Tuesday, June 30, 2009


We have just received official confirmation that Thursday's (July 2) ELUA meeting has been cancelled. The Rural Residential ordinance was to have been voted on.

Watch for the ELUC meeting on August 11, and the next ELUA meeting August 25.

The delay is to allow for the public to SPEAK UP at the next two Community Outreach meetings:

Monday, July 6

Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM

Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM

Monday, July 13Open House: 4-5:30 PM

Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM


Here are the members of the ELUA:
Rosemary Romero (city)
Miguel Chavez (city)
Carmichael Dominguez (city)
Virginia Vigil (county)
Harry Montoya (chair/county)
Liz Stefanics (county)
Kathy Holian (county)


Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July....and remember, we are fighting own own independance battle!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Hello All:

There are three VERY IMPORTANT meetings this week, and we urge everyone to attend and speak up.

First up, The City of Santa Fe will sponsor Community Outreach Meetings To Discuss Annexation Area Planning, Zoning and Subdivision Regulations and Map. The open meetings are all scheduled for the Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive.

NOTE: The "Rural Residential" definition as described on the notice map HAS ALREADY BEEN REVISED BY THE CITY TO ALLOW 3 AND UP TO 5 DWELLINGS PER ACRE.

Dates and Times
Monday, June 29, 2009
Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM
Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM
Monday, July 6
Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM
Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM
Monday, July 13
Open House: 4-5:30 PM
Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM

On Tuesday at 10 AM, the Board of County Commissioners meets at 102 Grant Street. Here is the agenda, there is an opportunity for public comment early.

Finally, the all-important ELUA will meet Thursday at 6 PM, also at 102 Grant, to re-hear and vote on the revised Rural Residential Zoning Ordinance. THIS MEETING IS CRITICAL.

Tell your friends and neighbors. We know it is difficult for all our schedules, but this week is critical!

Friday, June 26, 2009


The City of Santa Fe today posted notice of Community Outreach Meetings To Discuss Annexation Area Planning, Zoning and Subdivision Regulations and Map. The open meetings are all scheduled for the Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive.

NOTE: The "Rural Residential" definition as described on the notice map HAS ALREADY BEEN REVISED BY THE CITY TO ALLOW 3 AND UP TO 5 DWELLINGS PER ACRE.

Dates and Times

Monday, June 29, 2009

Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM

Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM

Monday, July 6

Open House: 4 - 5:30 PM

Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM

Monday, July 13

Open House: 4-5:30 PM

Presentation/Discussion: 5:30-7 PM

It is imperative we turn out in large numbers to each meeting. This will be our first (and probably only) opportunity to voice our concerns in a public forum. Dramatic changes have already been made that will be contrary to the original agreement, which stated: "The Rural Residential District is intended to respect the existing rural residential character of the area and prevent urban densities".

Further, the City and County HAVE ALREADY AGREED to assign all land use decisions to the City, to be effective imminently - EVEN LONG BEFORE WE ARE FORMALLY ANNEXED.

Stay tuned. More to come!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We have just learned that Thursday's ELUA meeting has been cancelled. The ELUA was to re-hear the newly amended Rural Residential Zoning Ordinance.

We will post as soon as we know more. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Two excellent posts on Joe Monahan's blog today, both address the City's falling revenue and home building bust. A good dose of reality! Full blog here.

Is Santa Fe Mayor David Coss falling behind the curve?

Gross receipts tax collections keep plunging, again coming in much lower than expected in April. That means the city budget just drafted is already outdated. You can't blame the mayor for keeping his fingers crossed and wishing for an economic rebound, but something more fundamental has happened and needs to be addressed. The epic boom in tourism in Santa Fe and America is over for now. The tax money generated by it in the 90's and early part of this decade is not going to be replicated anytime soon. Santa Fe city government appears to be in need of a restructuring so it can operate at permanently leaner levels. Either that or raise taxes.Coss is up for election next March and it seems he would rather cut in response to each monthly drop in tax collections. He wants to avoid layoffs at all costs. But Councilor Bushee and others seem more aware of (and less politically impacted) by the new paradigm. They are calling for deeper cuts to stabilize city government. Coss has a responsibility to keep the nation's oldest capital city humming along for the benefit of not only Santa Feans but the state and nation. Month to month budgeting is causing Santa Fe to really look like a "City Different," but not in a good way. Can't Coss and the Council have a "reality-based" budget meeting?


Unlike ABQ, Santa Fe did get carried away with the crazy housing speculation. As those bubble prices adjust (crash) construction jobs disappear. Add to the mix the lack of new state government jobs and you have a job market that is shrinking and a recession continuing. Occupancy for Santa Fe apartments is now just 83 percent. The median home price is now bouncing around the $350,000 level. That's down from the April 2005 all-time peak of $470,000, or a plunge of about 25 percent. The median has been as low as $308,000. Will we eventually break that level?The mantra that comes from the state spinners---"It's not as bad here as it is elsewhere"--is true for some parts of the state, but not for the storied city of Santa Fe and its budget-embattled leaders.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Just a little over a week after the City passed a delayed budget, new finance numbers have come to light that show a severe stain on City services. See the full article from the SF New Mexican here.

"The drop in revenues means about $1 million less in city coffers for the next fiscal year, according to a Friday announcement. The news means the city manager will freeze all hiring, promotions and transfers of permanent nonsafety employees for 30 days. Manager Galen Buller will also begin meeting with senior staff members on "contingency planning" to identify ways the city could balance the budget given the new details".

Still, no discussion whatsoever as to how the City proposes to service the areas it intends to annex, some staring this year.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Planning Commission denies Northwest Quadrant project

The City Planning Commission has denied the City's own Master Plan for the Northwest Quadrant development. There has been vigorous opposition from the local neighborhood, and we should take heart that opposition can have effect.

The City was proposing for variances from its own codes. So even as we are now being promised one thing or another, remember that the City believes it can always change the rules for its benefit. See quote below from SF New Mexican:

Commission member Estevan Gonzales also opposed the requested variances. "After all, how can the city ask developers including the state and the county . . . to abide by the code and then turn around and ask us planning commissioners to turn around and grant major variances to the code?" he said. "We have spent an enormous amount of resources on this plan that falls short of the many expectations, including mine."

Next up: Rural Residential Zoning to be heard at June 25 ELUA meeting, 6 PM at 102 Grant St. We need a large turn out!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Northwest Quadrant Hearing at New Spot

The location of the Planning Commission hearing on the Northwest Quadrant scheduled for Thursday has been changed. Instead of being held in the City Council Chambers, the controversial development will be heard at 6 p.m. in the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, 201 W. Marcy St.

Next week: Critcal ELUA meeting at 102 Grant Street, 6 PM. Rural Residnetial zoning ordinance to be re-heard. WE NEED A LARGE TURN-OUT!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Finally, the City passed a reduced budget . However, some Councilors were skeptical: “This budget and the numbers behind it are completely unsupported given the current economic reality we are facing.” -- Matthew Ortiz. Chavez called the process “gamesmanship and back door negotiation deals” and said, “I really don't think this is the way to run the city.”

"It's been a piecemeal process, too little, too late,” Patti Bushee said
(Abq. Journal North)

There continues to be no provisions for services in the areas scheduled to be annexed.

Stay tuned, remember June 25 ELUA meeting.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


We can take heart, continued public opposition to the Northwest Quadrant plan has stated to gain City Councilor's attention.

"As has happened at most other meetings dealing with the Northwest Quadrant, a large contingent of naysayers, many of them residents of the neighboring Casa Solana neighborhood, gathered in the audience. More than a dozen spoke during a public hearing during which mostly negative sentiments about the project were expressed." -Abq. Journal North

See full article in today's Santa Fe New Mexican.

We have many friends and allies in this area, let's take some encouragement from their efforts. We need to broaden our coalition and numbers, and be ready to attend the next ELUA meeting currently scheduled for June 25.

Stay tuned.

Monday, June 8, 2009


The ELUA will reconvene in June at 102 Grant Street, and the annexation issue is back on the agenda. Use this time to lobby the ELUA members, we will post all contact very shorty. In the meantime, this is a link to contacts for all City Councilors and Commissioner Vigil. Please use them and pass along. Let's get the word out to Ecco Secco, Tres Arroys, and Calle Nopal.

Thanks all.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


The Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners is meeting Tuesday, June 9, 3 PM, at 102 Grant Street. Here is the agenda.

The is a provision for public comments at the start of the meeting. We should point out:

1. The ELUC recommended a 3 month delay in implementing the new Zoning Ordinance to allow for public input.
2. The ELUA ignored this recommendation and voted to implement the Ordinance immediately. This places development issues with the City, event though we are not yet formally annexed.
3. The ELUA has not yet determined if that vote is binding, as only 5 of the 7 members were present and voted.

We are sill residents of Santa Fe County, still taxpayers in Santa Fe County. The County Commissioners do still represent us and our voices should be heard.

Here is a re-post of the Editorial from The Santa Fe New Mexican.

Please spread the word.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


It has been a fast and furious few weeks since SAVE SANTA FE was formed. We have been successful in mobilizing an alliance of homeowners and gaining the attention of City and County officials. Events have not gone in our favor, but much remains to be done.
There is uncertainty whether the ELUA decision to adopt the Annexation Ordinance was binding; stay tuned. Also be on the look out for information/Q&A meetings and public hearings in front of the ELUC in the next several weeks.

The single most important thing to do is to spread the word. A constant refrain heard in meetings is "we didn't know". The annexation and rezoning is proceeding and the time for information and input is NOW, not later.

Please talk to your neighbors, friends, and co-workers. There are areas all across the City and its borders that may be drastically affected by the Annexation process. The more voices we have asking for answers, the more powerful our voices become.

This is a link to contacts for all City Councilors and Commissioner Vigil. Please use them and pass along.

Please continue to check back for updated news.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


As the City continues with grand ambitions, including annexation and various development project, it has missed a State-mandated June 1 deadline for filing its fiscal budget.

The Albuquerque Journal North
June 2, 2009

No Budget This Time, Either
By Kiera Hay

After two hours of some of its most acrimonious discussion yet, the Santa Fe City Council on Monday once again failed to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Measures including mandatory furloughs for department managers were proposed by city staff as part of a last-minute plan to shave an extra $1 million from the coming fiscal year budget. That didn't appear to appease councilors, some of whom want broader organizational changes and the elimination of jobs deemed superfluous. Councilors Matthew Ortiz, Rebecca Wurzburger, Carmichael Dominguez, Ron Trujillo and Patti Bushee voted against approving the budget during a special council meeting. Councilors Chris Calvert, Miguel Chavez and Rosemary Romero voted in favor. “This is an election-year budget. The tough calls have not been made,” Bushee said upon casting her vote. After the meeting, Mayor David Coss contended the city had “produced a good budget” and said he was “disappointed at the level of micromanaging the council seems to want to do.” Though councilors have met numerous times to discuss the budget, including several meetings in May, agreement has eluded them. They'll review it again at the June 10 council meeting. Some councilors have expressed dissatisfaction with the process, including specific cost-cutting proposals and delay in getting certain information. But personnel issues especially have been a continuing bone of contention, and the debate got personal Monday. Though the proposed budget would eliminate about 76 currently vacant positions and freeze most new hirings, some councilors, notably Ortiz, have repeatedly voiced a desire to eliminate certain active positions. Other councilors and the mayor, as well as the city staff coordinating the budget, remain opposed to the reduction, at least for this budget cycle. Among jobs targeted are assistant or deputy director positions in the police, fire, solid waste, city clerk, finance, human resources and senior services departments. The majority of the council — Wurzburger, Ortiz, Trujillo, Dominguez and Bushee — agreed to a proposal by Ortiz to eliminate the city's public information officer position, part of a team Ortiz has dubbed “the mayor's press machine.” “There is certainly sufficient expertise on existing staff to cover for the duties and responsibilities of this PIO position,” Ortiz said. The vote for elimination — which can't be considered final because the council didn't approve a budget — came despite strong opposition from Coss and other councilors. Savings would be minimal because the job is being vacated in July and, under current policy, can only be filled if the council gives special approval. Additional proposals by Ortiz to eliminate an assistant human resources director — currently held by a women with several years' experience at the city — and an unfilled deputy police chief position received less enthusiastic receptions. Coss called the proposals “unfortunate.” “We're turning a corner here ... We are at the point where now we're going to take people's jobs away,” he said. “If we could eliminate taking jobs with live bodies in them, I think we should do that.” Other developments included the news that the city's negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees appear to be nearing an end. Human resources director Kristine Kuebli told the Council the two parties agreed Monday afternoon that union workers would receive a 4 percent pay raise but would have to reduce each pay period by three hours. The agreement, which would be analyzed again after six months, must still be ratified by the union and City Council. Contract negotiations with the city's police and fire are still being finalized. The senior management furloughs, which would require department heads to take off 40 hours, would likely save the city about $30,000, Millican said. A second, voluntary furlough program, targeted at all full-time city staff, is “conservatively” anticipated to net about $85,000. In addition to the furloughs, components of a $1.2 million budget reduction offered up by staff included cutting $75,000 from the city's various professional services contracts; eliminating two planner positions in the housing and community development department and land use department; eliminating a full-time culture, arts and tourism planner, but setting aside about $50,000 for contract services related to those duties; and saving $200,000 from a reduced deductible in the city's liability insurance. The suggestions came in the wake of a directive given by the City Council at its May 27 meeting to trim an extra $1 million from a budget that has already been, over the past few months, hacked by several million dollars due to the declining economy. Correction of an error that had included in the city's financial calculations unintended pay increases also nets a savings of about $562,000, around $315,000 of that in the general fund. Savings of $30,000 comes from the decision by assistant fire chief Ted Bolleter to change his planned retirement date. The position will be eliminated once Bolleter retires. All together, new measures proposed Monday create just over $1.2 million in savings, about $800,000 of that in the general fund, though several “add backs” negated most of the general fund savings. The items put back into the budget after previous proposed cuts included around $85,000 in library books and supplies; restoration of children and youth services funding; and $30,000-50,000 for a winter overflow shelter. Councilors tweaked several of the proposals. It was agreed, for instance, that the neighborhood planner position would be maintained. The council also agreed, per a proposal by Coss, to provide the fire department with $400,000 to offset a transfer of the same amount from equipment needs to the airport's new fire station. But, like the PIO elimination, those items can't be considered final until a budget is passed.

Monday, June 1, 2009


We are working to confirm a report that the new zoning rules were in fact NOT adopted at last week's ELUA meeting. We received the following message today:

FYI It has been determined that the new zoning map was not adopted. It needed a majority of the full body of seven, even though only 5 were there,thus needed 4 votes. I think it will next go back to EULA in August.

We will post details as soon as they are available.