Nothing’s Free: As the value of the US dollar continues to decline, another effort to develop a community currency in Santa Fe has begun. This one seems slightly more community-minded than the last one SFR covered, which involved a Texas company selling silver “barter” coins at inflated prices [News, Nov. 25, 2009: “Coin Toss”].
The new effort—run by actual locals—is a “time bank,” a virtual accounting in “Time Dollars” of services exchanged by members. One hour of labor—whether giving a haircut or babysitting—is worth one Time Dollar.
The organizers will hold an “informational potluck” at 4 pm, Jan. 24 at Temple Beth Shalom. They’ll be asking for donations of $10 to $50 to cover office supplies and the cost of the software from TimeBanks USA—an online tool “somewhere between Facebook and Craigslist,” organizer Adrianne McCurrach says.
Organizers say no one will be turned away because they didn’t bring money (or a potluck dish).
McCurrach tells SFR that a handful of organizers began to strategize back in July. As of Jan. 11, she says, approximately 20 people had signed up as members, with several exchanges already banked, including graphic design and housekeeping.
“Twenty is kind of a small number, but it’s a really great launch point,” McCurrach says. “Now we’re trying to hand it over in a sense, so [people in] Santa Fe can determine what they want it to be.”
“Man Up” Update: On Jan. 11, Thornburg Investment Management announced the promotion of four employees to managing director. In response to an email query by SFR, a Thornburg spokesperson confirms that Managing Director Joshua Gonze, whose suppressed history of domestic abuse was revealed in a recent SFR feature, has kept his position.
SFR also reported allegations that Gonze may have contributed to the dismissal of a court domestic relations hearing officer who had ruled against him, with a campaign of pseudonymous letters to The Santa Fe New Mexican. Robin Martin, the New Mexican’s owner and publisher, has not replied to an email request for comment.
A slight correction to SFR’s story: While the multiple domestic abuse claims by Gonze’s ex-wives, one of whom worked at the New Mexican, were never reported by the paper, it did mention a child abuse allegation against him by the Santa Fe Police Department—later expunged by retired District Judge James Hall—in its “police notes” column.
Finally, approximately 2,000 copies of the SFR issue with Gonze’s story were stolen from boxes around town; strangely, they were returned to newsstands shortly before the following issue hit the streets.