What I want to say to the Mayor of Santa Fe

The Mayor of Santa Fe hosts “1 on 1” meetings with the general public every so often. These meetings are first come, first served, and once the two hour window closes, that’s it. I have yet to make it to one; schedule conflicts have arisen that have prevented my attendance. There’s another such meeting window this evening, and as of right now, I’m on track to be able to at least try and get some time.

However, if I’m not one of the first ones who arrive and are served, what I really want to say to Mayor Gonzales is, “You’ve proven yourself, in my book, as a strong representative and advocate for my City. Now let’s get down to the business of healing the economic rifts that are killing our hometown.”

See, I have no doubt that Santa Fe is a city that has given up. Our governing body is interfering with both business and schools, but in ways that are negative. There are two (2) new ordinances going into effect soon that are going adversely impact businesses: 1) is a STUPID 10 cent tax on paper grocery bags for those shoppers who don’t bring in their own recyclable bags; and, 2) a ban on “miniature” bottle of alcohol.This miniature ban has had an interesting impact. I was recently with a client who was trying to get 20 bucks instead of his usual 10 bucks. i asked him why and he said, “Cuz now i gotta buy a couple of pints instead of a few minis.”  So – great job governing body! you’ve now made it necessary for those who suffer with an alcohol use disorder to BUY MORE ALCOHOL! AWESOME!

As for our governmental interference on education, a local middle school principal was arrested because a teacher threw a paperback book at a group of students. Let that sink in: A PRINCIPAL was arrested because a TEACHER threw a book at a group of what was clearly described as a group of unruly students. I don’t condone teachers throwing books at kids, but I also am CERTAIN that kids are displacing responsibility and act with a clear sense of entitlement. The teacher should be reprimanded and probably will, but why did our police decide to arrest the PRINCIPAL?

I present these cases of governmental interference as evidence that there is precedence existing such that our Mayor should propose CITY sponsored education programs intended to both reduce adolescent substance abuse and increase economic opportunities for our kids. That is, if the City can interfere in businesses and schools, then it should have no problem finding a way to interfere in positive ways for our troubled kids (especially on our city’s south side).

I propose programs targeted at “at-risk” youth that offer both psychology and pharmacology of substance use disorders and present ways and means of preparing for marketable skills to offer the workforce. I can say with a high degree of certainty that our schools are doing all they can to just keep their heads above water; and I can say that Santa Fe’s population is aging. We need to keep our kids here in town such that we can change the dying trajectory we are on. But, without programming that can teach kids about how substances work and programming that can teach kids job-related skills, our youth will continue to fail in life and drag my town down with them.

Our local government has clearly shown the capability to interfere in areas that are not part of its scope (private businesses and schools); it should therefore, seek to interfere in ways that can actually help my city. So, Mayor Gonzales, “I may not get to talk with you today, but please understand that there are ways government can work with the community to actually make it better. Let’s educate our kids about substance abuse and job skills and resuscitate my dying Santa Fe.”


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