SFR's time-honored tradition of pop-quizzing candidates for public office is our way of testing their knowledge about the community they seek to represent. The city election on March 6 includes four districted council seats with a total of nine candidates, and five people who are running for mayor. For the next several weeks, we'll bring you a race or two in each print edition. Last week was the north side District 1. Now, we slide toward the eastern edge of the city to quiz three people who want to represent District 2. Incumbent Joseph Maestas is giving up the seat to run for mayor.

The rules of Pop Quiz are simple: We record each quiz call and report the answers verbatim. We asked candidates to promise up front that they won't use companions, smartphones, Google, or any other research to help. To see who answered correctly, check the answer key below. Don't forget to register to vote in the election before the Feb. 6 deadline.


  1. Which roads in District 2 are maintained by the State of New Mexico and not the city of Santa Fe?
  2. True or False: Historic Design standards allow red window trim on “historically significant homes.”
  3. Name the senior centers in your district.
  4. The city has policy known as inclusionary zoning. What does that mean
  5. What is defensible space?


  1. St. Francis Drive, Cerrillos Road, St. Michael’s Drive/Old Pecos Trail (they join one another), and a small part of Old Las Vegas Highway in the district are all state roads.
  2. True. According to the city’s Historic Preservation Office, it depends on the building and the shade of red, but in general, it’s allowed. Red and Taos Blue were common in the first quarter of the 20th century.
  3. Pasatiempo (on Alta Vista), Luisa, Ventana de Vida (on Pacheco)
  4. Inclusionary zoning is a key part of the city’s affordable housing program. A housing development must include a certain percentage of homes built that are priced within reach of income-qualified Santa Feans.
  5. It’s a buffer zone of thinned or cleared vegetation around a structure in the wildland-urban interface that will slow or stop the progress of a wildfire.


A businessman with a roofing company and a gym, Arellano has run for the District 2 seat before.

  1. Which roads in District 2 … I’m going to have to say St. Michael’s Drive. And a portion of Cerrillos Road. And St. Francis. I’m just trying to get my wits about me. Okay. What’s your next question? (Missed: Old Las Vegas Highway)
  2. I’m going to say no. False.
  3. Are you talking about assisted living or just senior centers? [SFR clarifies that we’re not counting privately owned senior housing and only facilities the city lists as senior centers.] The first is Pasatiempo. Um, Alta Vista. I’m just trying to think here … thinking, thinking, thinking. You know what? There’s gonna be, I want to say, one on Columbia or Luisa. There’s one back there. Those are the two that I’m aware of. (Missed: Ventana de Vida)
  4. That’s a tough one. Let me think about that for a minute. Can you go on to the next question and we’ll come back to it? [SFR agrees and returns after the next question.] I’m going to just be drawing a blank on that one. I’ll take an F on that one.
  5. I think we’re going to have to be talking about a space that’s owned by a private [entity] or the city government that people have included within their property lines. That’s what I could come up with right now.


Downey runs a permaculture business and is making his first bid for public office.

  1. I would say St. Michael’s Drive and St. Francis … although, yep, St. Francis. (Missed: Cerrillos Road and Old Las Vegas Highway)
  2. They should. Of course. If there was red before, you’d want it to be red again. And they did use red before the law went into effect.
  3. Oh, we have … there’s two on Alta Vista and one on Luisa and … oh boy. Ponce de Leon and, let me think. There’s going to be a new one going in on Pacheco. And that would be my answer. (Ponce de Leon is former name of a private senior center now called Brookdale.)
  4. Inclusionary zoning allows for additional units—guest houses, apartments—that can be included in the property.
  5. Defensible space has to do with fire. When the county looks at a property, I know they’re very concerned with having 25 feet of defensible space, such that you don’t have flammable materials around the house or other structure.


An attorney who specializes in public policy, Romero-Wirth has a long history of volunteer work in Santa Fe.

  1. I believe St. Francis Drive. (Missed: Cerrillos Road, Old Las Vegas Highway and St. Michael’s Drive.)
  2. False.
  3. The senior centers in my district, I believe, are Luisa, Pasatiempo and Ventana de Vida.
  4. It’s a way to include affordable housing in new development. So, a certain percentage of a new development has to include affordable housing or [developers] have to do in-lieu-of payments to opt out of that requirement.
  5. No idea.