One job at a time
Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Veronica García withdrew her state senate bid yesterday ($TNM), one week after announcing it. García had initially said she would keep her job as superintendent—her contract ends in June 2021—if she successfully defeated Republican incumbent Mark Moores for Albuquerque's District 21. Now, however, García says she would not be able to do her job in Santa Fe while campaigning in Albuquerque's Northeast Heights, where she lives.
Council candidate accused of domestic violence
Santa Fe City Council District 4 candidate Greg Scargall has been accused at least twice of domestic violence against his wife. In an interview with SFR yesterday, Scargall denied the allegations, which took place in 2010 and 2012. Scargall's wife began but never completed divorce proceedings after the 2012 allegation, and filed again last week following a "domestic violence welfare check" by Santa Fe police at their home. Scargall, who has never been convicted of domestic abuse and says he stopped drinking after the 2012 allegation, says he is remaining in the race, telling SFR: "Someone turned you on to this story because they need me to go down, I'm a threat because I speak the truth." Prior to becoming sober, Scargall had two drunk driving convictions ($TNM).
School board member MIA
District 4 Santa Fe Public Schools Board member Rudy Garcia has missed half of the board's 22 meetings and study sessions this year. His absences include a meeting on Tuesday in which the other four board members had a tied vote regarding a proposal related to school closures. When contacted by the Albuquerque Journal regarding his absences, Garcia attributed them to "personal life" via text. Garcia, who also serves on the Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners, has only missed one of that board's meetings, according to the county clerk's office.
Children are better than cigarettes for taxpayers
Last year's tax package passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor cut personal income taxes for 70% of New Mexico taxpayers with children. However, analysis shows most New Mexicans may end up paying more taxes after factoring in increased taxation on cigarettes, vaping products, nonprofit hospitals and the state vehicle excise rate that also are part of the bill. Supporters of the legislation characterize it as more progressive for working families. Analysis of the bill will be presented to a legislative interim committee next week.
New Mexico Fresh Foods founder Kelly Egolf tells SFR that plans to build a high-pressure processing facility in Santa Fe—in part to support the growing food-economy sector—may end up happening elsewhere instead. The Santa Fe City Council previously approved an $18 million industrial revenue bond to help finance the purchase and renovation of a midtown building for the facility, which Egolf says turned out to have more construction costs than expected. She is now considering other locations, including in Albuquerque, but says it is too early to say where the facility will end up being located.
Pot producer questions caps
Medical marijuana dispensary Ultra Health president Duke Rodriguez says lawmakers need to address the cap on marijuana producers ($TNM), an issue not covered by yesterday's marijuana working group report. That report is expected to inform efforts to legalize marijuana in the January legislative session; however, the group's chairman said members were unable to reach consensus on growing caps, an issue that has been legally challenged by Rodriguez and others who currently grow for the state's medical marijuana patients.
Santa Fe summer by the numbers
The City of Santa Fe this week offered a round-up of 14 of its summer accomplishments. These include: spending $7 million to improve 28 lane miles of Santa Fe streets; certifying 225 people/households as "mortgage ready" through its Affordable Housing Office; responding to 20,093 calls to the Santa Fe Police; and cleaning 2,462 syringes through The Fire Department's partnership with Southwest Care Center's Syringe program. Read the rest here.
Hold onto your hat
Today will be mostly sunny, with highs in the upper 60s. Might grow windy this afternoon—like spring windy, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Look for sunny skies and warm temps all weekend, although Sunday's high is expected to only reach 62.