign Finance Report for Albuquerque Ahead is here:

https://campaignfinance.cabq.gov/PublicSite/Reports/FetchReportToPDF.aspx

ISSUES FOR CANDIDATES TO THINK ABOUT AND TO BE ASKED ABOUT

Before signing any petitions or donating to candidates, voters should know where candidates stand on the issues they care about and what they will do if elected. A few questions and issues candidates for City Council need to think about and disclose their positions on include any of the following:

CITY PERSONNEL AND SERVICES

1.As an elected city councilor, you will be tasked to vote on and on and approve the Mayor’s major appointments. Should the current Chief Administrative Officer, City Attorney, Chief of Police, Fire Department Chief, Chief of Staff, Chief Operations Officer and all other current department directors be replaced?
2. Are you in favor of a state “right to work statute” that would impact or eliminate city employee unions?
3. Should city unions be prohibited from endorsing candidates for municipal office?
4. Are you in favor of privatizing city services or work such as public safety, the 311 call center operations, the bus system or the maintenance and repair work done at city facilities such as the Bio Park?

APD AND CRIME:

1.What is your position on the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree and mandated reforms?
2. The city and APD have been working under a federal court approved settlement agreement for 6 years after the Department of Justice found a “culture of aggression” and the use of deadly force. The city has spent millions a year on the reforms and the city is no closer to the dismissal of the case. Is it time to have APD placed in receivership of the federal court or should the case just be dismissed?
3. What would you do to enhance civilian oversight of APD and the implementation of the Department of Justice mandated reforms?
4. Should the APD Chief, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chiefs and APD command staff be replaced with a national search and replaced by “outsiders”?
5. Should a national search be conducted for a new law enforcement management team to assume control of APD and make changes and implement the DOJ consent decree mandated reforms?
6. Should the function of Internal Affairs be removed from APD and civilianized under the city Office of Inspector General, the Internal Audit Department and the City Human Resources Department?
7. What are your plans for increasing APD staffing levels and what should those staffing levels be?
8. Since 2010, there have been 41 police officer involved shootings and the city has paid out $50 million to settle deadly force and excessive use of force cases. Should the City return to a “no settlement” policy involving alleged police misconduct cases and require a trial on the merits or a damages jury trial?
9 What are your plans or solutions to bringing down high property and violent crime rates in Albuquerque?
10. Should APD personnel or APD resources be used in any manner to enforce federal immigration laws and assist federal immigration authorities?
11. Should APD and the Bernalillo County Sherriff’s Office be abolished and consolidated to form one regional law enforcement agency, combining resources with the appointment of a governing civilian authority and the appointment of a Superintendent of Public Safety?

THE ECONOMY

1.What strategy would you implement to bring new industries, corporations and jobs to Albuquerque?
2. Albuquerque’s major growth industries include health care, transportation, manufacturing, retail and tourism with an emerging film industry. What programs would you propose to help or enhance these industries?
3. Do you intend to keep the current Director of the City’s Economic Development Department and support staff?
4.The current budget for the Economic Development is $7.5 million out of a $1.2 Billion Budget, would you be in favor of more than tripling the budget to allow for investment grants?
5. To what extent should tax increment districts, industrial revenue bonds and income bonds be used to spur Albuquerque’s economy?
6. What financial incentives do you feel the city can or should offer and provide to the private sector to attract new industry and jobs to Albuquerque, and should that include start-up grants or loans with “claw back” provisions?
7. What sort of private/public partnership agreements or programs should be implemented to spur economic development?
8. What sort of programs or major projects or facilities, if any, should the city partner with the State or County to spur economic development?
9. What programs can the city implement to better coordinate its economic development with the University of New Mexico and the Community College of New Mexico (CNM) to insure an adequately trained workforce for new employers locating to Albuquerque?
10. Are you in favor of the enactment of a gross receipt tax or property tax dedicated strictly to economic development, programs or construction projects to revitalize Albuquerque that would be enacted by the City Council or be voter approved?
11. What programs can Albuquerque implement to insure better cooperation with Sandia Labs and the transfer of technology information for economic development.
12. On September 6, 2019, a $29 million infrastructure bond tax package was approved by the Albuquerque City Council at the Mayor’s request to be financed by the City’s Lodger’s Tax. The lodger tax bond package was labeled as a “Sports – Tourism Lodger Tax ” because it was to be used for a number of projects around the city labeled as “sports tourism opportunities.” The lodger tax is paid by those staying at hotels and vacation rentals in the city and by ordinance is to be used to promote tourism, not athletics facilities for general population use. Do you feel that this was appropriate?

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

1.What is your position on the rewriting of the comprehensive zoning code which was an attempt to bring “clarity and predictability” to the development regulations and to attract more “private sector investment”? Critics say it has essentially “gutted” sector development plans by the development community and it has repealed all sector development plans designed to protect neighborhoods and their character.
2. Should the City of Albuquerque seek the repeal by the New Mexico legislature of laws that prohibit city annexation of property without county approval?

EDUCATION

1.Should the City of Albuquerque have representation or be included on the Albuquerque School board, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents and the Community College of New Mexico Board?
2. What should the city do to help reduce high school dropout rates?
3. Should the City of Albuquerque advocate to the New Mexico legislature increasing funding for early child care development programs and intervention programs with increased funding from the permanent fund?
4. What education resources should or can the city make available to the Albuquerque school system?

POVERTY AND THE HOMELESS

1.What should be done to reduce the homeless population in Albuquerque?
2. What services should the City provide to the homeless and poor if any?
3. Should the City continue to support the “coming home” program?
4. Should the city be more involved with the county in providing mental health care facilities and programs?
5. The city has purchased the 530,000 square foot Gibson Medical Center for $15 Million. Should the facility be converter to one, single 24/7 homeless shelter facility for 300 or more homeless as a centralized facility or should the city use a “multi-site approach” to the city’s homelessness crisis and have a number of smaller shelters that would only house up to 50 to 75 people?

TAXATION AND PROJECT FINANCING

1.Are you in favor of increasing the city’s current gross receipts tax or property taxes to pay for essential services and make up for lost gross receipt tax revenues caused in part by the repeal of the “hold harmless” provision and that has mandated budget and personnel cuts during the last 7 years?
2. Do you feel that all increases in gross receipts taxes should be voter approved?
3. The City has borrowed over $63 million dollars over the past two years to build “pickle ball” courts, baseball fields and the ART bus project down central by bypassing voters and using revenue bonds as the financing mechanism to pay for big capital projects. Do you feel revenue bonds is an appropriate funding mechanism for large capital projects?

OTHER ISSUES

1. What is your position on the mandatory sick leave initiative known as the “Healthy Workforce” ordinance mandating private businesses to pay sick leave to employees?
2. Should the City and the City Attorney’s office enforce the increase in the minimum wage and mandatory sick leave initiatives?
4. If you qualify to be a public finance candidate, will you truly be a public finance candidate or do you intend to rely upon measured finance committee’s set up to promote your candidacy?
5. Should major capital improvement projects such as the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) project, be placed on the ballot for voter approval?
6. What is your position on the ART Bus project and should the line be dismantled and should historic Route 66 be restored to its original number of lanes and the ART Bus platforms dedicated to new uses ?
7. Should Albuquerque become a “sanctuary city” by City Council resolution or by a public vote or not at all?

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

The city cannot afford city councilors who makes promises and who offer only eternal hope for better times that result in broken campaign promises. What is needed are city councilors who actually know what they are doing, who will make the hard decisions without an eye on their next election or higher office, not make decisions only to placate their base and please only those who voted for them. What’s needed is a healthy debate on solutions and new ideas to solve our mutual problems, a debate that can happen only with a contested election. A highly contested races reveal solutions to our problems.

Voters are entitled to and should expect more from candidates than fake smiles, slick commercials, and no solutions and no ideas. Our City needs more than promises of better economic times and lower crime rates for Albuquerque and voters need to demand answers and hold elected officials accountable.

Measured Finance Committees For Mayor File 3rd Campaign Finance Reports; 2 Gonzales MFC’s Raise $69,3224; 1 Keller MFC Raises $22,500; A Very Uncomfortable Feeling

From April 17 to June 19, 2021, publicly financed candidates for Mayor must gather both 3,000 nominating petition signatures and 3,779 qualifying donations of $5.00 from registered voters within the City to secure $661,309.25 in public financing.

Both incumbent Mayor Tim Keller and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales have collected the 3,000 signatures from registered voters within the City and will be on the November 2, City of Albuquerque ballot for Mayor.

Mayor Tim Keller’s campaign has successfully collected more than the required 3,779 qualifying $5.00 donations having collected 3,945 qualifying $5.00 donations and his campaign has been be given $661,309.25 in public financing.

It is more likely than not that Sheriff Manny Gonzales will also collect the 3,779 qualifying $5.00 donations having collecting 92% of the qualifying donations using a professional canvasing company and he has until June 19 to gather the remaining donations.

https://www.cabq.gov/vote/candidate-information/2021-candidates/petition-qualifying-contribution-tally-1

MEASURED FINANCE REPORTS

Under the City of Albuquerque’s campaign finance laws, a Measure Finance Committee is a political action committee (PAC), person or group that supports or opposes a candidate or ballot measure within the City of Albuquerque. Measure Finance Committees are required to register with the City Clerk within five (5) days once they have raised or spent more than $250 towards their purpose.

Measure finance committees are not bound by the individual contribution limits and business bans like candidates. No Measure Finance Committee is supposed to coordinate their activities with the individual candidates running for office, but this is a very gray area as to what constitutes coordination of activities and it is difficult to enforce.

According to City Clerk records, 4 measured finance committees have been formed for the 2021 municipal election. Two are measured finance committees raising money, promoting and spending money on behalf of Manny Gonzales, one promoting Mayor Tim Keller and one promoting fire fighter union interests.

The measured finance committees and what they have raised according to the Third Campaign Finance Reports filed on June 14 , 2021 for the time period of May 4 to June 7 are as follows:

1. RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR A BETTER ALBUQUERQUE: $10,550 Cash Balance

STATED PURPOSE: “Support Albuquerque mayoral candidate who will improve the quality of life for its citizens as well as oppose candidates that are detrimental to the future growth and safety of Albuquerque.”

The chairperson of the “Retired Law Enforcement for a Better Albuquerque is Jason Katz, a retired Chief Deputy of BCSO and the Treasurer is listed as Sistine Jaramillo. No background information could be located on Sistine Jaramillo.

CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: $550
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $10,000
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: -0-
CLOSIING BALANCE: $10,550

MAJOR DONORS

LORI HENZ, SELF EMPLOYED, Retail Sales: $5,000
DEBRA BRINKLEY, employed by City of Albuquerque: $5,000

MAJOR EXPENDITURES: None reported

The link to the 2021 Campaign Finance Reports for RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR A BETTER ALBUQUERQUE is here:

https://campaignfinance.cabq.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/OrganizationDetail.aspx?OrganizationID=7104

2. SAVE OUR CITY: $58,774.17 Cash Balance

STATED PURPOSE: To address the serious crime and leadership problem in Albuquerque.

The Chairperson of “Save Our City” is Sam Vigil and the Treasurer is Republican State Representative Bill Rehm. Sam Vigil is the husband Jacquiline Vigil who was gun down in her car backing out of the family home driveway in the early morning hours as she was leaving for the gym.

Democrat political operative James Hallinan is reported to be the Director of the “Save Our City” spearheading the fundraising efforts. Hallinan was the spokesperson for Manny Gonzales at one time and was also the spokesperson for Attorney General Hector Balderas. Hallinan worked on Governor Lujan Grisham’s election campaign and became embroiled in controversy when he accused candidate Lujan Grisham of throwing water on his crotch and grabbing his crotch. Hallinan sued the governor after she was elected and the campaign has paid him at least $67,000 notwithstanding her denying the allegation. Hallinan has now opened his own political consulting firm and no doubt is being paid for his service to “Save Our City.”

CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: $16,495.00.
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $52,500.01.
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: $10,2020.84.
CLOSIING BALANCE: $58,774.17.

MAJOR DONORS

JIMMY DASKALOS, Real Estate Professional: $10,000
BEN SPENCER, Real Estate Professional: $10,000
DOUG PETERSON, Peterson Properties: $5,000
CLIFF BARBERI, Advanced Tower Services: $5,000
LINDA FRESQUEZ, Fresquez Concessions, Inc.: $5,000
GARY ARCHULETA, National Distributing Company: $5,000
KENNETH WELCH, Boiler Repairs and Service: $2,500.
CAROL BROWN, Retired: $2,500
JOE CRUZ, Occupation/Employer: Star Paving Company: $2,000
CHRISTOPHER PACHECO, Pluma Construction: $2,000
MICHAEL MONTOYA, Big M Plumbing: $1,000
SERGIO BERMUDEZ, El Mesquite Market: $1,000
MARC POWELL, NM Dealer Support Services: $1,000
MARC POWELL, Independent Auto Dealers: $500

MAJOR EXPENDITURES TOTAL: $10, 220.84 Cash Balance

GABRIELLE RAEL for Fundraising and Administrative Support: $3,600
BOBBI SHEARER, Full Compliance Consulting: $2,840.68
GABRIELLE RAEL for Fundraising and Administrative Support: $2,840
GABRIELLE RAEL for Fundraising and Administrative Support: $1,600

The link to the 2021 Campaign Finance Reports for SAVE OUR CITY is here:

https://campaignfinance.cabq.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/OrganizationDetail.aspx?OrganizationID=7109

3. BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE: $21,999.36 Cash Balance

As of April 26, one measured finance committees has been formed to support Mayor Tim Keller’s bid for a second 4 year term . The Measured finance committee is identified as “ BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE”.

STATED PURPOSE: “Support Mayor Tim Keller’s re-election to a second term for the city of Albuquerque”

The Chairperson for “Build Back ‘Burque” is Michelle Mayorga. According to the American Association of Political Consultants “Michelle Mayorga has spent nearly 2 decades working on campaigns, progressive issues, and in local and national administrations. She previously served as Western Field Director at the AFL-CIO, Western Political Director at the DCCC, and Coordinated Director for the Democratic Party of New Mexico in 2012.” The Treasurer for “Build Back ‘Burque” is Robert Lara. Mr. Lara is a licensed New Mexico attorney and is the former State Treasurer of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: -0-
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $22,500
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: $500.64
CLOSIING BALANCE: $21,999.36

MAJOR DONORS

ED GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $5,000
TOBY GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $5,000
NEW MEXICO BUILDING TRADES: $5,000
ED GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $2,500
TOBY GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group:$2,500
JIM MADDOX, Maddox & Co Real Estate: $1,000
DOUG BROWN, Retired, Santa Fe: $500

MAJOR EXPENDITURES:

SQUARE INC., Credit Card Processing $439

The link to the 2021 Campaign Finance Reports for BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE is here:

https://campaignfinance.cabq.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/OrganizationDetail.aspx?OrganizationID=7112

4. ABQ FIREPAC (NO FINANCE REPORTS FILED)

The stated purpose is to “ SUPPORT CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT PUBLIC SAFETY & FIRE FIGHTER ISSUES”. What this measured finance committee is the local firefighter’s union. Every election year, the local firefighters get very involved with municipal elections with endorsements and contributing to campaign efforts. The firefighters union not only provides campaign materials such as sign, but also provide volunteers for phone banking and other activities. Four years ago, ABQFIREPAC reported that it raised and spent $67,000 on the Mayor’s and City Council races.

CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: -0-
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: -0-
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: -0-
CLOSIING BALANCE: -0-

MAJOR DONORS: None reported

MAJOR EXPENDITURES: None Report

The link to the 2021 Campaign Finance Reports for ABQ FIREPAC BUILD BACK is here:

https://campaignfinance.cabq.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/OrganizationDetail.aspx?OrganizationID=7121

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

There are four and a half months left before the November 2 election. No privately financed candidates running have announced running for Mayor and therefore Tim Keller and Manny Gonzales are likely the only two who will be running for Mayor with both being given $661,309.25 in public financing. The measured finance committees are beginning to put the “pedal to the metal” to raise as much money as possible for Keller and Gonzales. It’s likely when it is all said in done, at least $1.1 Million will be spent on behalf of each candidate.

There is little doubt that the city’ high violent crime rate will be the deciding issue in the 2021 years Mayor’s race. The spiking homicide statistics and accompanying headlines are the very type of headlines and statistics that should give both Mayor Tim Keller and Sheriff Manny Gonzales nightmares as they run against each other for Mayor. The statistics should mark the end of both of their political careers, but they don’t.

The problem is that neither candidate has a stellar reputation or has accomplished much over the past 4 years for getting things done in bringing down the city’s high crime rates. The crime rates are just as bad in the county as they are in the city which should not give Gonzales any comfort.

MAYOR TIM KELLER

Tim Keller has been Mayor for 4 years of the 5 years where the city has ranked in the top 100 most violent cities. In 2017, Candidate Tim Keller campaigned to get elected Mayor on the platform of implementing the Department of Justice (DOJ) mandated reforms, increasing the size of APD, returning to community-based policing and promising to bring down skyrocketing crime rates. Mayor Tim Keller has tried repeatedly to take credit for crime rates being on the decline in all categories other than violent crime offenses. Now he is proclaiming the city’s spiking homicide rate is what is happening all over the country.

Keller never mentions the fact that since being sworn in as Mayor and prior to the national spike in homicides the city’s homicide rates have broken historical records despite his 4 violent crime prevention programs. The truth is the city’s crimes rates have increased each year during his term. This coming from a mayor who campaigned and got elected on the platform to bring down the city’s crime rates.

SHERIFF MANNY GONZALES

Sherriff Gonzales has been in office for 6 years, the entire time the city’s crime rates have spiked. Gonzales proclaims he can do a better job than Keller and with his tough on crime policies will turn things around. Gonzales also is now making the City’s Homeless crisis a priority, something Keller has emphasized with his Gateway Homeless Shelter Project. Gonzales has done absolutely nothing for 6 years to address the homeless crisis other than having his deputies break up homeless encampments.

Gonzales forgets he has been Sheriff longer than Keller has been Mayor and the County’s crime rates are just as bad. For 5 years, Sheriff Gonzales did next to nothing in helping APD bring down violent crime rates saying crime in the city was not in his jurisdiction as a Bernalillo County Sheriff, that is until he decided to run for Mayor. Gonzales proclaimed that businesses and residents in the South East Heights, which has often been referred to as the War Zone, contacted Gonzales and he decided to do law enforcement sweeps in the are and hold press conferences about his success no doubt to garner favor with voters and make Keller and the APD Chief look bad. It’s called political opportunism at its worst.

Then there is the matter of the Department of Justice Consent decree mandated 271 reforms after APD was found to engaged in a pattern of excessive force and deadly force resulting in a finding of a culture of aggression. It is well known in the law enforcement community that Gonzales has a major disagreement with the mandated reforms, many which Gonzales has resisted in his own Sheriff’s Department such as mandatory use of lapel cameras and civilian oversight of law enforcement. During Gonzales tenure as Sheriff, his department has had deputies sued for excessive use of force, deadly force, racial profiling and civil rights violations resulting in millions paid out by the county in settlements.

A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE FEELING

On June 14, the city had its 55 homicide for the year, another record broken. The city is facing a very hot summer during an election year in more ways than one. Now that the country, state and city are beginning to open up and returning to normal after over a year in quarantine from the pandemic, it’s likely our violent crime rates will increase and the homicide rates will break an all-time record of over 100 before the end of the year.

A very real possibility is the city or the county will have a major bloody, violent tragedy before the election day involving either APD or BCSO.

It happened on March 16, 2014 with the tragic killing of mentally ill homeless camper James Boyd by APD. The Boyd family settled the case for $5 million. The responsible SWAT officers were charged with murder, but were never convicted after a jury could not reach a verdict.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has also had at least 2 tragic killings of mentally impaired by Sheriff’s Deputies. On September 14, 2015, Fidencio Duran, 88, who was partially blind and deaf and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, died after he was shot numerous times with “pepper ball” guns by BCSO Deputy Sheriffs. The Duran family was paid $1,495,000 to settle the case. On July 28 2019, Elisha Lucero, who suffered psychosis and schizophrenia, was shot at least 21 times by BCSO Deputy Sheriffs. The Lucero family was paid $4 Million to settle the case. Gonzales went to the defense of his Sheriff Deputies, said they did nothing wrong, said the settlements were excessive and even went so far as to give the deputies commendations in defiance of the settlements.

If another tragedy occurs involving APD or BCSO, it will test the law enforcement leadership of Mayor Keller, and his appointed APD Chief Medina, or Sheriff Manny Gonzales. If either fail in the public’s eye, the outcome of the election will be likely decided by a landslide victory for one candidate.

“Problem Properties Program” and “ADAPT Program” Substandard Replacements For “Safe City Strike Force”; Nuisance Abatement Actions And Code Enforcement Takes Months, Not Years, Without Condemnations; Photo Ops Is What Keller Is All About

On Wednesday, June 9, the Keller Administration held a news conference to reveal yet another program to deal with substandard or vacant commercial and residential properties that have become magnets for crime and that bring down property values. The new program is dubbed the “Problem Properties Program” (PPP) and it consists of an online roster administered by the City’s Code Enforcement Division of Albuquerque’s “Top 15 Problematic Properties. The city now has a real property version of the FBI’s most wanted felony list. (Que “Law and Order” music.)

PPP PROGRAM EXPLAINED

Albuquerque’s code enforcement division claims the city metro area has upwards of 300 vacant, substandard and uninhabitable residential homes. There is a percentage of the properties that require a high level of city code enforcement. It will be these properties that will make up the new the new “Top 15 Problematic Properties” list. The overall goal is an effort to expedite city action on the properties to get them into code compliance whether through rehabilitation or demolition.

According to city officials, the PPP Program is intended to raise the profile of substandard properties in order to encourage property owners maintain their propertied and make repairs to bring them up to mandated housing codes to allow occupancy. The intent is to also to show neighbors that the city is aware of the properties and is attempting to address them through effective code enforcement.

As of Wednesday June 9, the Problematic Properties Program includes a webpage highlighting the 15 worst dilapidated, neglected, or abandoned residential properties. The public can scroll through the list of properties and see the city’s current mitigation efforts, if the structures are being remodeled or being sold. The City is hoping the PPP site will help the city get in contact with property owners, who can sometimes be hard to track down and restore the buildings faster. According to city officials, it’s a process that can normally take years.

The link to the city PPP Program web site listing the 15 properties and giving photos of the properties, addresses and status is here:

https://www.cabq.gov/planning/code-enforcement-zoning/problematic-properties-program

Links to news sources and quotes are here:

https://www.krqe.com/news/politics-government/watch-live-albuquerque-officials-introduce-problematic-properties-program/

https://www.koat.com/article/grossed-out-by-properties-in-abq/36678463

https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/albuquerque-city-council-votes-to-condemn-3-properties/6135075/?cat=500

https://www.abqjournal.com/2398437/city-highlights-problematic-properties-ex-demolition-or-rehabilitation-are-among-possible-options.html

CONDEMNATION PROCESS

On Monday, June 7, the City Council voted to condemn three properties located at 400 Mesilla St SE, 404 Mesilla St SE and 5912 Sweetwater Dr NW. Residents in the area who live near the properties on Mesilla said they have progressively gotten worse over the years and there have been drug deals and prostitution going on the properties.

400 Mesilla in particular has been the site of repeated criminal activity including a fire and numerous responses by the Albuquerque Police Department over the past year. The city already has filed upwards of $20,000 in liens against the property to cover board-ups and cleaning. The property has been in its current condition for about 4½ years. The property owner has been contacted repeatedly by city code enforcement and despite repeated assurances that it would be fixed, nothing has been done to bring the property into compliance.

When condemnations occur, the Planning Department city code enforcement division prepares condemnation resolutions that are presented to the City Council that make findings that the structures on the property are an immediate danger or threat to the public health, safety and welfare and constitute and attractive nuisance and have become magnets for crime. The resolutions usually include findings of structural damage and code violations that render the buiding “substandard” to the extent that they cannot be occupied nor repaired.

The city gives the owner at least one year before pursuing demolition of a substandard property, but it often takes longer than that. Ultimately, the city’s goal is compliance to avoid tear downs with code enforcement working with owners who express a willingness to address violations.

During the June 9 news conference revealing the PPP program, Planning Director Brennon Williams, who oversees the City Code Enforcement Division had this to say:

“At least 12 months has to be provided to a property owner that has a property like this and that’s a requirement not only state statute but under the uniform housing code. This is a long process, and it’s a long process intentionally. When we’re talking about knocking down somebody’s house or apartment building. We want to give that property owner every opportunity to come forward. … We make every effort from an enforcement standpoint to let a property owner know what the issue is and what can be done to correct it. It’s only when we don’t get any communication back and forth … [and] good faith efforts are not made that we take action.”

During the June 9 press conference, City officials said dealing with these properties can take up to six years. Never one to miss a photo op, Mayor Tim Keller stood in front of 400 Mesilla St SE, 404 Mesilla St SE to take credit for the PPP Program and demolitions and had this to say:

“Folks will be able to view where the progress is and also understand what the mitigation efforts are. Maybe if we shine a light on this, things will change faster than (in) six years. … ”

ADAPT PROGRAM

It was two years ago in July, 2019 that Mayor Tim Keller announced the creation of the “Addressing Dilapidated and Abandoned Property Team” (ADAPT). The ADAPT program supposedly relies on new data to target the worst 100 properties in the city. ADAPT is a program in the Fire Marshal’s Office that focuses on abandoned and dilapidated properties that have a pattern of serious criminal activity or pose an immediate threat to public health, safety and welfare.

https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/program-targeting-nuisance-properties-sees-early-success-/5636532/

According the city’s web site for the ADAPT Program:

“Utilizing the ArcGIS mapping system, ADAPT will compile and filter information from the data systems of Albuquerque Fire Rescue, Albuquerque Police Department, the Code Enforcement Division of the Planning Department, 311, and other referrals. ADAPT will assign a point value to each specific response type based on the severity. Properties [are] in four sub- categories:

Residential
Multifamily
Non Residential
Undeveloped

Each category has a different point value threshold that will be considered critical. This point system will be a fair and equitable way to help identify criminal nuisance properties that will be placed into the ADAPT program.

ADAPT … leads a full inspection of the property with other City departments. The first step is to attempt to work with property owners to clearly identify the source of the criminal activity, and to assist in establishing a plan of action to correct any violations and to improve the property. If the owner cannot improve the property or fails to meet the plan of action goals, ADAPT will move to legal action.

Nuisance properties that do not rise to the level of the ADAPT program are referred to the Code Enforcement Division of the Planning Department to address the deficiencies or problems affecting it. Suspected criminal activity may also be referred to APD.”

https://www.cabq.gov/fire/adapt-program

SAFE CITY STRIKE FORCE SUCCESS

From 2002 to 2009, the Safe City Strike Force was formed to combat blighted commercial and residential properties and Deputy City Attorney Pete Dinelli was the Director the full 7 years.

Thirty (30) to forty-five (40) representatives from the Albuquerque Police Department, the Albuquerque Fire Department, the Fire Marshal’s Office, the Planning Department Code residential and commercial code inspectors, Family Community Services and the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office participated and comprised the strike force.

Seventy (70) to one hundred fifty (150) properties a week, both residential and commercial properties would be reviewed by the Safe City Strike Force.

The Albuquerque City Council would be given weekly updates on the progress made in their districts on the nuisance properties identified by the Strike Force. The City Attorney’s office routinely conducted interventions with property owners along with their attorneys and would negotiate nuisance abatement agreements as well as voluntary tear down agreements. The Code Enforcement Division component of the Safe City Strike Force routinely prepared condemnation resolutions for enactment by the Albuquerque City Council to tear down substandard buildings, including commercial buildings.

Over 8 years, the Safe City Strike Force took civil enforcement action against some 6,500 properties, both commercial and residential properties.

The success of the Safe City Strike Force is clear and unmistakable and can be summarized.

TEAR-DOWNS AND BOARD UPS

One of the most effective tools to deal with substandard residential and commercial properties was the City Attorney component of the Safe City Strike Force to negotiate voluntary board ups and tear downs of structures where the property owner gave permission for the city to do the work and then place a lien on the property. The liens would allow the city to be reimbursed upon sale.

The Safe City Strike Force was responsible for the tear down of an entire residential block of homes located at 5th Street and Summer in the Wells Park neighborhood area located north of downtown Albuquerque. It was done without a condemnation action but a voluntary tear down agreement. It took 2 months to negotiate the agreement and to tear down the substandard residences on the property, including one commercial building. There were a total of 21 abandoned and vacant, boarded up properties that could not be repaired, owned by one elderly woman who agreed allowed a tear down of the structures by the City.

A voluntary tear down of an entire strip mall was negotiated by the Strike Force. The strip mall had been boarded up for years, beyond repair, located near the former Octopus Car Wash on Menaul Street and Eubank. The strip mall was constantly being broken into, with fires being set by the homeless, and at one time a dead body was found at the location.

Two long vacant and vandalized restaurants, the Purple Plum and a Furr’s cafeteria, both on far North-East heights Montgomery, were also torn down by the Safe City Strike Force using voluntary tear down agreements.

One year, Albuquerque experienced a large spike in meth labs where almost 90 meth labs were found and identified and where the Safe City Strike Force was asked for assistance with contamination clean up. A few of those residential properties were torn down with negotiated tear down agreements.

CENTRAL MOTELS

The Safe City Strike Force required commercial property and motel owners to make repairs and they were required to reduce calls for service and address security on their properties.

The Safe City Strike Force took code enforcement action against 48 of the 150 motels along central and forced compliance with building codes and mandated repairs to the properties. The Central motels that were demolished were not designated historical and were beyond repair as a result of years of neglect and failure to maintain and make improvements.

Central motels that had historical significance to Route 66 were purchased by the City for renovation and redevelopment.

The Central motels that the Safe City Strike Force took action against include the Gaslight (demolished), The Zia Motel (demolished), The Royal Inn (demolished), Route 66 (demolished), the Aztec Motel (demolished), the Hacienda, Cibola Court, Super-8 (renovated by owner), the Travel Inn (renovated by owner), Nob Hill Motel (renovated by owner), the Premier Motel (renovated by owner) the De Anza (purchased by City for historical significance), the No Name, the Canyon Road (demolished), Hill Top Lodge, American Inn (demolished), the El Vado (purchased by City for historical significance), the Interstate Inn (demolished).

The Safe City Strike Force was responsible for the demolition of at least seven (7) blighted motels that were beyond repair. When people were displaced by enforcement actions taken by the Safe City Strike Force, the City’s Family and Community Services Department would provide vouchers to the displaced and assist in locating temporary housing for them.

VIOLENT BARS

The Safe City Strike Force took action against violent bars on Central that were magnets for crime. Many Central bars have hundreds of calls for service a year placing a drain on law enforcement resources.

A few of the bars located on or near Central that were closed or torn down by the Safe City Strike Force include the Blue Spruce Bar, Rusty’s Cork and Bottle, the Last Chance Bar and Grill and Club 7. The Safe City Strike Force closed Club 7 and the owner was convicted of commercial code violations.

The city attorney’s office in conjunction with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office brought criminal charges against and convicted the Club 7 downtown Central Avenue bar owner that hosted a “rave” that allowed under age participants to mingle with adults and where a young girl was killed.

CONVENIENCE STORES

The Safe City Strike Force took enforcement action against a number of convenience stores on Central that had substantial calls for service to APD. In 2005, The Safe City Strike Force identified convenience stores that had an unacceptable number of “calls for service” which resulted in the convenience stores being considered a public nuisance by the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). Outdoor phones at the convenience stores used for illicit drug transactions were identified.

APD felt the convenience stores were relying upon APD to provide security at taxpayer’s expense rather than hiring their own private security company. In 2005, the Strike Force negotiate a stipulated settlement agreement with three major convenience store corporate owners of seventeen (17) convenience stores throughout Albuquerque and they agreed to pay for private security patrols.

FLEA MARKETS

The Safe City Strike Force was responsible for the closure of Louie’s Flea Market and the Star Flea Market, two Westside flea markets both on Old Coors Road South of Central. The flea markets brought down property values. Both flea markets had been around for decades and caused extreme traffic congestion on weekends they operated causing problems for the established or developing residential areas. Both flea markets were found by the Albuquerque Police Department to be locations where stolen property was being sold and both had an excessive number of calls for service.
In 2010, the previous administration began to dismantle and reduce funding for the Safe City Strike Force. At the beginning of 2018, the Safe City Strike Force had one employee, its director, and the Safe City Strike Force existed in name only.

Today in the Mayor Tim Keller Administration, the Safe City Strike Force no longer exists.

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

It absolutely false what Planning Director Brennon Williams and Mayor Tim Keller say that substandard properties can take one to six years to deal with problem properties and tear downs. Both want the public to believe condemnation by the city council is the only line of offense for tear downs. If it takes 1 to 6 years for a tear down, it’s because of sure laziness and failed commitment and leadership to get the job done.

The Safe City Strike Force and City Attorney’s office repeatedly met with many residential and commercial property owners and was able secure permission and voluntary tear down of substandard and residential and commercial properties without any need for a condemnation action. The City would do the teardowns and place a lien on the property and when it was sold, the city would be reimbursed.

The City of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico have some of the strongest nuisance abatement laws in the county. Crime rates can be brought down with civil nuisance abatement actions that protect the public health, safety and welfare of the public.

WEAK PROGRAMS

Mayor Tim Keller’s ADAPT program and the PPP Program are nothing more than extensively watered-down version of the Safe City Strike Force. Confidential sources within City Hall have said that Mayor Tim Keller felt the Safe City Strike Force had too much of an “aggressive sounding title”, he and others did not like it as fitting into his “ONE ABQ” slogan and the city wanted to soften the approach to nuisance abatement.

Confidential sources have said Mayor Keller’s first Planning Director David Campbell made it known to the housing code inspectors he felt housing code inspections and posting residential homes as “substandard” was not a priority. The former Planning Director was reluctant or refused to allow inspectors to file misdemeanor charges as was done in the past.

ADAPT is essentially a “passive aggressive” approach by the Planning Department which really has not worked, or has little success and the number of vacated, abandoned and substandard properties needing to be demolished in the city has only increased in the last 12 years. Truth be know is that it is likely there are far more vacant properties than city hall wants to acknowledge.

When dealing with meth labs, crack houses and magnets for crime, legal action by the city attorney’s office is in fact the most effective approach to crime and slumlords. What Keller fails to understand is that for residential property owners who feel the sting of crime in their neighborhoods and living next door to magnets for crime, a slogan of One ABQ is meaningless when their own quality of life is affected, not to mention a reduction in property values.

SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE

Mayor Keller’s ADAPT program and the PPP Program sends the wrong message that he wants city residents and property owners to be content and ADAPT to the fact the city really does not want to do anything at all about nuisance, substandard and abandoned properties, or at least drag things out for as long as possible. What Keller should do is to reinstate the Safe City Strike Force.

It is very disappointing that Mayor Tim Keller reneged on his decision to reinstate the Safe City Strike Force when the decision was made to replace the Safe City Strike Force with his own ADAPT program. The Strike Force was a proven and effective program and was recognized as a best practice nationally. Under Mayor Tim Keller, the program exists only in memory.

PHOTO OPS IS WHAT KELLER IS ALL ABOUT

When it comes to Mayor Tim Keller, images and press conference appear to be all that is important to him, especially now that he is running for a second term. On more than one occasion he has appeared on TV news casts to take credit for “teardowns” done by the city, and now that he is running for a second term, we can expect more. Someone should tell him he can do another press conference announcing he is reinstituting the Safe City Strike Force and maybe that will motivate him to do it.

City’s Failure To Act On Nuisance Properties Inexcusable; Mayor Keller Reneges On Reinstating Safe City Strike Force With “ADAPT”

Both Mayor Keller And Sheriff Gonzales Make Ballot; Keller Qualifies For Public Finance; Gonzales On Cusp Of Qualifying For Public Finance; Two Person Slug Fest Anticipated Unless Privately Finance Candidate Emerges

From April 17 to June 19, 2021, publicly financed candidates for Mayor must gather both 3,000 signatures from registered voters within the City and 3,779 qualifying donations of $5.00 to secure $661,309.25 in public financing.

From June 8 to August 10, 2021, privately financed candidates for Mayor must gather more than 3, 000 nominating petition signatures from registered voters within the City

PROCESSED PETITION SIGNATURES:

As of Friday June 11, following are the updated City Clerk numbers for Processed Petition Signatures starting with the candidate with the most and ending with the least collected:

MAYOR TIM KELLER

Required Petition Signatures: 3,000
Verified Petition Signatures: 4,112
Rejected Petition Signatures: 597
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: – 0 –
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 100%

SHERIFF MANNY GONZALES

Required Petition Signatures: 3,000
Verified Petition Signatures: 3,437
Rejected Petition Signatures: 656
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: – 0 –
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 93%

PATRICK BEN SAIS

Required Petition Signatures: 3,000
Verified Petition Signatures: 730
Rejected Petition Signatures: 572
Remaining Petition Signatures Needed: 2, 270
Percentage of Verified Petition Signatures Met: 24%

NICHOLAS BEVINS

Nicholas Bevins has announced his withdrawal from the race and is no longer listed on the City Clerk’s tally.

https://www.facebook.com/Nicholas.D.Bevins

PROCESSED $5.00 QUALIFYING CONTRIBUTIONS

As of Friday, June11, following are the City Clerk numbers for the $5.00 qualifying donations:

MAYOR TIM KELLER

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3,779
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3,945
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: – 0 –
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 76
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 100%

SHERIFF MANNY GONZALES

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3,779
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3,488
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 426
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 291
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 92%

PATRICK BEN SAIS

Required $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3,779
Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 3
Rejected $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 1
Remaining $5.00 Qualifying Contributions Needed: 3,776
Percentage of Verified $5.00 Qualifying Contributions: 0%

The link to the city clerks June 11 report is here

https://www.cabq.gov/vote/candidate-information/2021-candidates/petition-qualifying-contribution-tally-1

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

It’s official! Both incumbent Mayor Tim Keller and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales will be on the November 2 City of Albuquerque ballot for Mayor. Congratulations to both!

What is also official is Mayor Tim Keller has successfully collected more than the required 3,779 qualifying $5.00 donations collecting 3,945 and his campaign will now be given $661,309.25 in public financing.

What is very impressive is that Sheriff Manny Gonzales spiked in the collection of the $5.00 qualifying donations and has gone from collecting 67% to now collecting 92% of the qualifying donations all within a 4 day period since last reported on June 7.

It has been reported that the Gonzales campaign relied upon and paid for a California canvassing company to get the job done. Republican operative and political consult Jay Mc Clesky is managing the Gonzales campaign and no doubt had a part in calling in the California company and for that reason it’s probably a Republican or conservative canvassing company. Gonzales needs to collect 291 more $5.00 qualifying donations which is highly doable within the 8 days remaining, especially when paid canvassers and not volunteers are used.

RACE ALREADY HEATING UP

The rivalry between Mayor Tim Keller and Sheriff Manny Gonzales began to heat up even before both made the ballot, signaling a real slug fest between the two and a likely nasty campaign season.

On June 1, candidate for Mayor Manny Gonzales held a campaign event at Revel Entertainment Center in Northeast Albuquerque. About 70 people, including children, had gathered to hear him speak. Before the event was over, a drone with a dildo dangling beneath it flew next to the stage. A man was arrested and booked into jail on charges of petty misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. Gonzales was quick to charge that the Keller campaign had something to do with the incident which the Keller campaign denied. Keller’s campaign manager Neri Olguin went so far as to say that Gallegos was desperate.

Gonzales suggested that the stunt with the drone may have been sent by the rival campaign of Mayor Tim Keller. The Keller’s campaign condemned the stunt as “disruptive, rude and immature” and denied any involvement, but took a swipe at Gonzales when Keller campaign manager Neri Holguin said:

“To suggest we were behind it is pathetic and the kind of desperation that has marked Manny’s troubled campaign.”

https://www.santafenewmexican.com/ap/albuquerque-mayoral-candidate-interrupted-by-sex-toy-on-drone-punched-at-event/article_033ad0ae-592f-510d-bfe5-5fe466c8d583.html

On June 6, it was reported that Mayor Tim Keller’s reelection campaign filed an ethics complaint against Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales alleging Gonzales personally told a voter that he did not have to pay a $5 contribution and that he would cover the $5.00 qualifying donation.

The Keller complaint accuses Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales of widespread fraud. According to the affidavit filed, Gonzales and accompanying Sheriff Deputies attended a Salvation Army Advisory Board at their invitation, asked the board members to sign a document saying they had provided a $5 “qualifying contribution” that would allow Gonzales to qualify for public financing. The ethics complaint alleges the Gonzales’ campaign submitted the contribution receipt to the City Clerk’s Office on June 1.

The ethics complaint was accompanied by an affidavit from Dean Zantow, a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, who stated Gonzales attended a May 27 board meeting as an invited guest. After speaking to the board, Gonzales and two Deputy Sheriff’s asked board members to sign nominating petition to place Gonzales on the November 2 ballot as a candidate for mayor. Then they were asked to sign donations receipts.

Zantow in his sworn affidavit said he agreed to fill out a receipt showing that he had provided a $5 qualifying contribution, then asked Sheriff Gonzales “Am I supposed to give you $5?” According to the affidavit, Gonzales allegedly stated, “No, that’s OK, we’ll cover that.” Attached to the ethics complaint is a copy of a $5 contribution receipt, dated May 27, signed by both Zantow and Gonzales.

It turns out that Zantow later made a $5 contribution to the Keller campaign when he informed a Keller campaign worker that Gonzales had not required him to pay $5. The campaign worker then alerted the Keller campaign.

STILL TIME FOR PRIVATELY FINANCED CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR

Unless a privately finance candidate announces, the Mayor’s race is a two person race between Keller and Gonzales, which is a damn shame. Four years ago, there were 8 candidates for Mayor and there was also a run off with a healthy debate of the issues.

So far, no privately financed candidates have emerged. Privately Finance Candidates for Mayor must also gather 3,000 signatures from registered voters within the City. The time for privately financed candidates for Mayor to collect signatures is from June 8 to August 10, 2021.

Anyone one interested in running for Mayor and who has a real love for this city and is concerned about what is happening is encouraged to contact the City Clerk’s office.

The link to the city web site for candidates is here:

https://www.cabq.gov/vote/candidate-information/2021-candidates

https://campaignfinance.cabq.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/CommitteeSearch.aspx

NOT MUCH OF A CHOICE

Tim Keller has been Mayor for 4 years of the 5 years where the city has ranked in the top 100 most violent cities. Sherriff Gonzales has been in office for 6 years, the entire time the city’s crime rates have spiked. The homicide statistics and accompanying headlines are the very type of headlines and statistics that should give both Mayor Tim Keller and Sheriff Manny Gonzales nightmares as they run against each other for Mayor. The statistics should mark the end of both of their political careers, but they don’t.

In 2017, Candidate Tim Keller campaigned to get elected Mayor on the platform of implementing the Department of Justice (DOJ) mandated reforms, increasing the size of APD, returning to community-based policing and promising to bring down skyrocketing crime rates. Mayor Tim Keller has tried repeatedly to take credit for crime rates being on the decline in all categories other than violent crime offenses.

Mayor Tim Keller repeatedly proclaims that the city’s violent crime rates are in fact a national trend, that his programs to fight violent crime are working, yet the city’s crimes rates have increased each year during his term. This coming from a mayor who campaigned and got elected on the platform to bring down the city’s crime rates.

Gonzales proclaims he can do a better job than Keller and with his tough on crime policies will turn things around. Gonzales also is now making the City’s Homeless crisis a priority, yet he has done absolutely nothing for 6 years to address the homeless crisis other than having his deputies break up homeless encampments.

Gonzales forgets he has been Sheriff longer than Keller has been Mayor and the County’s crime rates are just as bad. For 5 years, Sheriff Gonzales did next to nothing in helping APD bring down violent crime rates saying crime in the city was not in his jurisdiction as a Bernalillo County Sheriff, that is until he decided to run for Mayor. Gonzales proclaimed that businesses and residents in the South East Heights, which has often been referred to as the War Zone, contacted Gonzales and he decided to do law enforcement sweeps in the are and hold press conferences about his success no doubt to garner favor with voters and make Keller and the APD Chief look bad. It’s called political opportunism at its worst.

CHALLENGES WE FACE

The city is facing any number of problems that are bringing it to its knees. Those problems include the coronavirus pandemic, business closures, high unemployment rates, exceptionally high violent crime and murder rates, continuing mismanagement of the Albuquerque Police Department, failed implementation of the Department of Justice reforms after a full six years and millions spent, declining revenues and gross receipts tax, high unemployment rates, increasing homeless numbers, lack of mental health programs and little economic development.

The city cannot afford another mayor who makes promises and offers only eternal hope for better times that result in broken campaign promises. What is needed is a mayor who actually knows what they are doing, who will make the hard decisions without an eye on the next election, not make decisions only to placate their base and please only those who voted for them. What’s needed is a healthy debate on solutions and new ideas to solve our mutual problems, a debate that can happen only with a contested election. A highly contested race for mayor will reveal solutions to our problems.

With Keller and Gonzales, we are faced with voting for the lesser of two evils, or just not voting. Hope springs eternal that more will run for Mayor to give voters a better choice..