The race for Santa Fe County Commissioner, District 3 is sure to be a heated one, with former Green Party gubernatorial candidate David Bacon facing off against Robert A. Anaya, the brother of current County Commissioner Mike Anaya, and Santa Fe Public Schools Board member Angélica Ruiz. The rules of the game are as follows: SFR calls candidates at a pre-arranged time. It’s a test of what candidates know, not what they can Google, so no research or callbacks are allowed.

1. How many people live in Santa Fe County?

2. How many people are employed by Santa Fe County?

3. What do you think is your district’s most pressing need or problem?

4. What is the county’s total budget?

5. What portion of the county’s total budget comes from gross receipts and property taxes, respectively?

6. What, in your view, is the most important role of a county commissioner?

7. What is the maximum jail time for a county resident who fails to remove graffiti from his property?

8. This February, the Board of County Commissioners completed its Budget Study Session. Where did it recommend the biggest budget cuts?

9. The budget study also recommended that the County consider eliminating the Youth Development Program. Why?

10. On Friday, the Journal reported that three county residents have filed a lawsuit alleging that too much public money is going to a private, commercial real estate developer in the Santa Fe Studios project. What’s your take on the project?

11. What is the Santa Fe Studios project’s projected annual revenue?

12. According to the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act, how long after receiving a request does a government entity have to provide access to public records? 

Robert A. Anaya, 41, Community Relations Director, New Mexico Department of Transportation

1. Approximately 127,000, I believe.

2. About 850, I believe.

3. I think the district’s most pressing need and problem is, uh, services, uh, in the way of roads and our water sustainability. Having roads that are adequate in rural areas and sustainability of our water resources both in the urban and rural area.

4. The total, uh, general fund budget, I believe, this coming year is going to be around $60,000. Sorry—$60 million.

5. I don’t know the proportion that comes from gross receipts and property taxes.

6. The county commissioner’s most important role is to represent the interests of the district and the county, to listen to what those interests are in the different parts of the county, to understand all sides of an issue, pro and con, and to do what is in the best interests of the district as well as the county as a whole.

7. I have no idea what the maximum jail time is for [that].

8. I do not know where they recommended the biggest budget cuts.

9. The Youth Development Program and the, uh, jail program, or the jail itself, are two very difficult, uh, places to sustain operation. They’re mandated, uh—the adult jail’s mandated by the state. Uh, my guess, not knowing all the particulars, but when I was at the county the youth facility sustained its revenue from juveniles that would be housed there, in detention. My guess is they haven’t been able to sustain the amount of, um, inmates, if you will, that, um, need to sustain the budget. That’s my guess.

10. I haven’t studied all the detail associated with every decision that the county made, but I believe, in this economic climate, it’s important that we have opportunities for economic development and jobs. I think the studio will help bring jobs to the county, so I support the approval of that project because it will help us bring jobs to Santa Fe County and get people that are unemployed employed.

11. I do not know the expected yearly revenue, no.

12. Five days, I believe. 

David Bacon, 61, energy consultant

1. 150,000

2. 900

3. A comprehensive, sustainable plan for the future.

Can you be more specific?

We’re working on the Sustainable Land Development Plan right now. It’s got 14 chapters; they’re all important. Um…so…would you like me to be specific on one particular chapter? Well, um…[sigh]…this is why I detest these kinds of things. Let’s just say it’s the lack of sustainable, um, economic opportunity right now.

4. It’s about $212 million.

5. I think it’s about, let’s see…I think it’s about 60, 70 percent.

6. To empower the citizens of the county so that they have a large voice in county government.

7. The maximum jail time for that? Thirty days.

8. In, uh, county staff.

9. I don’t know.

10. I think we need to look at it very closely. Um…I’m not sure that the county is—I’m for the project, but I’m not sure the county is well protected in that project. And in general, with the budget, the county spends a lot of money without looking into where it goes.

11. Revenue to the county…you mean above and beyond just paying back the loan?

Yes. $20-30 million.

12. 30 days 

Angélica Ruiz, 36, Santa Fe Public Schools board member

1. Your question was, how many people live within Santa Fe County? [18-second pause]…As of 2008, 143,900.

2. How many people are employed by Santa Fe County? [30-second pause]…Approximately 900 employees.

3. The priorities for District 3 are, number one, to protect the person and property of the constituents of Santa Fe County District 3. Number two, to listen, respond to and provide actions about constituent concerns. And number three, jobs and economic development.

4. Approximately $200—I’m sorry. Approximately $224 million, $40 million of which has been allocated to the courthouse.

5. What percentage of the general fund comes from gross receipts? [50-second pause]

Angelica, are you there?


You know there’s no research allowed, right?

No, I’m not—I’m not researching; I’m thinking—are you looking? Well, you’re recording all this, now that you asked the question. Are you including the local option infrastructure and environment with regard to gross receipts?

No; the question is really what percentage of the general fund comes from gross receipts and property taxes—just the general number; I don’t need an exact percentage.

Twenty-five percent.

6. To protect the person and the property of the constituents of Santa Fe County.

7. There currently is no jail time.

8. Can you repeat the question? …To its general fund.

9. Because the Committee thought that that would be most prudent and provide for efficiency within the county budget.

10. Given the fact that I am currently a candidate for this position, it would be not be prudent of me to answer anything that could come before me as a County Commissioner, so I am unable to answer that question due to fairness.

11. What are the projected annual revenues from the Santa Fe Studios project? I think right now those revenues are subjective based on perceptions of the individual side of the issue.

12. 90 days 

Answer Key

1. According to the US Census Bureau, 143,937 as of July 2008.

2. According to Kristine Mihelcic, the public information officer for the Santa Fe County Manager's Office, the county has 806 employees.

4. The FY '10 total budget began at $224,304,184, but since then $4.6 million has been cut.

5. Approximately $48 million from each, or about 22 percent.

7. 364 days, according to the County Anti-Graffiti Program’s website

8. Corrections. The BCC proposed cutting $463,314 from the Corrections Department in FY2010.

9. According to the budget study, the Youth Development Program, which provides incarcerated youth with education, life skills training and health care, is projected to have a budget shortfall of nearly $1 million in FY2010 and an even bigger one in FY2011. In general, its costs far exceed its revenue, and it would cost the county less than half as much to house incarcerated youth in other facilities.

11. $1 million a year, according to a study by the consulting firm Southwest Planning and Marketing.

12. 15 days