Gus Pedrotty—Gus, as he likes to be known—stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.
More Cash Means Fewer Clunkers—This year's election cycle offers a couple of exciting candidates, some so-so contenders and one or two duds. Over the past few weeks the Alibi sat down with those running for mayor and those vying for the odd-numbered City Council seats. The reaction from us was mostly: Meh.
You have to bring a photo ID to the polls now. That means your passport, government badge, driver’s license, student ID, union card or basically anything that has both your picture and name and is official in some capacity. For a complete list, go to Common Cause New Mexico’s election protection website, counteveryvotenm.org.
Print out this handy reminder and take it with you to the polls (click on the “print” button above for a printer-friendly version). Disagree with the endorsements? Cross out ours and write in yours.
In addition to sitting down with candidates to interview them face-to-face, the Alibi also sent all the contenders questionnaires. Click on the names below to read their responses. Check back for more that roll in.
Position sought: Mayor
Occupation: Disabled; PT Executive director and case-manager for homeless and at-risk youth and young adults
Occupation: Certified Financial Planner
Political Experience: Chairman of the Albuquerque Police Oversight Committee, Vice-President of Candlemen Neighborhood Association, Secretary of District 7’s Coalition of Neighborhood Associations.
1) What's your plan of action for three major issues in your district?
Occupation: Attorney Private Practice; Family Law and Bankruptcy
Political Experience: City Councilor, still in my first term. I was a Special Assistant Attorney General for several years, then an Assistant City Attorney for approximately two years with the City of Albuquerque.
Occupation: Baker, Baking Consultant, Writer
Political Experience: Election poll worker; president, election poll location; worker, absentee count, city special election; registration of voters; worker, on campaigns of political candidates; executive officer, student association; president, racing oriented bicycle club.
Occupation: Retired Educator
Over 35 years, I have built a career of public service—as an Air Force veteran, teacher, principal, Assistant Superintendent of APS and as a leader of the state Senate.
1) What's your plan of action for three major citywide issues?
Public Safety: Increase the Albuquerque Police Department by 100 officers in 18 months, push our lawmakers for tougher penalties for repeat offenders and expand community policing and neighborhood watch programs. Forge new partnerships with our schools.
Occupation: Vice President Gilbert Sanchez Tax & Accounting Service and Enrolled Agent to Practice before the Internal Revenue Service. President of Ken Sanchez & Associates Realty. Affiliate with Prudential Financial.
Occupation: Commercial Litigation Attorney
Occupation: Retired Software Engineer
The Alibi endorses all bonds proposed on the ballot. This year, all bonds are General Obligation (GO). Bonds are debt the city incurs for capital improvement projects. When a city takes out a bond, it promises to pay the balance back in full with interest. None of these bonds will increase property taxes. Here's what you're being asked to vote for.
In 2008, the City Council passed an ordinance to review the city charter. From that review, the Council presented 10 recommendations to the mayor that would amend the charter. The mayor vetoed all the amendments, but the Council overrode his veto in August. The result is that the voting public now gets to decide on the amendments individually in this election. Here's what they are:
It would be crazy not to vote for this tax. The money from this tax goes directly to road maintenance, public transit, trails and bike paths. And we’re talking about 25 cents for every $100 spent. It’s been in place since 2000 and is set to expire at the end of this year. And just to set citizens’ minds further at ease, this gem of a sentence was added: “No portion of the revenue generated by the transportation infrastructure gross receipts tax shall be used to build or operate any rail transportation system until such a system is approved at a separate election by the voters.” Got it? No light-rail. No modern streetcar. No trolley. Well, they won’t be funded by this tax, anyway—not unless in some future election you call for them.
More sunshine is the key to illuminating shadowy government shenanigans. Councilors delayed but did not kill a proposal to shine a beam on the city’s financial business. Councilor Rey Garduño asked for expedited approval of his transparency bill at the Monday, Sept. 21 Council meeting. Some councilors agreed with Garduño, saying there was no reason to wait and they should just “get it done.” Councilor Trudy Jones and the city’s administration reminded everyone they're required to have a fiscal impact report ready for inspection when the bill comes up for approval. Garduño’s measure did not have a fiscal impact report attached yet.
Dateline: Nigeria—A housewife has filed for divorce from her husband because he will not stop defecating in the family’s cooking pots. According to the Online Nigeria website, Oluwakemi Ogundele told the Igando Customary Court in Lagos earlier this month that her husband, Oluwafemi, is a violent drunkard. To add insult to injury, Oluwafemi has an unfortunate habit of pooping in cooking pots and on dinner plates when intoxicated. Mrs. Ogundele asked the court to dissolve the marriage because Oluwafemi no longer provides for her or her children and because she does not love him. Oluwafemi denied charges of spousal abuse and crockery defecation, but admitted there is no love left between the couple. The court adjourned the matter until later this month and warned the couple to remain civil with one another in the meantime.
What the heck is “found footage”? Well, in the simplest terms, it’s any film or video footage that someone has—through their vast pop cultural archaeology skills—collected, stumbled across or otherwise unearthed from the trash bin of time. Now, for the first time ever, The Found Footage Film Festival is making a stop in New Mexico. This acclaimed touring showcase of odd and hilarious found clips is curated and hosted (live and in-person) by Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, whose credits include The Onion, “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “The Colbert Report.” Among those contributing garage sale finds, warehouse excavations and prized dumpster dives are comedians David Cross, David Wain and Kumail Nanjiani. Weird old TV commercials, bizarro PSAs, freaky home movies, indecipherable Saturday morning cartoons and one-of-a-kind exercise videos featuring the likes of Dolph Lundgren, Milton Berle and WWF’s The Bushwhackers are just the tip of the iceberg! The Found Footage Fest rolls into UNM’s Southwest Film Center on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. for one must-not-miss screening. Check out foundfootagefest.com for more info.
What to do about teenagers? They ruin your couches, they smell weird and there's lots of hugging. We older folk forget, perhaps intentionally, that we were once also pimply bundles of barely contained hormonal explosions. Maybe instead of locking our car doors when they walk by, we should look at giving them better than we got.
If you know anyone under the age 8, then you’ve heard of Skippyjon Jones.
We're nearing the end of the stone fruit season (apricots, peaches, nectarines and the like), and tomatoes are really rocking, so why not throw them together? Just like throwing a little salt on your dessert, these two fruits offer flavors and textures that complement and contrast each other; both are acidic, both are (or should be) sweet and both have a lusty, oozy nature that prompts slurping and licking. It was only a matter of time before they ended up on the cutting board together. Are peach soups and tomato cobblers in the not-so-distant future?
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Jonathan Lee Riches is renowned for filing numerous lawsuits in U.S. courts. Some of his targets are actual living people, like Martha Stewart, George W. Bush and Steve Jobs. But he has also gone after defendants like Nostradamus, Che Guevara, the Eiffel Tower, the ex-planet Pluto, the Holy Grail, the Appalachian Trail and the Garden of Eden. This would be a good time for you to draw inspiration from his example. I don't mean that you should become a litigious fanatic, but rather that you should seek redress and vindication from those people, places and things that have not had your highest interests in mind. This could take the form of a humorous message, a compassionate prank, or an odd gift. Remember, too, that old saying: Success is the best revenge.