The last year was pretty good for Alan Webber—homeboy became the mayor of an entire town. And while it might still be a little early in his term to get into a definitive rating of his performance, we still think it's worth it to lob a few questions his way as we head into 2019.
How do you feel your 2018 went, and what would you say has been your biggest accomplishment?
I think the number of things we've tackled simultaneously has been impressive, and I'm gratified by the progress we've made in significant ways. On the campaign trail I heard over and over again that the city needs to get its act together, be easier to work with, more user-friendly. In the past eight months, nine months, we've created a strong team of leadership in every department of city government. We've brought in a bunch of new talented leaders in jobs. We passed the $20 million [gross receipts tax]-backed bond measure that will go to work immediately to improve libraries and [recreation] facilities; we passed the city sustainability plan, we adopted a housing agenda; we have really upgraded and gotten the implementation of the emergency response system back on track. We came to a peaceful conclusion around the Fiesta and Entrada concern, and I think the respect that everybody felt … is a model for the rest of the country. If you have to pick one thing, the first rule of management is that it's all about people. If you get the right people into the right jobs, they'll begin to make the changes that will make things better for everybody in Santa Fe.
What's do you think is going to be big for you in 2019?
I think the first thing is there's an enormous amount of optimism right now. The feeling is the work we've done in 2018 to get things started means we're ready to go in 2019 to deliver on all of that work. There's significant change; … the new governor, the new leadership at the state level, which I think will be incredibly positive for Santa Fe. We're going to have the ability to work constructively with state government on a whole host of issues, from renewable energy to job creation to investing in infrastructure and upgrading education. The optimism is really not just about the city, it's about a whole set of activity that extends up and down I-25. I think the we've set the stage in 2018, and in 2019 we're ready to go.
If you could tell the people of Santa Fe one thing here at the end of the year, what might that be?
I would say here in Santa Fe we have a lot to be grateful for, we have a lot to be hopeful about and that we have unlimited potential as long as we keep working together. If you look at Santa Fe, we’re a city that’s really remarkably blessed with volunteerism. That gives us reasons for gratitude, hope and a continued sense of working together for a better future for everybody.