La Coalición de Taos

Town Council/Mayoral Candidate Forum Questions Submitted by the Public

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Subject: Governance

As councilor, will you support implementation of US Department of Health and CDC guidelines regarding public health or will you support only those with which you personally agree ?

Can anyone propose improvements to the current management and safety operations for the Airport? Or must they live in Town ? When you become Mayor/council member are you for or against reinstating the Airport Advisory Committee and will you give a public invitation to apply? Will you include members from neighborhoods in the County most impacted by the airport?

What is your position on state constitutional law and town charter which specify that voters and candidates running for public office municipal in elections must all live at addresses certified to be in the town boundaries?

In broad percentages how would you spend the annual budget of Taos?

Current members of the council have been told by the current administration that they are not allowed to watch meetings of the Planning and Zoning Commission. It is argued that it could be considered ex parte communication if the commission’s decision were appealed to the council. As a former member of P&Z and a council candidate, do you agree with this stance?

Please state your opinion on adding a fifth councilperson. Why do we only have four, an even number?

What do you perceive as the Town Council’s responsibility for addressing issues and concerns that impact non-Town residing citizens of Taos County?

I heard the comment “nothing got passed in the Taos Town Council” these last two years? True? If so, why?

Do you support Taos becoming a Home Rule municipality? Why or why not?

Taos is ripe with corruption. Any newcomer quickly learns that you can avoid paying taxes if you pay cash in many establishments. Many people work off the books. Folks register to vote at the UPS Store, their work addresses, or family homes, even though their mailing address is in the county. This not only is illegal, but it takes revenue out of the town and state coffers, but it reduces social security payments in the long run. So, cheating hurts quite a few people. Is this something you will address, or do you think that Taos business as usual should continue?

Candidate Oswald claimed at the last mayoral forum that your proposal to allow citizens living within 3 miles of the Town limits to vote in Town elections is not possible because of state law. Is she right that you either haven’t done your homework or are just using this to get votes?

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

The Anti-Donation Clause in the NM State Constitution can make it difficult for local governments to directly impact economic development and community welfare. How do you intend to contribute to economic development and community welfare without coming up against the Anti-Donation Clause?

Do you support each councilor being able to appoint a member to P and Z and other volunteer commissions? Why or why not?

Strong at Heart was adopted with a commitment from elected and staff that many recommendations would be enacted while the town began a new comprehensive planning process. To date, certain council members have pushed for the Town to follow through with the commitment to the community to elements from SAH like density and setback allowances in the land use code, but nothing has been placed on an agenda for a vote. As mayor, you control the agenda and can put these changes up for a vote. Will you honor the commitment to the community and call for a vote on these changes and others?

The Town has been without a full planning and zoning commission for almost a year now since several members were removed after their vote against a controversial subdivision. Other volunteer commissions are in need of members, too. What is your plan for filling out the membership on these commissions and addressing the impression that members will be removed if they vote a certain way as has happened with the subdivision vote and prior to that, the removal of a member who voted against the controversial rezoning of Couse Pasture?

Do you support home rule? Why or why not?

Do you support term limits? Why or why not?

Will you support implementation of US Department of Health and CDC guidelines regarding public health or will you support only those with which you personally agree ?

Taos is loosing untold amounts of potential revenue from sales that are off the books, workers paid under the table, etc. Street vendors are not the problem, but shops, galleries, and services are all in this. It is one of the first things you learn when you move here; pay cash, no tax. Do yo have any interest in cracking down on this?

Will you support moving Town elections to the November election date to encourage more voter turnout even if it means shortening your first term in office?

More than one option has been put forth to increase the input of citizens who are outside the Town limits, but consider Taos as their “town.” What is your solution to increase the size of the voter pool? What is your opinion on “home rule”? Why or why not would you consider this a viable option?

On your website you state your positions on 14 different issues, including economic growth and marijuana legalization. Among these, you give some emphasis to strengthening the Town’s code enforcement. Please say more about what you envision for zoning and enforcement, especially as it related to development in the Town’s limits.

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

During the run-up to the 2018 election, an initiative called Strong At Heart, designed to ferret out the wishes of the community, was attended by many people. How has Mayor Barrone followed the recommendations of Strong At Heart in light of the fact that now another plan, the Comprehensive Plan, is in the pipeline…just before this election?

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

Two weeks before Dan Barrone’s 2018 re-election, Ordinance 15-05 was replaced by Ordinance 18-01. In that replacement, the Mayor no longer appoints the Town Attorney, the Town Clerk, the Finance Director and the Police Chief, with Council approval. Instead, the Mayor now only appoints the Town Manager with Council approval, consolidating the above appointments as well as communication with all Town employees in the hands of the Town Manager. If elected, would you want to keep this current Ordinance or would you want to revert back to allowing the Mayor and Council the ability to appoint and oversee the above-mentioned offices?

Do you support annexing Ranchos de Taos into the town of Taos and if so, why? If not, why?

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

What is your position on the Abeyta Settlement and recent installation of deep water wells in the Taos area?

What is your stance on annexing Ranchos into the Town of Taos?

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