Mayoral Forum: Yes, No, It’s Complicated

Mayoral Forum: Yes, No, It’s Complicated

Six Candidates Do OK

Pedrotty Shines While Keller Blunders

BY PETE DINELLI

Here’s the lowdown on last night’s mayoral forum at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Six of the nine candidates participated: Democrat Deanna Archuleta, Democrat Brian Colon, Democrat Timothy Keller, Republican Dan Lewis, Democrat Gus Pedrotty and Democrat Susan Wheeler-Deichel.

Absent from the forum were Independent Michelle Garcia Holmes, Republican Ricardo Chaves, and Republican Wayne Johnson.

All six candidates held their own with no major gaffs that would be a game-changer.

The one major mistake of fact was made by State Auditor Tim Keller.

Keller said Albuquerque has a $900 million “permanent fund” that could be better invested to produce more interest to be applied to city projects.

The city has no such “permanent fund” and Keller may be confused with the State of New Mexico’s permanent fund.

The city does have a “risk management” fund which can only be used for projected lawsuit liabilities and no other purpose, and the fund must be maintained at a certain level or the city will lose its “self-insured” status.

Keller’s mistake of fact reveals he needs to educate himself more on city finance and budget matters.

Frankly, I was surprised how much the candidates agreed on major issues but also delighted that issues are finally beginning to be talked about.

All six candidates agreed that APD Chief Gordon Eden should be replaced and that APD wasn’t doing enough to meet the Department of Justice consent decree reforms.

All candidates said they would support relocating Syrian refugees to Albuquerque.

Newcomer Gus Pedrotty, given his age, 22, walked away the biggest winner of the evening showing great poise, passion for the city and downright knowledge of the issues with solutions.

Pedrotty made it clear he can go toe-to-toe with the more seasoned people who were on the stage.

He was a breath of fresh air.

I do want to make it very clear that I have not endorsed any one of the candidates and have not decided who to support for mayor.

The forum was a good beginning of a healthy discussion of all the issues facing Albuquerque.

A “lightening round” was held where the candidates were asked 11 questions that required a “Yes,” “No,” or an “It’s complicated” answer.

Below are the candidates’ questions and answers to the lightening round questions:

1. If elected mayor, will you make yourself available to answer any and all questions, no matter how complicated, from any news media outlet:

Archuleta: YES

Colon: YES

Keller: YES

Lewis: YES

Pedrotty: YES

Wheeler-Deichel: YES

2. Do you favor city and county consolidation of law enforcement (APD and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office) under one governing authority?

Archuleta: YES

Colon: IT’S COMPLICATED

Keller: NO

Lewis: YES

Pedrotty: NO

Wheeler-Deichel: YES

3. Do you favor a “no settlement” policy in police misconduct civil cases seeking damages mandating trial on the merits and for a jury to decide damages?

Archuleta: IT’S COMPLICATED

Colon: NO

Keller: IT’S COMPLICATED

Lewis: NO

Pedrotty: NO

Wheeler-Deichel: NO

4. Do you feel the City of Albuquerque and APD should be involved with the enforcement of Donald Trump’s Executive Order on enforcing immigration laws?

Archuleta: NO

Colon: IT’S COMPLICATED

Keller: NO

Lewis: NO

Pedrotty: NO

Wheeler-Deichel: NO

5. Do you support a program relocating Syrian refugees to Albuquerque?

Archuleta: YES

Colon: YES

Keller: YES

Lewis: YES

Pedrotty: YES

Wheeler-Deichel: YES

6. Bilingual education programs have been eliminated by the Albuquerque school system. Do you support re-establishing such programs?

Archuleta: YES

Colon: YES

Keller: YES

Lewis: YES

Pedrotty: YES

Wheeler-Deichel: YES

7. Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults?

Archuleta: YES

Colon: IT’S COMPLICATED

Keller: YES

Lewis: NO

Pedrotty: YES

Wheeler-Deichel: YES

8. Is the Albuquerque Police Department responding adequately to the Department of Justice mandated reforms?

Archuleta: NO

Colon: NO

Keller: NO

Lewis: NO

Pedrotty: NO

Wheeler-Deichel: NO

9. Should the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) be required to secure a federal warrant before being given access to prison transport facilities to screen and take into custody anyone who may be in the United States illegally and for deportation?

Archuleta: YES

Colon: YES

Keller: YES

Lewis: NO

Pedrotty: YES

Wheeler-Deichel: YES

10. Will you replace Chief Gordon Eden?

Archuleta: YES

Colon: YES

Keller: YES

Lewis: YES

Pedrotty: YES

Wheeler-Deichel: YES

11. Has the TV series “Breaking Bad” been good for Albuquerque or its image?

Archuleta: IT’S COMPLICATED

Colon: IT’S COMPLICATED

Keller: IT’S COMPLICATED

Lewis: IT’S COMPLICATED

Pedrotty: IT’S COMPLICATED

Wheeler-Deichel: IT’S COMPLICATED

Pete Dinelli is a former city councilor and two-time mayoral candidate.

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  • Anon
    May 26, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The Albuquerque Chamber of Congress also states that we have a permanent fund. Pete Dinelli appears to be incorrect in his assertion.

    Pete Dinelli also leaves out the fact that 2/3 Republicans were not invited.

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The following two tabs change content below.
Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.