As I prepared for this election, I decided to review some of my published pieces in the Taos News. When I announced my run for Town Council in 2018, I wrote a piece titled “Honesty Means More than Simply not Lying.”
Reading this again, I see that the direction in Taos has changed very little. Rules are still being “bent, broken, or ignored in favor of moneyed interests,” and “poverty, drug abuse, violence, and property crimes [continue to plague] our community at alarming rates, yet have been largely ignored as the current administration chooses to focus on tourism.” Despite my ardent effort to make change, I have discovered that a split council can give all power to a tie-breaker mayor. A mayor in this situation is under no obligation to broker consensus or compromise and can use the power of the tie-breaker to become the deciding council vote.
I am proud to say that I fought to have Monday workshop meetings streamed, recorded, and made available to interested citizens. Although the motion I made during a Council meeting (seconded by Councilor Fernandez) to make this happen failed due to a split council and tie-breaker vote, the people supported me and forced a change through public pressure.
I am proud to have made a motion (seconded by Councilor Fernandez) to reduce our elected terms of office by ten weeks and align the municipal election to November. I wanted to encourage voter participation with a single election for all local offices. This motion also failed by split council and a tie-breaker vote. When the issue resurfaced years later, and an attempt was made to extend terms of office by nearly two years without an election, I worked with former-Councilor Andrew Gonzalez to draft a letter in opposition. That letter was signed by many former Town of Taos elected officials, and through public pressure, the resolution to extend terms was pulled from the agenda without a vote.
Although I have been blocked many times, I have found other ways to effectively promote transparency because I believe that a transparent, communicative, and responsive government is the only way to build trust. As your Mayor, I will usher in an age of unprecedented transparency and earn your faith in my administration.