2021 Santa Fe City Election: District 3

Roman “Tiger” Abeyta, Lee Garcia

With a chill in the evening air and aspen leaves starting their autumnal turn, election season has officially arrived. Over in District 3, two candidates face off to represent the city’s southwestern geographic slice. SFR put these two to the test and assessed their knowledge of fireworks, water billing and more in the District 3 pop quiz.

Voters have until Oct. 5 to register online. After that, residents can register and cast a ballot in person until Oct. 30 for early and expanded early voting. Read more election coverage and find voting details, plus pop quizzes for other races at

Keeping honest candidates honest, SFR asked the participants not to seek any outside help from the internet, friends or anywhere else they might think of looking.


  1. Name one thing the city has done to monitor noise levels at the airport?
  2. There are two tiers for water utilities billing. Describe them.
  3. Who is eligible to receive funding from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for down payment assistance?
  4. True or False: The city’s smoking restrictions allow smoking in certain enclosed areas in restaurants, hotel and motel conference or meeting rooms.
  5. What is the difference in the city’s definition of a “dangerous” firework vs. “safe and sane” firework?


  1. The city has a noise complaint hotline residents can call. There are noise restrictions and the city conducted a study in 2008 (and revamped the study in 2015) to study noise at the airport.
  2. The first tier is for a certain amount of water use (7,000 gallons or 10,000 gallons depending on the season) for which the user is charged. The second tier is a higher charge per gallon of water used once the first tier has been fully used in a given month.
  3. Santa Fe families whose income is 120% of the Area Median Family Income. For a family of four, that’s $87,600.
  4. True. Smoking is allowed in certain enclosed areas for private events.
  5. According to the city code, “safe and sane” fireworks don’t have a report, do not self-propel and do not shoot above 15 feet from the ground.

Roman “Tiger” Abeyta

Score: 2 / 5

The incumbent in District 3, Abeyta seeks a second term to represent his constituents. Abeyta also serves as the chief professional officer for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Fe.

  1. I can’t name one.
  2. One would be residential and the other commercial.
  3. Residents who meet the income threshold. I don’t know what percentage that is though.
  4. False
  5. I believe the height it goes off the ground determines that.

Lee Garcia

Score: 3 / 5

Garcia owns a string of tire stores, Garcia Tires, that has been in his family since the 1970s. This is his first time seeking public office.

  1. The only possible answer that I can give for that would be to install possibly noise barriers of some sort on the runways, when the airplanes or any type of aircraft is taken off, or coming or landing. [Garcia calls later to clarify he misunderstood the question and provides a more aligned answer, but SFR holds itself to strict pop-quiz protocol and can’t accept it.]
  2. I believe that the two tiers for water utilities billing would be just the standard rate, which would be standard usage. And then, if you exceed the standard usage limit then you will be charged a different rate for excessive use.
  3. I believe to qualify for that you would have to meet a certain level of income, not necessarily certain what that level of income is. I believe that you probably have to be a resident of the city.
  4. False.
  5. I wouldn’t know the exact verbiage for it, but I know that any firework that exceeds a maximum height of, I think, 5 feet or diameter of, let’s say, 3 feet in width would probably be considered not dangerous and anything else would be considered dangerous.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article misstated what part of District 3 covers. It represents the southwestern region of the city.

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