La Coalición de Taos

Town Council/Mayoral Candidate Forum Questions Submitted by the Public

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Subject: Priorities

A report was presented earlier in 2021 highlighting the struggles our community members face around affordability and food security among other things. The report also highlighted how the Town was spending ARPA money on the airport while other communities were spending funds on the needs of their residents. Certain Town staff and elected officials then attacked the report as politically motivated and even complained to our local paper about unfair coverage. Have you read this report? Do you support the findings? Why or why not?

If elected, please describe what you hope to accomplish in your first 90 days in office?

The budget you proposed to the mayor and council included $20 million to the airport and $75,000 for affordable housing. Do you think the spending aligns with community needs?

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

What are your views about substance abuse and the detox center?

Do you support or oppose the Town spending Covid relief funds on upgrades to the airport including running water and sewer lines out there?

Which mayoral candidate’s policies and objectives most align with your own?

What is your top issue and what networks have you established in this area of interest? Be specific — whom are you already working with professionally on this issue?

What change will you push for in Taos?

How would you define “the public good” and how should it be supported in a community?

Why would you invest $20 million in the airport when four years ago you said you were going to fix the paths at Kit Carson Park and there’s such a dire need for low income housing in Taos can’t that money be spread around better for these items?

The Town of Taos has had a great deal of planning work done in recent years. Too often taxpayer dollars pay for these plans only to have them sit on a shelf collecting dust. What recommendations recent planning work would you prioritize, and how would your administration enact your priority recommendations? What funding opportunities open with the completion of these plans, and how would you ensure we are taking full advantage of these opportunities?

Strong at Heart was presented to the community during a mayoral election. Now the Town is reviewing a new comprehensive plan during a mayoral election. Looking at the history of these plans and others that get adopted but then seem to end up on a dusty shelf, is this just a political ploy during an election year?

Over the past eight years organizations like the Taos Men’s Shelter and Taos Feeds Taos have seen their support from the Town reduced to zero. How do you see the Town supporting organizations like these going forward?

Will you respect the findings of the comprehensive plan that show our community overwhelmingly wants the Town to focus on affordable housing and not the airport?

As mayor, you set the agenda for the council. Why did you decide NOT to discuss the pandemic’s worsening of homelessness , hunger, mental health,, substance abuse, etc in Taos when deciding how federal relief funds or the budget would be allocated?

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

Why does tourism deserve a priority for our town government? How does the government work for the people if we choose tourism and hospitality as a mayoral priority? What people are you refer to exactly? You wrote this in the newspaper on January 20.

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

What exactly do you mean by “Get serious about residency being a qualification for governing” in regards to Code Enforcement and “Engage business and tech” for addressing our housing crisis? Why does “Code Enforcement” deserve a top billing on your platform? It appears Code Enforcement is your second priority and the Airport is your first priority.

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

Under the heading of “people” priorities on you website, you list a number of specific actions that could be taken to address housing costs, social service needs, and substance abuse. You’ve just spent four years in which spending priorities, contracts, and other decisions sometimes seemed to be set without Council debate or public input. As Mayor, how would you go about accomplishing your objectives within the constraints of our government structure?

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

The Town just published a draft comprehensive plan. It’s a beautifully laid-out document with over 250 pages of detail. What can you tell us about the priorities and strategies this plan contains and the extent to which the final Plan will guide decisions by elected officials and Town staff for the next four year?

Imagine Taos five years from now. How is it different?

who is more important: residents of Taos or tourists? Why?

What will be the top 2 issues that you will address in the first year of your term

What is your position on the growth/infrastructure issues facing Taos and how do you plan to implement them?

Name of specific candidate the question was addressed to:

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