Mayoral candidate Gary Kanin sent a flyer to homes over the weekend with a quote from me at least 15 years old. It left the misimpression that I am endorsing his candidacy. He didn’t seek my permission to use the old quote in this campaign. While I enjoyed serving as mayor with Gary in the last century and hold him in high regard, I’m actually supporting Jim Fahey for mayor.
Dr. Fahey is dedicated to good government and will do a great job for Corrales. Thanks for letting me clear that up.
Martin J. Chavez
Former mayor, Albuquerque
I’m Gerard Gagliano, former Councillor for District 2, and a 24-year resident of Corrales. I worked with Gary Kanin before serving on the Corrales Village Council, and served on the council with Jim Fahey.
I’m supporting Gary Kanin in this important election, because Gary has always been eager to work with people who have opposing opinions. Listening and understanding views and open to adjusting his own view, while keeping a goal in mind is what we all yearn for in a leader.
Gary has steadfastly been a supporter of A-1 and A-2 zoning, ensuring that we continue to enjoy the lifestyle and property values of Corrales. Gary teamed with Corraleños across all persuasions to purchase land for and build the Corrales Recreation Center. He built the Corrales Municipal Complex and Senior Center, expanded the Village Library and found the funding to pave Loma Larga.
From protecting the Bosque Preserve, to protecting ground water, Gary leads the charge. I disagreed with differing waste water solutions supported by Gary and Jim. Gary came from a position of wanting to protect water quality. Jim inexplicably voted against potable water during our review of the Comprehensive Plan.
Gary has the experience and leadership to get us through a challenging time for our village, and has proven he will do what’s right for Corrales. He possesses the qualities we want in any leader, and that is why he is my choice for the mayor of Corrales. Please vote early or on March 1 for our future.
Gerard A Gagliano
Former Councillor, District 2
It is so important for all of us to know about the candidates we are considering voting for. I was your Sandoval County Commissioner from Corrales for eight years and know how important it is to have good, experienced people working on our behalf.
I know Rick Miera and the public service experience he brings as a candidate for the Village of Corrales Council.
Rick was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives for 25 years. He served as chairman of the Finance Committee (responsible for budgets and funding). Rick Miera, or should I say State House Representative, Rick Miera was known as the education legislator working towards improving the N.M. school system at all levels, and he is still very involved.
I am pleased to endorse and hope you will vote for Representative Rick Miera for the open seat on the Corrales Village Council which he is seeking. Experience counts, and there is no question Representative Miera brings that knowledge and experience.
I am supporting Rick Miera because experience counts! It is imperative that our Village officials partner with both government and private sectors to ensure that our community continues to thrive through the following actions:
- Keeping our village healthy and safe.
- Stimulating local business.
- Protecting local farms.
- Enforcing zoning laws.
- Supporting the ever-growing number of artists and
- Sustaining the quality of life that we all benefit from here in the village.
Rick Miera has the executive, fiduciary and legislative experience to work collaboratively with governmental officials and Corrales citizens to meet these challenges. I can attest to his success as a legislator.
I have been an educator in the Corrales area for over 40 years. I have observed him work diligently to pass much-needed appropriations and public education policy legislation in his capacity as chairman of the Legislative Education Committee .
I am proudly supporting his candidacy and appreciate how fortunate we will be for him to represent the Village of Corrales as the District 1 Village Councillor.
Whether you are a long time Corrales resident, been here for a bit of time or are new to the community, I can guarantee you moved here because certain Corrales lifestyle and attributes appealed to you.
As a long-time resident of Corrales who, along with my husband, raised our two children here, we appreciated the rural lifestyle. A place where we could raise animals and teach the kids how to manage a rural environment learning problem-solving skills, responsibility and resilience.
Over the years, there have been continued challenges to retain and sustain that environment. Changes happen, it is inevitable, and we have seen the changes over the past 45 years. Governing the Village becomes paramount to deal with these pressures. Residents must be mindful of the vision each candidate truly has for the village.
I hear promises with questions hanging as to how candidate Fahey will aggressively support the village as a rural community. His track record does not support what appears to be a change of heart concerning retaining the village as a rural community.
Our local government must have a unified vision for the village and not skirt the matter for political reasons. Gary Kanin was consistent with his vision for the village as a rural environment. He was able to bridge the gap between making progress for the village while committing to retain the rural atmosphere.
As our mayor, Gary successfully negotiated changes that supported the growing village consistent with the vision of keeping the country in Corrales. Not easily accomplished.
As for the political cartoon featured in the last edition of the Comment: Maybe we should be able to reach back to communication the old-fashioned way sometimes. Isn’t this the common complaint of government bureaucracies —out of touch and easy to dismiss when you have the technology between you? Using technology is great, but not so much when the electricity goes off! Reach into your thoughts as to why you moved to Corrales. Become involved to support Corrales to retain the unique, residential rural place we call home. It really will take a village.
Vote for Gary Kanin for mayor. Frantz, Dilts and Eichhorst for Village Council.
Elaine K. Manicke
Corrales has an opportunity to elect a candidate to the Village Council with experience in government second to none. As a N.M. State Representative for two decades and chairing the State House Finance Committee, along with being very responsible for many improvements in the New Mexico educaxystem, Rick Miera continues to want to serve in public service. As a 20-year former employee of Sandoval County and Economic and Tourism director, I learned how important quality people are and Rick Miera is one such person. Rick’s knowledge in many areas such as finance, education, planning, and leadership is a real good fit for the Corrales Council.
I am honored to support and endorse Rick Miera for Village Council.
I have serious reservations about District 1 candidate Cora Frantz. While I’m pleased that we can get to know our municipal candidates through the forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters, I’m not sure we have learned enough about them.
As a District 1 voter, I am particularly interested to learn more about Cora Frantz to understand why she sued the Village to prevent the building of the Northwest Sector Fire Substation. When I see the devastation caused by western fires I’m so thankful for the efforts of our Chief Anthony Martinez and his people to keep us safe. He continues to offer proposals that will allow our Fire Department to rapidly respond to fire outbreaks.
Having a second fire station and positioning a water tank in the northwest area of the village is a benefit to those of us who live in the northwest area.
Cora Frantz, why did you sue the Village to prevent it? What does this say about the priorities you would have as a councillor? I’m sorry the voters of District 1 don’t know the answers to these questions. Your neighbors have a right to know what you considered more important than the fire protection of the Northwest Sector of Corrales.
As this election in Corrales draws closer, I wish to thank the many who have supported me now and during my past four terms as mayor. You know what I stand for: rural and Corrales country values.
I am not in favor of additional access to Rio Rancho, including opening Angel Road. I do plan to address the voluminous traffic on Corrales Road, much of which comes from outside of the village. Heavy traffic on Corrales Road and other village roads results in noise and air pollution, and poses risks for bicyclists, horse riders and pedestrians.
My program remains: 1- and 2-acre residential density, farming, trails for bicycles, horses and pedestrians, preservation of the Bosque Preserve, Library annex, the Arts and Cultural District, transparency at Village Hall and the ban on commercial cannabis operations in the A-1 and A-2 residential zones.
I personally have always supported the ban and all it stands for. Others didn’t support the ban, and only now say that they would enforce and defend it. That is somewhat of a Johnny-come-lately statement, and very different from my stance and what I would do.
If you have questions for me, please let me know. Although I have several email accounts and text on my cell, the email address I’m using for the campaign is firstname.lastname@example.org
We want to endorse Mel Knight wholeheartedly on behalf of myself, Donnie Leonard and Donna Wylie. We strongly feel that Mel Knight should be re-elected District 3 councillor for a second term.
The three of us have all lived in the Corrales for over 40 years. We have all been involved in many village organizations and have worked tirelessly to improve our village.
We collaborated with Mel Knight to raise money for many civic organizations. We want you to know the kind, sincere, and dedicated person we know.
She retired from Albuquerque Public Schools after 39 years as a speech pathologist. In addition to carrying a full load as a speech pathologist, she was the head teacher for five years at her school site. She served in a leadership role running the meetings, and collaborating with teachers, parents, related service professionals, and outside agencies.
Mel Knight is not new to Corrales; She moved here in 1984. It did not take Mel long to embrace the Village lifestyle. Soon after moving to Corrales, Mel met John and Dee Turner; they encouraged her to join the Friends of the Corrales Library (FOCL). The FOCL’s mission was to raise monies to augment the library budget: to expand the library, to purchase equipment, furniture, computers, etc.
The largest fundraiser was the annual Father’s Day Concert in La Entrada Park. Mel was a valued member of FOCL who sold tickets, promoted the concert, secured food donations and helped negotiate the use of La Entrada Park.
In the 90s, Mel and several other women started Corrales Women Investing in the ’90s (CWINS), a club dedicated to investment education and women’s empowerment. Mel served as both president and treasurer. CWINS is still going strong today.
In 1998 tragedy struck their family! Al and Mel Knight lost their precious son, Liam, in an accident. Mel and Al turned this tragedy into a beautiful village asset. In Liam’s memory, as well as all the children who left us way too soon, they designed and built Liam’s Pond in the southwest corner of the Corrales Recreation Center. Mel and Al, along with many Corraleños, spent many hours on the pond. Many families still enjoy the pond fishing or just sitting today, enjoying the serenity. It is a beautiful tribute to all the children that left us way too soon.
For over three years, Mel was a soccer referee for their son, Austin’s, Corrales Youth Soccer Team, the Conquistadors. Austin went on to play varsity soccer at Cibola High School. He attended Corrales Elementary, Taylor, Cibola High, and graduated from Eastern New Mexico University, and now lives in Albuquerque.
In 2008 Mel and Al Knight started Acequia Winery. Their vineyard and the wine-making facility are located at their family home. They also have a tasting room and carry-out service. In addition, the Knights work with other wineries to promote Corrales wine and Corrales overall.
Mel Knight has also volunteered with the following Corrales Village organizations: Village in the Village for over three years, the Corrales Historical Society and the Corrales Harvest Festival when Al drove the tractor and Mel was a spotter.
Mel is also an avid horsewoman; in the past she rode with a group of women and men called the Hot Flash Riders, and represented Corrales in the N.M. State Fair American National Cancer Awareness Day Rodeo “Tough Enough to Wear Pink”.
Mel turned her interest to Village government. She served on the Corrales Parks and Recreation board in the mid-2000s, on the Corrales Planning and Zoning Commission for some years starting in 2014, and on the Corrales Village Council where she is the current District 3 Councillor.
Mel does her homework and embraces each new challenge with enthusiasm and diligence. As a Village councillor, Mel prepares for the meeting, researching and seeking input from experts and citizens to inform her vote. She reserves judgment and listens carefully to all opinions. She is careful to seek legal advice from the Village Attorney concerning voting on policy, zoning, or other pertinent matters.
She is approachable and eager to listen to the citizens of Corrales. These are qualities of an effective elected official.
We are proud to call Mel a friend, and are proud of her many years of service to Corrales.
We endorse and support Mel Knight and thank her for her selfless service.
While reading your February 5, 2022 issue, I see that Jim Fahey indicated the Village ordinance passed in January conflicts with state law. In addition, Mel Knight mistakenly refers to a petition supporting the Village ordinance ban in A1 and A2 zones as a total ban, one she indicates would violate New Mexico State Law. Both of these are misleading and a misrepresentation of the facts.
The petition only addressed a ban on commercial cannabis operations in Zones A-1 and A-2, and the Corrales law that was passed on January 4 only bans commercial cannabis operations in Zones A-1 and A-2; that law is consistent with and comports with the N.M. Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA) that allows municipalities the authority to regulate commercial licenses within the municipality’s jurisdiction.
When our state legislators developed the CRA, they paid special attention to protect residential neighborhoods from the adverse effects of cannabis commercial operations, and they included such provisions within the final CRA version. The CRA grants local jurisdictions the authority to “adopt time, place and manner rules”, as well as “rules that reasonably limit density of licenses and operating times consistent with neighborhood uses” for cannabis commercial operations.
This is exactly what our Village governing body has accomplished in the January 4, 2022, council meeting: banning commercial cannabis operations through zoning restrictions in our agricultural/residential neighborhoods.
Surrounding municipalities such as Los Ranchos have also prohibited commercial cannabis operations from residential neighborhoods through zoning restrictions like the one Corrales passed.
Fahey voted against a similar ban, Ordinance 18-002, while Village councilor in 2018; he was opposed to protecting neighbors from commercial cannabis operations then, and apparently still opposes such restrictions. Likewise Councillor Knight also was the single vote among the council when she voted against banning commercial cannabis operations in the A1 and A2 neighborhoods where we live.
Because I believe that past is prologue, in choosing a candidate, I look at their past actions (evidenced by votes) as opposed to any statements that they now support upholding a ban protecting neighborhoods just as we approach an election. A simple majority of our governing body can quickly reverse this ban and subject us all to the many problems associated with commercial cannabis. While Fahey says he will vigorously defend all Corrales laws, including the cannabis ban, he does not pledge not to try to change the law. I support Gary Kanin who has long opposed the commercial development of cannabis in Corrales. I hope that readers will consider the same process before they cast their vote.
We have known Jim Fahey for 24 years and consider him a family friend. Jim is honest, straight forward and bipartisan. When he served on the Village Council, his approach was to listen to all citizens, get the facts and make a decision that would best satisfy the needs of citizens without compromising the values of our established lifestyle.
During the transition of the Growers’ Market to the recreation center site, Jim was a vendor at the market. Like so many of us, he grew food for his family and brought high quality excess produce and plant starts to the market, providing safe, healthy food to the community.
Jim believed in the mission of the market to provide marketing resources for agricultural landowners and access to local food for the community. He also understood the challenges and commitment the market faced moving to the rec center and becoming a part of the center’s development as a commuity asset.
For several years, Jim Fahey served as president of the market’s executive committee. His leadership during the changes encountered kept the growers focused on developing agricultual land use options that created usable community assets. Getting through that transition has enabled the market to prosper for the benefit of both.
The Village continues to face complex challenges that affect our land use and our lifestyle. We are confident that Jim will apply his wide experience and knowledge to provide us all a voice in finding solutions.
Al Gonzales, Bonnie Gonzales,
Sarah Gonzales-vanHorn, Mary Gonzales and Timothy Gonzales
I must admit that I was amused at some of the letters to the Editor in the February 5, 2022 edition of the Corrales Comment that referenced alleged nefarious shadow groups pumping funds into the current election process and attempting to manipulate voters. References were made to “dark money, misleading information and a small cabal of people who prefer not to operate in daylight.…”
Given the number of letters that incorporated similar comments, one might assume there was some organized attempt to mislead the public on the part of those writing the letters. The authors made no attempt to name these stealth individuals, identify the source of this information or to demonstrate how the letter writers verified the accuracy of their information. It seems to me that logic dictates that any “dark money” would emerge from “outsiders” with a financial gain in mind and would stem more from those with an attraction to the lure of potential cannabis profits rather than from the backers of a man who has supported the ban on commercial operation in the A-1 and A-2 zones from the get-go.
I served two terms on the Village Council with Gary Kanin. I am a progressive Democrat and Gary himself will tell you I gave him hell during those two terms. That said, we were willing to work together for the good of the village, and I have a genuine fondness for the man. I respect him for his willingness to listen to other people’s opinions and to work to a compromise that was of benefit to the residents.
I have no reason to believe any of that commitment has changed. During Gary’s administration, road blocks were not placed in front of councillors who wished to add items to the agenda, Village employees were not required to notify the administration of any contact or conversation they had with any councillor, meetings that required the attendance of members of the council were arranged to accommodate councillors and residents who worked regular hours and the Village Council was not a bastion of the retired or selfemployed.
I live in this village and have for 30 years. I moved to Corrales for the rural environment, the ability to keep my horses in my back yard, the safe environment for my rescue dogs, the wildlife, birds, bosque and community I found here. I am supporting Gary Kanin for mayor of Corrales because I don’t want those things to change.
His accomplishments in his previous tenures are impressive, including but not limited to; all but one section of Loma Larga was completed, this included the repositioning of the irrigations ditches, a major engineering feat; land was purchased and the Recreation Center built; the equestrian arena was built; the Bosque Preserve was initiated; net one acre was codified; Angel Road was closed to traffic from Highway 528; and the Sandoval County Line was moved south to encompass all of the village, resulting in lower taxes for those directly affected. This last was a significant accomplishment, one I don’t believe has been pulled off anywhere else in this country.
I am supporting Gary Kanin for mayor because I do not support spot zoning. Neither does Gary. We have a Comprehensive Plan and an ordinance that states that there can be one house per acre, or in some areas, one house per two or more acres. Any derivation from this jeopardizes our water, our property values and our life style.
I do not support Corrales serving as a traffic corridor for other communities. Neither does Gary. These transient commuters do not bring revenue to the Village; there is nothing to buy on Loma Larga and we have only one petrol station on Corrales Road. Traffic that originates in other communities serves only to pollute the air in Corrales and create congestion and frustration for Village residents.
I support the equestrian lifestyle and the family farms that have come to define our community. So does Gary. Gary maintains membership in the Corrales Tractor Club and the Corrales Horse and Mule People, still owns a horse, and in pre-Covid days participated in the Corrales Ride, the Christmas de Caballos Parade, and the 4th of July Parade.
I do not support commercial cannabis production in residential areas. Gary Kanin supports the ban on such cultivation in the A-1 and A-2 zones.
During his previous tenures, animal rescue organizations worked hand in hand with Animal Control, and thanks to his cooperation and willingness to bring the Village into a cooperative recreation program with other groups by providing the arena, Corrales hosted a free to participants, children’s equestrian event that endured for better than a decade and garnered over 250 participants.
Gary Kanin is a man who has dedicated his life to public service. He has no allegiances owed to outside boards or commissions who hold joint powers agreements with other municipalities – he does not serve two masters. His campaign has been backed and financed by Village residents, not outsiders, and he favors transparency in government – something that has been noticeably lacking for the past 4 years.
A vote for Kanin is a vote to preserve the community we love.
Be sure to vote in our Important 2022 Corrales Village election for a new mayor and three new Village Councilors if you live in Districts 1,3 and 4. My view of our election comes from raising two children in Corrales, working at our elementary school and serving for 12 years on the Village Council.
This election comes at a critical time for the Village of Corrales because the state of New Mexico has introduced cannabis into New Mexico for the first time by passing the Cannabis Regulation Act. Many people in Corrales have had problems with the aroma of intensively grown medical cannabis, and commercially grown recreational cannabis will be even worse. According to the CRA, local jurisdictions may regulate commercial licenses through zoning “consistent with neighborhood uses.” That’s precisely what the law enacted by the Village Council on January 4, 2022 does; it bans commercial cannabis operations in Zones A-1 and A-2, where we have our homes. One mayoral candidate, Gary Kanin, favors the ban, and his opponent, Jim Fahey, does not.
I do believe Corrales is a great place to live, and I also believe that commercial cannabis operations in residential areas would severely degrade our quality of live and livability.
I am voting for Gary Kanin because of his excellent performance as mayor for three terms previously. Our Corrales Comprehensive Zoning Plan is to be updated. We are a village with much more land required around our homes than if we lived in the cities near us. It has been brought to our attention that there are concerns for intensive, commercial growing of cannabis in residential areas. Residents from parts of the village were suffering from living with the strong aroma of growing medical cannabis plants, and proposed recreational commercial operations would be even more toxic to our living environment. Cannabis plants require more water than many traditional agricultural crops require, and in commercial greenhouses plants require year-round watering . Water use is a significant concern for Corrales with a lowering ground water level. Safety in our village is important for all.
It was my experience while working on the council through 12 years that Jim Fahey frequently voted for larger densities in the village and more commercial uses. He appears to not understand that many “Cannabis Claims Collide with Reality,” as printed in The New York Times, on January 2, 2022. Most research has not been of high scientific quality to be published in professional journals. He appeared not to care that properties around commercial cannabis operations would lose property value. In 2017 and 2018, when his constituents came to him with the fact that buyers had purchased land next to them in order to grow medical cannabis commercially, he was not interested in helping them to find a solution or in bringing it to council for discussion and resolution. In 2018, he voted against Village zoning restrictions on growing medical cannabis commercially when it was proposed by councillors and the Village Attorney. Do we believe he would change his mind if elected? I believe not.
Vote for Gary Kanin for mayor to keep country in Corrales and a safe place for our children.
Here are some facts associated with letters published in the Corrales Comment Vol.XXXX, No 24, February 5, 2020 “Letters & Opinions.”
- From Jim Fahey: “…ordinance that does not allow commercial cannabis production in the village.…”
Fact: Ordinance 21-06, adopted on January 4, 2022, prohibits cannabis production in A-1 and A-2 residential zones. It does not prohibit cannabis production in the Corrales Road Commercial Area or the Neighborhood Commercial Office District, comprising about 200 acres. Those two zones contain more leasable space than Cottonwood and Coronado malls combined, and together they are approximately one-third the size of the bosque.
- “ordinance…[that] conflicts with state law.”
Fact 1: state law conflicts with federal law.
Fact 2: NMAC 26-2C-12 says: A. “A local jurisdiction may: (1) adopt time, place and manner rules … including rules that reasonably limit density of licenses and operating times consistent with neighborhood uses; …” (emphasis added). Therefore, Ordinance 21-06 does not conflict with state law.
From Mick Harper:
- “…outright ban that puts the village at odds with state law.”
Fact: This is false; see above. Also, note that on November 10, 2021, Los Ranchos passed Ordinance 282 about 2 months before Corrales passed Ordinance 21-06, a similar but less restrictive ordinance.
From Mel Knight:
- “…people…campaigned with a flyer promoting a total ban on growing cannabis…”
Fact: The flyer promoted banning commercial cannabis operations in residential A1 and A2; it did not advocate a “total ban.”
- “To say, ‘I don’t like this law, so I don’t have to abide by it’ is scary to me [Mel Knight].”
Fact: When New Mexico passed the Cannabis Regulation Act NMSA 26-C on June 29, 2021, our state government decided not to abide by federal law. Also, see above. Corrales is abiding by state law.
From Bill Vega:
- “…their flyers and ads have blatantly misstated that Jim Fahey voted against…Ordinance 21-06…passed…in early January 2022. Jim Fahey was not a member of the council, and not even in the room when that ordinance was passed.”
Fact: On January 23, 2018, then Councillor Jim Fahey voted against Ordinance 18-002 banning cultivation of cannabis in residential A1 and A2 zones.
Again from Jim Fahey, “…you cannot ignore the truth and facts.…” I couldn’t agree more. Let’s focus on the facts.
I read with interest the mailer produced by the Kanin campaign, and I feel it needs some clarification. In 1990, John Callan was elected mayor, vacating his council seat. I was elected to fill that spot in a special election, and I was seated next to Councilor Gary Kanin. One of my first acts was to approve the ordinance that created the Corrales Bosque Preserve. This was done under Mayor Callan, not Mayor Kanin.
When Callan resigned, we on the council, following established procedure, voted to install Gary as mayor, rather than go through the expense of an election.
I was, at that time, the only mother on the council, and I had two notable experiences which informed me the village needed public space for our children. First, our kids were interested in playing soccer, but the only area where they could play was a field provided by a generous private landowner. What if that field was no longer available? Where would our kids enjoy their games?
The second involved the Corrales Elementary tradition of taking our kids to Rio Rancho’s Haynes Park for an end of school year picnic. We were setting up at one of the picnic tables when a woman approached us asking what school we represented. When told Corrales, she informed us the park was reserved for Rio Rancho schools. We were not welcome.
Sometime later, the Jones field came before the council with a plan to build 14 homes on the sheep pasture and a request for a zone change to commercial for the property fronting Corrales Road. The extensive green space was a gem in the center of the village, and I saw an opportunity to protect the land from development while providing recreational space for our children.
Everyone was opposed, even Gary. At $80,000 an acre, the Jones parcel was deemed too expensive for the village to purchase. The Parks and Recreation Commission drew up plans to put recreational activities on the Gonzales land north of the bank. One day, after dropping my kids off at school, I stopped by the Corrales Comment office to speak with editor Jeff Radford.
“I can’t do it, Jeff. No one wants to buy the Jones property.”
Jeff stared at me, pointing a finger at my face. “Don’t you give up, Chris. Don’t give up.” I will never forget that moment. The village owes Jeff their gratitude because I took his words to heart. I squared my shoulders and went back to the fight.
It took a lot of work to cobble together the support. I would grab people at the Post Office, at the grocery store, at coffee shops. I remember talking to Gary over iced tea at a restaurant. “It’s a capital investment,” I advocated. “The village can’t lose.” Finally, after much discussion, Gary got on board.
Next came the question of funding. I proposed the village purchase half of the property through a ten-year gross receipts bond issue. Someone asked at a council meeting if there was a way we could purchase the rest, and I suggested we challenge the community to raise the money. Scott Sibbett then created Corrales Rec, Inc., complete with the wooden thermometer on Corrales Road, and fundraising began in earnest.
The mailer issued by the Kanin campaign needs clarification. John Callan was elected mayor in
1990, vacating his council seat. I was elected to fill that spot in a special election, and I sat next
to Councilor Gary Kanin. Almost immediately, we approved the ordinance that created the
Corrales Bosque Preserve. Kanin was not installed by the council as mayor until a year later
when Callan resigned.
As for the Recreation Center, I was, at that time, the only mother on the council. Two
experiences led me to fight for public space for our children. First, our kids were playing soccer
on a field provided by a generous private landowner. Second, when we took our kids to Rio
Rancho’s Haynes Park for an end of school year picnic, we were told the park was reserved for
Rio Rancho schools.
When the Jones field came before the council with a plan to build 14 homes on the sheep
pasture and a request for a zone change to commercial for the property fronting Corrales Road,
I saw an opportunity to protect extensive green space, a gem in the center of the village, from
development while providing recreational space for our children.
Everyone was opposed, including Gary. At $80,000 an acre, the Jones parcel was deemed too
expensive for the village to purchase. Gary supported the Parks and Recreation Commission’s
plan to put recreational activities on the Gonzales land north of the bank.
One day, after dropping my kids off at school, I stopped by the Corrales Comment office to
speak with editor Jeff Radford. “I can’t do it, Jeff. No one wants to buy the Jones property.”
Jeff pointed a finger at me. “Don’t you give up, Chris. Don’t give up.” The village owes Jeff their
gratitude because I took his words to heart. I squared my shoulders and went back to the fight.
It took a lot of work to cobble together the support, grabbing people at the Post Office, at the
grocery store, at coffee shops. I spoke with Gary over iced tea at a restaurant. “It’s a capital
investment,” I advocated. “The village can’t lose.” Finally, Gary got on board.
I proposed the village purchase half the property through a ten-year gross receipts bond. When
asked at a council meeting how we could purchase the remainder, I suggested we challenge the
community to raise the money. Scott Sibbett created Corrales Rec, Inc., complete with the
wooden thermometer on Corrales Road, and fundraising began in earnest.
To give him his due, once Gary committed, he did get us $50,000 from Bernalillo County as well
as large donations from private individuals. That money paired with residents’ contributions
and jars of pennies from Corrales Elementary school children, allowed us to complete the
purchase in an exemplary example of public and private partnership.
It was hard, and there were times I left council meetings close to tears, but thanks to those who
worked to support me in initiating the project as well as those who raised the money, we have
a precious treasure in the heart of the village where residents can recreate and relax. It is
possible we could have had a center under Gary’s leadership, but it would have been a pale
substitute for what we have now.
Finally, I have no issue with an 89-year-old running for public office, I know people in their 90’s
still working. However, does Gary have the technological ability to manage a municipality in
2022? He told me in early February he doesn’t own a computer. When I asked if he had an
email address, he said he did. “They” would let him know when something came in. In addition,
it was clear during the zoomed candidate forums that an unknown person was coaching him on
We have a hard-working staff at the village, but it is small. Should they be expected to handle
his emails and zoom meetings? And, if he needs this type of help running a campaign, what
happens over the next four years if he gets the job. Will people unknown to the voters be
coaching him there as well?
I have had my differences with Jim Fahey. But with Jim, what you see is what you get. There is
no one behind the scenes manipulating him. I have seen him swayed with logic and facts. I can
live with that, so I will support him. I hope you do as well.
To give him his due, once Gary committed, he plunged in, getting us $50,000 from Bernalillo County as well as large donations from private individuals. That money paired with residents’ contributions and jars of pennies from Corrales Elementary school children allowed us to complete the purchase in an exemplary example of public and private partnership.