UPDATE: The joint meeting will be in the Santa Fe City Council Chambers, City Hall, at 5 pm Wednesday, July 8.
City of Santa Fe Mayor David Coss urged caution and responsibility over the Fourth of July weekend and announced plans for a meeting next week between the City Council and the Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners to address education, enforcement and treatment related to drunk driving.
The date, time and location of the meeting will be posted as soon as it is confirmed. The text of the mayor's announcement is below:
Message from Mayor David Coss Regarding Recent Tragedies
As we prepare for the 4th of July, Santa Feans are coping with great tragedy. I want to express my thoughts and discuss actions I believe we must take as a community. First, I want to express my deep condolences to the parents, families and friends of Rose Simmons, Kate Kline [sic], Julian Martinez and Alyssa Trouw. I pray for the speedy recovery of Avree Koffman. I also want to express my condolences to the parents, family and friends of Pedro Maldonado.
Only weeks ago, I was expressing condolences to the Lovato family after a horrific domestic violence incident that affected all of us. There have been too many senseless and tragic losses. Domestic violence, gang violence and drunk driving affect us all. Santa Fe can not tolerate this, no community can.
In attending memorials and funerals this week, I have been moved by the depth of suffering and by the strength and character of our people. I ask all Santa Feans to decide that they will be safe and to see to the safety of their fellow community members this 4th of July weekend. I am humbled to be with our community in its bereavement. There has been great wisdom in the sentiments and insights expressed by people young and old. Yet, the healing will take a long time. Please continue to reach out and support one another in these painful times.
Out of the tragedy, the Santa Fe community must continue to work for change. Elected leaders shoulder a special responsibility to make solutions happen. Local government leaders will hold a joint City Council/Board of County Commissioners meeting next week to respond to these incidents, especially to the role that abuse of alcohol plays in our community.
We have to do more and working together, we will. We will support dialogue but we will also move for action. We know what programs work in education, enforcement and treatment. We have to improve our ability to implement these programs and practices. Change must occur quickly.
I have tremendous faith in the people of Santa Fe. It's important that every individual makes personal decisions to look after the safety and well-being of their fellow community members. This weekend please make that decision. Be safe on the 4th of July. Make sure your actions show respect for yourself and for the safety of your family, friends and neighbors.
In closing, I want to again express my deepest condolences to those in our community who are most directly affected by the tragedies of this past week.