Posts in Category: 2022-February 19

ISSUE 2-19-22 COMMENTARY

By George Wright

Former District 2 Councillor

Let’s keep nonpartisan municipal elections nonpartisan! With the Fahey campaign’s latest “List of Endorsers” ad and Corrales Comment opinion pieces, the Fahey campaign has tried to make the nonpartisan mayoral election highly partisan. But the Village’s struggle against Corrales becoming the “Commercial Cannabis Capitol of New Mexico” is not a partisan issue.

As my District 2 councillor, Bill Woldman, aptly explained before voting in favor of the ban implemented on the January 4, it comes down to a question of quality of life for Corraleños. And that’s something Fahey doesn’t acknowledge, as demonstrated by his lack of engagement and interaction with constituents.

While he has consistently opposed efforts to protect and defend our quality of life, voted against a protective ordinance, and expressed favoritism toward the cannabis industry’s growers and manufacturers on numerous occasions, Fahey has turned a deaf ear toward constituent complaints about how the cannabis operations have affected their quality of life.

Fahey was asked by constituents to help with the nuisances caused by the medical cannabis facility in his district in the north part of Corrales. He basically told neighbors that there was nothing that could be done to abate the odors, traffic and other problems, because he considered it a grandfathered-in, done-deal, which was probably not totally the case. Even if the facility was legitimate at the time, Fahey apparently never offered to do anything to help resolve neighborhood complaints.

When constituents in his district asked for help to fight a proposed medical cannabis operation on a four-acre tract adjacent to their rental and other properties, his solution, according to the constituents, was to quit answering their calls and emails.

While Fahey may view N.M.’s Cannabis Regulation Act as a “Law of the Land” that requires municipalities to blindly comply, other municipalities and legal entities have a different view. State Senator Katy Duhigg, an attorney who co-sponsored the CRA, and Los Ranchos Village Attorney Nann Winter, in conjunction with the Governing Body of our neighbors in Los Ranchos, have implemented a commercial cannabis ban in their agricultural/residential zones and they obviously feel it comports with state law and is defendable against legal challenges. And an independent legal assessment by a premier N.M. attorney firm also agrees that the Corrales ban will stand up to legal challenges.

By Nandini Kuehn

Jim Fahey Should Be Our Next Mayor

I support Jim Fahey for mayor for many reasons. Chiefly, he has the competence, relevant experience and proven community mindedness to build on recent Corrales governmental successes rather than backtrack to an imaginary, mythical past.

Each aspiring and incoming mayor vows to make things better for their constituents, to change, improve, build on and mostly, to prepare their communities for the future. Very few mayors say they will turn the clock back. Gary Kanin did just that at the recent municipal election forum.

Our outgoing mayor won election four years ago in a landslide because she listened to villagers’ concerns about a tone deaf, do-nothing administration that she inherited. Kanin proceeded to criticize Jim for representing a “continuation of this administration.” Jim Fahey’s plan is to build on an administration that stresses attentive and collaborative leadership, one that puts village and community interest front and center and preserve what makes living here so treasured —that is a problem? Not for me.

Jim Fahey’s three terms on the Village Council means he knows how our Village government works. He brings experience in water and building expertise from his years as a member of and chairing (2010 - present) the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA) which will stand us in good stead at this moment when water access and protection are so critical. His solid reputation and experience in community service for the past 20 years means he can work collaboratively and get things done while preserving Corrales values.

Kanin’s focus is mostly on gripes bordering on fear-mongering. He wants better police and fire safety. But aren’t we the safest town in New Mexico? Better pay, he opined. He was unaware of the Corrales-wide worker pay scale adjustment, passed unanimously by our council. That has resulted in a better paid, staffed and equipped Police and Fire Department. We have one of the best COVID management teams in the state. Why change that?

Gary Kanin repeatedly stressed preserving our strictly enforced density limits, when it is really not threatened. When he bragged about altering the southern border to bring all of Corrales within Sandoval, he made it clear it was a personal victory, done without council participation. No collaboration and more unilateral decision-making is bound to come our way if he returns to office.

Kanin’s only strategy to get more infrastructure funding appears to be to ask our legislators. Jim Fahey knows that the funds available to the State under the Infrastructure Bill will require more action and yes, he will look to our legislators and state sources for help. To get those funds, he will identify our strategic infrastructure needs that qualify for those funds and negotiate agreements to obtain and administer these funds with good financial oversight. Our legislators are our allies and excellent sources of information and advice about what is available and the process to get funding. But they are not going to bring a blank check to the table at anyone’s asking. Those days, if they ever existed, are long gone.

Jim Fahey will work with the Village Council as he seeks village-wide input for a new Comprehensive Plan that addresses water and sewer management, broadband expansion to upgrade the access we now have, build-out of the Performing Arts Center, expansion of the gym, evaluation of senior living options, and proper financial stewardship of our bonding for property acquisition and farmland easements to preserve our rural flavor. While Jim enforces our Village Codes that now exist, he is open to adjustments that serve emerging needs in our village.

In other words, he is committed to retain what is best about Corrales while developing measures that will sustain our gem into the future. This is the kind of mayor I want to vote for.

By Marg Elliston and Fred Harris

We are supporting Jim Fahey for mayor of Corrales because we know him well as a wise councillor and a problem solver who can work with all kind of folks in our sometimes fractious village for an even better future while protecting all of what we have here in Corrales. That requires a really complicated balancing act, more than just platitudes about the way things used to be.

Maybe it’s his long and successful MD background, but we’ve been struck by the fact that Jim has a terrific bedside manner. He listens carefully to everybody who’s got something to say. Then, he makes a thoughtful, rational, and compassionate diagnosis of the problem, free from bias or “alternative facts,” and decides on a rational and compassionate course of treatment, action.

Some of us especially respect Jim as the backyard farmer who grows the best tomato starts that we can ourselves then plant in our own backyard gardens. More, he is a leader in the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA) which is now helping Corrales build an important horse/bicycle trail link to greatly enhance the travel experience on the Sagebrush Trail, as well as partnering to reconstruct the Harvey Jones Channel entry into the Rio Grande —thereby improving the Bosque.

For folks who are still deciding who to vote for to move Corrales forward, consider that our new mayor will need to continue the excellent local and area relationships which have been so well now established and that Jim knows so well. Our new mayor will need to continue to work with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District to make sure that Corrales irrigators get their fair share of water in this and future seasons —crucial to the survival of our farms, ditches  and cottonwood forests.

With the increased funding opportunities provided by the Covid Relief Acts, our new mayor will need continued good cooperation with Governor Michelle Luján Grisham and her staff. Corrales’ funding requests will succeed if our new mayor continues the close relationship we now have with our friendly local legislators to prepare and present thoughtful and collaborative capital outlay “needs lists.” Our new mayor must continue frequent and meaningful contact we have with the other mayors in our area and with the County and other government agencies which have an effect on our way of life in Corrales.

Jim Fahey already knows well and will work well with these agencies and elected officials —and with all of us. We need him to help lead us onward, preserving and protecting the Corrales we love.

By Jo Anne Roake

Mayor of Corrales

My View

For the past four years, it has been my honor to serve as your mayor. Thank you for trusting me to work hard to bring you a responsible and respectful government. And I have worked hard! Good government is so much more than a single issue and requires sustained effort and commitment. I made it my mission to repair and strengthen relationships with neighboring communities, legislators, county and state organizations. I did a deep dive into the intricacies of today’s challenges, technological, governmental, financial and legal.

Through the combined efforts of staff, myself and the Governing Body, Village government has never been more professional, robust or effective. We’ve accomplished a great deal and now have the resources and momentum to move forward, successfully navigating inevitable change to our advantage as we tackle the future.

Government resides in the present, not the past. So I must speak up for the candidate that will honor the past, but know how to move us into the future.

First of all, there’s no doubt former Mayor Gary Kanin served this community for years, years ago. Thank you. However, the future of the Village lies ahead, not behind. Jim Fahey has never left the public arena, serving the last of his multiple Village Council terms until just two years ago, and he is currently serving as chairman of the Southern Sandoval County Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA).

With SSCAFCA, he helped secure funding for large water retention and improvement projects. The negotiating skills he developed will translate well into making sure that the Village has a bold advocate as we face the unprecedented opportunity to get funding for infrastructure investments. Jim also has deep ties to our agricultural community as a farmer, vendor and manager of the Corrales Growers’ Market.

He has demonstrated his commitment to the community time and again. He is honest, straightforward and competent. Together with the Governing Body, he’ll lead the Village in a vigorous way that recognizes our past but with an understanding of current realities that will enable us to survive as a unique community into the future.

Based on my own experience as mayor for the last four years, and what it takes to do a credible job, I know Jim Fahey is the right man for the job. Thank you.

By Rick Thaler

Full disclosure: I’m a left-wing socialist with anarchist tendencies, but some of my best friends in Corrales are so far to my right politically that we shouldn’t be able to see each other, much less work and play together.

Yet we do. I have lived here almost 50 years and I have known Gary Kanin for many of those years. I don’t recognize the caricature of him painted in the letters to the Comment of this week. I recently met Jim Fahey and have corresponded with him at some length about the issues that are important to me. I don’t recognize the caricature of him in the letters either.

Both these candidates are well qualified to hold the office of mayor. Both have integrity and a long-standing commitment to the good of the village. As far as I can tell their positions on the key issues facing the village are not all that different.

Conspiracy theories, partisan attacks and childish name-calling have no place in this election. I encourage you all to make direct contact with the mayoral candidates after listening to them in the forums and base your vote on what they say and how they say it, not on baseless ad hominem attacks and smears.

Fahey’s record indicates that he likely won’t lift a finger, phone, or pen to defend the ban on commercial cannabis operations in residential areas, and may instead work to repeal it. Gary Kanin is the only mayoral candidate who has indicated that he will work to keep our residential areas free from commercial cannabis operations. Mayor Kanin was an excellent mayor before, and he will be an excellent mayor again.

ISSUE 2-19-22 LETTERS

Dear Editor:

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

Dear Editor:

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

Dear Editor:

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.

Donnie Leonard

Dear Editor:

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.

Sherry Jones

Dear Editor:

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

Dear Editor:

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. 

 Donna Wylie

Dear Editor:

 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.

Sam Thompson

Dear Editor:

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 garykanin@gmail.com

 Gary Kanin

Dear Editor:

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.

Sherry Jones

Donna Wylie

Donnie Leonard

Dear Editor:

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.

Patrick McClernon

Dear Editor:

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

Dear Editor:

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.

Melanie Scholer

Dear Editor:

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.

Pat Clauser

Dear Editor:

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.

Vicki Reder

Dear Editor:

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.

Dear Editor,

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

the call.

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.

Chris Allen

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.

ISSUE 2-19-22 GOLDEN YEARS

By Sarah Pastore

Executive Director, Village in the Village

A Belated Valentine: Love Abounds in Corrales

“You still haven’t met all of the people who are going to love you.” —Anonymous

The day that I’m writing this happens to be my birthday, a day that always provides me with an extra opportunity for reflection. As each year passes and affords me the chance to learn more about life and love, I think about all the different iterations of love I’ve learned so far. I think the world we all want to live in is fueled by love, but it’s not only about the kind we see highlighted in the greeting card aisle this month.

As small children, we realize the purest form of love; we give and receive it unguardedly. When my sons were toddlers, I watched them develop a profound adoration not just for me, my husband, and our extended family, but also for the UPS man, their preschool teachers, and within minutes of meeting a new friend at the park. The hearts of children run wild with abandon and the possibility of new experiences.

In the teen years, butterflies fill our stomachs with the first feelings of romantic love. We’re thrust into a new world of navigating these emotions and heartbreaks. We learn to guard our hearts and we learn that sometimes love hurts. Yet the hope of sharing life with a partner propels many of us to share our hearts anyway.

Throughout our adult years, we forge the bonds of friendship that carry us through marriage, babies, careers, divorce and loss. The stories that our lives write are filled with supporting characters who laugh and cry with us —some who may impact us greatly but briefly, and others who remain steadfast beside us for decades. The love of a friend is precious in ways that in some respects, surpasses the love of a partner.

In the senior years, love finds a new maturity from a lifetime of experiences. It’s this love that pours into grandchildren, comforts adult children facing a world of uncertainty, and looks for ways to “be the change” in this same unclear future. It’s a love that finds purpose and meaning in helping others now that career obligations have subsided. It’s a time to appreciate the fruition of work that we’ve put into relationships, and a time to evaluate the love we’ve shown to others that will someday be our legacy. Rather than being hardened by the ups and downs of life, I find that many seniors have hearts that once again run wild with abandon because they can truly appreciate the gift it is to love and be loved.

I’ve had the privilege to grow my career with Village in the Village over the past 4 years. My duties began by doing administrative work and have continued to evolve so that we can expand our impact in Corrales. In learning about our organization, what I’ve noticed the most over the years is how many of our members have created extremely meaningful friendships with each other. Through social activities (in person before the pandemic, and for now on Zoom) and services provided by our volunteers, our members form connections over shared experiences, mutual friends, and common interests.

The quote I began with —“You still haven’t met all of the people who are going to love you”— instantly reminded me of Village in the Village. It didn’t occur to me until reading the quote that this organization is made up of people filled with love to share—with their friends, neighbors, and community. When our members need each other —from experiencing an unexpected injury to the loss of a spouse— they show up for each other. They’re among the first to ask, “How can I help?” I’ve seen them do it time and time again, not only for people who have become their friends, but for new ViV members they’ve never met.

This outpouring of love among ViV members is not only beautiful to see, but a true gift to Corrales. Right here in our village, we have a group of people willing and ready to help each other with life’s challenges and celebrate each other’s joys. They’re a network of dedicated and dynamic individuals, and the love and care that they show our community is why Corrales is a place I’m proud to call home.

Do you have extra love to give? Could you use a little extra love in your life? I think I know just the group for you. Find out more at http://www.villageinthevillage.org, or call (505) 274-6206.

ISSUE 02-19-22 MOVIE REVIEW

Jackass Forever Directed by Jeff Tremaine. Starring Johnny Knoxville and His Dumb Buddies. Plugs: None. Nearest: Cottonwood Mall.

 Director Jeff Tremaine and Johnny Knoxville return for a fourth, and allegedly last, installment of the popular Jackass series in which Knoxville and his not-too-bright buddies engage in mild public property destruction and somewhat more serious personal bodily destruction.

Jackass relishes in shock, stupidity and plenty of shots to mens’ privates; this film features mixed martial arts UFC title holder Francis Ngannou punching one of the fellows in the testicles. Comedian Eric Andre, one of several B-list celebrities who appear in cameos, notes dryly at one point that “This is not a Mensa conference.”

 If stupid stunts are your thing, ranging from human cannonballs to stun gun stunts to a fat guy jumping into a cactus patch, this is your bag. Jackass Forever also makes use of a variety of vermin including snakes, scorpions, spiders and bees, used to menace the performers.

There’s lots of gross-out humor involving bodily fluids and substances (human and otherwise), and the film is definitely not for the squeamish. Not all of the segments in Jackass are dangerous stunts; some of them are simply Candid Camera-type pranks, with hidden cameras capturing bystanders’ reactions to crazy situations.

Amid all the outrageous, and occasionally disgusting, shenanigans, it’s easy to overlook the ingenious engineering skills brought to the film. While the segments and clips may only take 20 seconds or a minute to watch, actually designing and testing the stunts to make them dangerous but not lethal involves a lot of work and preparation. A scene where farts are lit on fire is captured through a semi-scientific contraption that would not be out of place on Mythbusters, while some of the stunts were presaged by reality shows such as Fear Factor.

 One interesting aspect of the series is the use of meta-narrative. In addition to the stunts, which are pretty straightforward, there are also pranks —some of which are quite elaborate— played on both unsuspecting marks and cast members each other on the set, so it’s never really clear, at least until the end of the sketch, what’s real and what’s not. The mixing of fact and fiction, genuine and ersatz threats, keeps the action interesting through the hit-and-miss series of sketches and stunts.

 Jackass began as a television series in 2000, and soon became a successful film franchise. By now the series has the feel of old friends —in both senses of the word— reuniting to see if they can still pull off the stunts from their salad days.

Most of the crew are back, including Steve-O and Chris Pontius (with the exception of Ryan Dunn, who died in a drunk-driving car crash in 2011). Jackass is an equal-opportunity offender and makes use of a variety of (mostly male) morphologies, from dwarf Wee Man to morbidly obese Preston Lacy. In an attempt to bring in some new blood, as it were, the crew have gotten a bit more diverse, with female Jackass participant Rachel Wolfson and a few African-American buddies as well.

 Knoxville has stated that he plans no more entries, though the call of cash may prove otherwise. For those curious about the skater stunt origins of the Jackass series, check out the documentary Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine, available on Hulu. I make no apologies for laughing out loud multiple times, punctuated by some groans and more than a few winces; Jackass Forever may be low-brow and not everyone’s cup of pig semen, but the film has an undeniable escapist appeal. 

Benjamin Radford

ISSUE 02-19-22 DOROTHY TRAFTON DIES

Dorothy Trafton, daughter of Dulcelina Curtis and sister of Evelyn Losack, died at age 90 on February 3 due to complications from a stroke.

She grew up in Corrales working on the family farm. Widely known as a physical education teacher, she retired after teaching at Lincoln Middle School in Rio Rancho.

Trafton held master’s degrees in physical education and in counseling and student guidance. She was also an elected official and businesswoman. She served on the Village Council in the 1980s and owned and restored the old two-story, white building on Corrales Road, sometimes referred to as the “Sears House” since it was assembled from mail order components. She used the resulting retail space for a shop until she sold the property.

She was admired for her exuberance in many fields, but especially as a dancer. She was chosen to serve on the U.S. Olympic Committee in 1984.

She is survived by three sons: Curt, Mitch and Clay and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She married Clint Trafton shortly after high school where they met; they later divorced.

Later, she partnered on the dance floor and cruises with E.J. Bereza and then Bud Bolsinger.

Funeral services were held at San Ysidro Church, February  18 at 9 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family recommends donations to the Solo Club of Albuquerque or the Sodality of San Ysidro Catholic Church.

ISSUE 02-19-22 MIKE HAMMAN NAMED NEW STATE ENGINEER

A Corrales farmer and former head of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Mike Hamman, has been appointed N.M. State Engineer. Before he retired from the MRGCD December 31, he was tapped to be Governor Michelle Luajn Grisham’s senior water advisor. He continues in that role,  but he now replaces the previous State Engineer, John D’Antonio, who resigned in December as well, citing staffing problems. The N.M. Senate unanimously confirmed Hamman as State Engineer February 11.

In another water-related arena, the executive engineer for the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Contol Authority (SSCAFCA), Chuck Thomas, resigned on February 5. Thomas has been replaced by Dave Gatterman as SSCAFCA executive engineer. The appointment was announced February 1 by the authority’s board chairman, Corrales’ Jim Fahey.

ISSUE 02-19-22 TANYA LATTIN TESTS POSITIVE

The Corrales Fire Department’s Tanya Lattin  was sickened with COVID last month, as she reported to the mayor and Village Council during their  February 8 meeting. She has been, and continues to be, the public face of Corrales’ strenuous battle against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Lattin has vaccinated hundreds, perhaps thousands of villagers during drive-thru events in the back parking lot of the Recreation Center as well as in-home applications.

“On January 26, I tested positive for COVID,” she reported early in the council meeting. “It started with a scratchy throat, and I just didn’t feel well. I was achy, but with no fever. And lots of tirednesss.”

Battalion Commander Lattin said she continued to test positive for the virus, but “there was no lung involvement.”

In early February, the N.M. Health Department reported that 500,516 New Mexicans had been sickened with the virus. At least 6,658 had died. However, the number of new cases statewide was in decline.

On February 9, the acting Secretary of Health said he intended to keep the State’s mask mandate a while longer even though other states were lifting such restrictions.

Nearly half of all New Mexicans  have been vaccinated and gotten booster shots —which was true of Lattin as well. New research reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention February 11 indicates that the effectiveness of those booster shots diminishes after about four months, raising questions about the need for a second booster.

ISSUE 02-19-22 WHO’LL BE NEXT MAYOR?

The future remains as clear as mud, but as Corraleños cast ballots to elect a new mayor and half of the Village Council, it may  help  to know that Corrales will be just fine no matter who wins. Based on in-depth Corrales Comment interviews with the candidates, all the candidates —two running for mayor and six vying for council seats— are decent citizens running for the right reasons.

That’s not to say they’re all equally qualified or that they all hold fast with traditional community values and priorities. In the candidate profiles published below, one explains why he has been a Trump supporter, another wants to eliminate all septic systems, another would prioritize construction of an animal shelter, at least two want better controls over Intel’s industrial emissions, one is an incumbent seeking a second term, two have been elected to council three times previously. One has lived in Corrales basically all his life, one moved here six years ago; they are not running in the same council district.

One of the two candidates for mayor was a former TV news anchor who has appeared in nine movies, the other was a surgeon who has served as manager of the Corrales Growers’ Market and is now chairman of the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority. Most of them weigh in on such current issues as whether to buy the vacant land next to Wells Fargo Bank, higher residential density for a senior living complex, rules for construction of “casitas,” revising the 2009 Corrales Comprehensive Plan and growing marijuana.

All of the candidates sat for a recorded interview by Comment Editor Jeff Radford. Profiles based on those are presented below in the order in which they were available to be interviewed for respective positions. None had advance knowledge of what specific questions would be asked, and none was allowed to review or revise resulting articles.

An attempt has been made to give equal weight to each candidacy with regard to profile length and most relevant position on current issues. Responses by the candidates or their supporters (or detractors) to these profiles are encouraged as letters to the editor submitted by email to jradford19@comcast.net.

All registered voters living in Corrales can vote for mayor, but only those residing in Council Districts 1, 3 and 4 will be able to cast ballots for the person to represent their district on the council. Elections here are non-partisan; none is running as Democrat, Republican, Green or Libertarian, so none is identified here as such unless that candidate chose to self-identify.

Early voting ends February 26. To take advantage of that, see the Village Clerk in the offices at the northeast corner of Corrales Road and East La Entrada. Election day is March 1 when polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Corrales Recreation Center.

Mayor

Two candidates want to be Corrales’ next mayor after Mayor Jo Anne Roake declined to seek re-election. They are former Mayor Gary Kanin and former Village Councillor Jim Fahey.

Jim Fahey

Specializing in surgery on the hand, Jim Fahey was in charge of general surgery on a Navy submarine in the Arabian Sea, North China Sea and other deployments in the early 1970s.

After military service, he practiced surgery in Texas and Oklahoma before moving to New Mexico in 1997 to work at the VA hospital and at UNM Hospital. He moved to Corrales in 1998. He is now 75 years old.

In 2006, running at-large, Fahey was elected to the Village Council. But not long after, Corrales switched to council districting; district boundaries drawn then resulted in Fahey and another councillor living in the same district, so he couldn’t seek re-election until the new district seat became open.

When it did, he ran and won in 2012 and again in 2016 in what is now District 5. He served on the council until March 2020.

He said among his major accomplishments during those terms were removal of nearly all stop signs along Loma Larga so that road could serve as a traffic reliever for Corrales Road as intended; establishing districted representation on the council; and construction of a sewer line in the business district that connects to Albuquerque’s sewer.

While on the council, Fahey began attending meetings of the board of directors of the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority which attempted to address chronic flooding problems here and in Rio Rancho. He was elected to that board in 2010, and has been re-elected ever since. He is currently the board’s chairman. His SSCAFCA term ends next year.

Neither he nor his opponent for mayor liked the project which eventually installed a small-diameter wastewater line down Corrales Road to serve the commercial area, but they helped implement it to end a decades-long impasse. “Ultimately, we got only a STEP system,” which is a pressurized septic tank effluent line that accepts only liquid waste, and serves only the business district. They both want to reconsider their options now.

Based on statements during the candidate forums February 7 and 10, Fahey thinks the next Village Council may be ready to consider switching to a more conventional gravity-fed sewer system.

“The system we have now is not the best. It appears, after the discussion we had the other night, that all the five people who participated are for a sewer line. So if they’re all in favor of a sewer line, we should start thinking about planning for a sewer line.

“That’s where the Interior Drain project comes in, and that’s where the Comprehensive Plan comes into play,” since the drainage ditch there now could contain a gravity-fed sewer pipe.

That long drainage ditch east of Corrales Road owned by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District runs all the way from the end of East Valverde  Road to south beyond East Meadowlark Lane. “If we do this first part right, it could be a template for a sewer line to serve other parts of the village. The MRGCD sounds eager to get rid of the Interior Drain. If you put in things you know you need, such as broadband, sewer, a fire suppression system, and then cover it up, then in the middle of this gorgeous pathway area you plant your heritage trees and you make it pretty. You allow bicycles, pedestrians and equestrians —and you close it to traffic. You’ve got to close it to traffic, because it is there, motorists will use it and it will be dangerous. So that’s sort of a pipe dream.”

On another long-running, endlessly delayed proposal, a pathway along Corrales Road, both candidates would like to see it advance. Fahey said he would “absolutely” like to see the pathway implemented as soon as possible.

Fahey does not favor Village government taking over Corrales Road [State Highway 448] because it would be too expensive to manage and maintain. Among the reasons are that the road cannot meet the Village’s roadway standards and the numerous irrigation pipes and culverts under the road will eventually deteriorate requiring enormous repair costs.

If the highway department fixes those things and brings it up to meet the Village’s standards, a transfer of ownership might be possible, he said.”We can certainly discuss it with them, but they need to tell us how much they spend on the road, they need to get the culverts clear and functional and they need to stabilize the road shoulders.”

The candidate said he favors moving ahead with a new full-size gym at the rec center and would like to see a performing arts center built.

Fahey does not want to be drawn into the commercial cannabis cultivation issue again. “The ordinance banning  commercial cannabis in residential areas has been passed, it is the law of the land, and it will be enforced and defended,” he emphasized.

He wants to see tighter controls on construction of casitas or the reversion of existing ones to rental units, although  “I’ll not interfere with ones already in existence, but if this keeps going, we’re going to have issues with our groundwater.”

To allow an ongoing proliferation of casitas “would be a quantum change for the Village of Corrales,” Fahey added. He sees permission for higher density senior living facilities in much the same way, although he noted that is already being evaluated by the Planning and Zoning Commission and would likely be addressed by an update of the Corrales Comprehensive Plan.

Gary Kanin

Having lived in Corrales since 1965, Gary Kanin won a seat on the Village Council in 1989, attracting votes for opposing then-Mayor Laura Warren’s plans to build a four-lane highway where Loma Larga is now. It would have connected  to Highway 528 in Rio Rancho at Northern Boulevard and    ended at Highway 528 (Alameda Boulevard) at Ellison on the south.

Banners, posters, petitions and mailers decried that plan with the motto “No Way a Highway.” Also elected to the council that year was John Callan, who ran for mayor two years later to oppose  Warren, who eventually decided against trying for a second term. Callan became mayor —but resigned after voters rejected his plan to buy the property where Village Mercantile is now for a recreation center.

The Village Council voted in Kanin to replace Callan; Kanin repeatedly won re-election until he declined to seek another term in 2006. Instead, he ran for a seat on the council, but lost to Jim Fahey. He has not held public office since that time.

Kanin, age 88, retired from a long career in television, first as a broadcaster for KOB and then as an advertising account executive for KOAT. He and his late wife, Donna Kanin, were active in the Adobe Theater when it staged at the Old Church, and both were dues-paying members of the Screen Actors Guild; he still is.

He has appeared in six movies, most recently Coyote Waits, by Tony Hillerman. He still gets residual checks for his role in Young Guns.

For more than 30 years, he has raised race horses on his Corrales Road property; one of them won big at State Fair racetrack in 2011. For 20 years, he rode a Harley motorcycle with an American  Legion biker group among whom he was known as “Mayor Dog.”

Kanin said he is running for another tem as mayor  to halt a deterioration  of community values and a country lifestyle.”I think I’m the one who can do it.”

He laments what he sees as lax enforcement of zoning and land use regulations and would re-appoint some members of the Planning and Zoning Commission who had been removed from that board.

Throughout his years as mayor, Kanin strongly opposed relaxation of  residential density rules. He has insisted on no greater density than one home per acre (one per two acres in the former Bernalillo County portion of Corrales.)

When the Village succeeded in a wholesale annexation of territory that included the Seven Bar Ranch pasture between Las Tiendas shopping center and the bosque at the south end of the valley, the owners challenged Corrales’ one-acre zoning in court, insisting on developing that more than 20-acre tract with eight dwelling units per acre.

Kanin was alone among members of the governing body who believed strongly that Corrales’ zoning law could withstand that court challenge. But he persisted and won.

If elected mayor in March, Kanin said he will stop what he considers gradual erosion of restrictions on density. “I will retain and sustain the rural character of Corrales as much as possible.”

His candidacy has attracted support ers who believe he will assure that residential neighborhoods are not impacted by commercial cannabis operations. “I am totally opposed to commercial cannabis growing in residential areas.

“There’s controversy whether cannabis is an agricultural product… some say it is and some say it isn’t.”

While Kanin concedes the Village Council has already passed an ordinance prohibiting commercial cannabis growing in residential areas, he and some of his supporters “are afraid the effort to control cannabis will  lose traction.”

And even though the Village’s new ordinance restricts commercial cannabis operations to the commercial area, “there has to be some regulatory effort to apply to that.”

He said he would explore cooperating with the City of Rio Rancho on the possibility that the city’s water and sewer service might be extended into the designated “neighborhood commercial and office district” on the west side of Don Julio Road in the Far Northwest Sector, abutting the Rio Rancho Industrial Park.

Another might be extending Angel Road beyond the Corrales border to connect to Highway 528 “although we would have to have real control over that.”

Kanin is not convinced constructing bicycle, pedestrian and  horse paths along upper Meadowlark Lane is worthwhile because he observes practically no one trying to use the road that way. “It seems like a waste of money to me,” he said.

The former mayor is opposed to having Village government take ownership of Corrales Road which is a state highway. “I certainly am opposed to that. There are great difficulties in Corrales having that, and it’s not just maintenance costs and liability. I’d like to see what right-of-way that road really has, around Tijuana Bar, for example.”

Kanin would like to bring back the issue of sewer service. “I think the current so-called sewer system we have is a mistake. It constantly needs repair and correction. I don’t know that it will ever serve the purpose as intended.

“It does take some of the water away, but what about the rest of Corrales that has septic systems? As those septic systems and drainfields do nothing except pollute the aquifer. I’m going to investigate the possibility of eliminating septic tanks, or at least reducing the need for them.

“Back when I was mayor, I advocated what they called ‘the big pipe’ right down Corrales Road and it would take everything,” not  just liquid wastewater from septic tanks at homes and businesses in the commercial area. “I could not get council to do that. I’m going to investigate that again, with advice from Village Engineer Steve Grollman.”

Village Council District 1

Neighborhoods in the northwest part of Corrales bounded by Rio Rancho on the north and west have been considered neglected since homesites were created by subdivisions in the 1990s. It was to give villagers living there representation on the Village Council that council districts were established.

The current councillor for that district, Kevin Lucero, is not seeking a new term. Candidates are Cory Frantz, a customer service manager for large corporations, and Rick Miera, a retired substance abuse counselor and former state legislator.

Rick Miera

Once one of the most powerful forces in state government, Rick Miera was state representative for downtown Albuquerque for 12 terms, much of it as Majority Floor Leader. He chose not to seek re-election in 2014. “No one ran against me during ten terms, but I knew when it was time to leave,” he reflected. “I never lost, I just retired.”

During that time in the N.M. Legislature, he also chaired the House Education Committee for 18 years. That made him the longest serving chair in state history. Miera ran for lieutenant governor in the June 2017 Democratic primary but  lost to Howie Morales.

His family’s roots are in the Algodones area, going back 12 generations, although he was born in Albuquerque and grew up in the downtown Wells Park neighborhood.

By profession, he has been a drug and alcohol abuse counselor, mostly working with troubled youth. “I was one of the first people in the state to be licensed for drug and alcohol treatment. By the time I retired, I was working directly with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico.”

Miera earned a bachelor’s degree in urban development and another in business administration at the University of Albuquerque. He later received honorary doctorate degrees from the College of Santa Fe and the Southwest University of Naprapathic  Medicine.

Much of his career was treating patients at the Bernalillo County Mental Health Center (1972-1989) and the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center (2006-2011).

He counts among his formative experiences the summers he spent in Algodones where his grandmother was postmaster and storekeeper. He tended fields of alfalfa and other crops, played in the bosque and “learned how important community was. When you lose neighborhood, you lose everything.”

Although he is basically retired, he maintains a consulting firm for mental health policy, drug abuse treatment and education, juvenile justice issues and health care access. He is chairman for an oversight committee at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

And he is exceptionally busy during sessions of the N.M. Legislature providing advice and strategy on pending bills.

Among qualifications to serve on the Village Council, Miera cites “I know how to govern. I know how to set plans and how to execute those plans. And I do my homework.”

He would give high priority to addressing issues involving water. “We need to preserve Corrales’ traditions and  the rural lifestyle. That means protecting us from impacts from Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.”

He’s a strong advocate for farmland preservation and protecting the Bosque Preserve, noting that he has been endorsed by the Sierra Club. He realizes the inherent conflict between protecting the bosque as a natural area and the need for fire protection for nearby residences. “We need to sit down and talk things out. I’m good at that.”

Miera is skeptical about benefits from a Village take-over of Corrales Road. But if a decision is made to do that and  the Village cannot afford to maintain it, he thinks he can help pull in financial assistance. “I know how the State’s capital improvements program works.”

The former state legislator is more than just skeptical of what might be gained by extending Angel Road out to Highway 528 in Rio Rancho. “You’d get a thousand cars a day making a right turn from Angel Road onto Loma Larga.”

He said he would be especially cautious about allowing greater residential density anywhere in the village to accommodate senior living proposals. Even if occupants can be limited to senior citizens only, the units might quickly, and continually filled with those from Albuquerque or Rio Rancho, he warned. “And what if that project goes belly-up? Now we have an apartment complex with all the ongoing water and wastewater requirements.”

Cory Frantz

Born in Lansing, Michigan to parents who immigrated from Peru, Cory Frantz has lived along Paseo Tomas Montoya, west of the Fire Department substation, since 2004.

Her father was one of nine siblings raised in the Peruvian highlands. He earned a scholarship to a military academy in Lima where he gained a civil engineering degree in the 1950s. The U.S. government brought him to Michigan where he designed and supervised construction of roads and bridges.

Frantz’s father was soon assigned to the Organization of American States  to engineer projects throughout Latin America —which meant she lived in many Central and South American countries while growing up.

Off to college in the United States, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mercer University in 1982. She quickly launched a long career in call center management for telecommunications firms including  Sprint, MCI, BellSouth International and Worldcom. Most of that was based in Atlanta, and used her Spanish language fluency. From 1994 to 1999, she was manager of Coca-Cola’s customer service communications center in Atlanta.

With BellSouth, she was associate director of customer operations development in Latin America, 1999 to 2001 when the firm closed that venture.

General Electric Consumer Finance brought her to New Mexico in 2004 to manage its Spanish language customer service. But that was outsourced to Mexico in 2006, so she took a site manager job with Lockheed Martin Information Technology in Albuquerque. That involved a project start-up for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

That project ended in 2007, and Frantz went to work at the Victoria’s Secret customer service call center in Rio Rancho —until that firm left the state in 2012.

Since that time she has been Verizon’s social media engagement manager.

Among her top priorities if elected to the council is protecting the night sky from light pollution and protecting “our magnificent views and clean air. I will work to protect and enhance our residential property values.”

She and her husband, a lawyer, got into a legal battle with Village officials  about six years ago over a tall water tank installed at the Fire Department substation a short distance from their home. They complained that it detracted from their view of the bosque and mountains to the east. They raised a similar complaint and sought a restraining order to stop adoption of a 2016 cell tower ordinance.

Frantz opposes commercial cannabis  operations in neighborhoods for much the same reasons. “These operations produce sewer-like odors and consume large quantities of water. The gases created can result in toxic ground-level ozone; these operations consume large amounts of energy and often emit intrusive lighting. Such enterprises are highly likely to decrease residential property values.”

Frantz said she anticipates these and other land use policies will be addressed in a thoughtful updating of the Corrales Comprehensive Plan. “I will work to update the Village of Corrales Planning and Zoning Ordinance,” she assured. “I am prepared to work diligently on this project.”

She said when they bought the property here and moved into their new  home, “I felt I had arrived in paradise. The stress just dissipated from me.”

She feels strongly that Village officials need to retain low-density neighborhoods, although a senior living compound might be acceptable in the commercial district along Corrales Road. “If it’s done in the commercial area, that’s fine.”

The candidate said she is running for the District 1 seat because “I feel strongly that we need to protect what people moved here to enjoy, and that includes the majestic views, the animal-friendly community and the feeling of safety. Here we can commune with nature, and you don’t feel that in other places.”

Council District 3

Council District 3 includes the heart of Corrales’ commercial district along Corrales Road and stretches all the way to Rio Rancho where chronic drainage and flooding problems originate. The incumbent councillor, Mel Knight, wants a second term. A challenger, Andy Dilts, is an electrical engineer. Both grew up in the Chicago area.

Mel Knight

A speech pathologist for the Albuquerque Public Schools system for 31 years, Mel Knight retired in 2013, and now helps run a vineyard and winery on her property. She is seeking a second term on the Village Council.

She and her first husband bought and combined four half-acre lots on the west side’s Reclining Acres in the mid-1980s. He died, but she did not want to move back to the Chicago area where they both had lived. She stayed on, caring for a horse and two dogs while commuting to schools in Albuquerque to work with disabled and emotionally disturbed children who “had been kicked out of every school they’d been in.”

She met a Corrales builder and adobe craftsman, Al Knight, on a blind date; they married in 1990. Their first child, Liam, died in an accident at a friend’s house here. To honor his memory, they organized construction of a pond in the southwest corner of the Corrales Recreation Center using mostly volunteer labor and donated materials.

She had been volunteering for several Corrales organizations, including Friends of Corrales Library and the Corrales Soccer Club, and helped start the Hot Flash Riders, a competitive team riding group, as well as a women’s investing group.

In 2013, she was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Knight served for three years and then resigned in frustration because its rulings and regulations were not being enforced; the P&Z department had no enforcement officer.

Then in 2018, she ran unopposed for the District 3 position on the Village Council after the incumbent declined to seek another term.

Among the top issues for her constituency are road maintenance and flooding from stormwater run-off on steep terrain below the escarpment. A long-running controversy is how that can be addressed, especially for privately owned roadways.

“Corrales cannot take care of private easement roads. Part of the problem is that the Village has tried to do that. For 37 years, my kitchen window has looked out onto West La Entrada, and I would see big earthmoving equipment coming up and down that road to maintain it for wash-outs and washboardness.”

Two West La Entrada homeowners objected when the Public Works Department tried to address complaints about such problems because the roadway is a private easement. Knight sought a solution: “I tried to get an ordinance passed that would allow individuals to hire Public Works crews to go in and maintain their stretch of the private road. But the council voted it down.”

Then along the east side of her district, a major issue is chronic problems with the municipal sewer system and the need to extend it to neighborhoods east and west of Corrales Road. Knight has proposed the Village extend wastewater collection lines into higher density neighborhoods east of Corrales Road, such as the Coroval-Priestley Road area, and west to the Mountain Shadows neighborhood.

She has also warned that the existing sewerline along Corrales Road is vulnerable to blockages, requiring a parallel, bypass method.

The east side of District 3 has two other perennial controversies —the “pathway” project in the commercial area and noise and odors from eateries and breweries —plus a new one: commercial cannabis businesses.

“Residents down there are worried about music from places like the Bistro, Ex Novo and even Casa Vieja where music is played outside. They’re also worried about the smell of grains brewed at Ex Novo. When I have smelled it, I didn’t think it was a bad smell, but maybe it is an annoying smell.”

To address the odor complaints, Knight suggests the regulations recently imposed for cannabis operations, such as requiring filters, might have to be set for breweries as well.

The Village Council recently passed an ordinance banning commercial cannabis operations in residential A-1 and A-2 zoned neighborhoods while specifically allowing it in the commercial district, along Corrales Road from Wagner’s Lane to just beyond Meadowlark Lane.

But there are residents living there as well, so regulations and enforcement would be needed to protect them from large scale marijuana production. Often cited nuisances include odors, light pollution and impacts to domestic wells from water use.

She bristles at criticism that she  voted not to ban commercial cannabis in residential areas. “I didn’t do that. The Village Attorney advised us that if we did a total ban, there was a great likelihood we could be sued. And that’s what the attorney for the Municipal League said too. So our task as councillors was to come up with ways that we could really limit cannabis in residential areas but stay within state law and not be sued.

“One of those ways was requiring a 300-foot setback from an adjacent property. That’s what the Village Attorney suggested. That way it would be almost impossible to grow commercial cannabis in a residential area.”

She hears about disturbances caused by motorized vehicles along the ditch banks of the Corrales Acequia. A possible solution would be to erect barriers across the ditch banks through which fire and rescue vehicles could easily pass in emergencies, she suggested.

She favors construction of a performing arts center, creating a municipal park-like feature along the Corrales Interior Drain and a pathway in the business district. “The pathway has been talked about for a long time, and people want to see something done.”

Andy Dilts

An electrical engineer who has worked at Sandia National Laboratories since January 2020, Andy Dilts refers to himself as the black sheep of the family because his father and brothers were all doctors.

He grew up in the Chicago area and earned a degree in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois in 1988.

“By personality, occupation and faith, I am a thinker,” Dilts explained. “I prefer to make decisions based on facts and figures, not just emotions and feelings. As an engineer, I make informed decisions.”

He’s also compassionate. He and his wife have provided a foster home to at least 80 children, most age six or younger. They have adopted three, including two with special needs. His wife has a background as a social worker.

They bought property in Corrales in 2012 and moved here in 2015.

Dilts noted that New Mexico has a high rate of poverty and drug use, which can have severe implications for children.

He is concerned about local issues including villagers’ water use, erosion of residential density policies and the proposed senior living proposal at the corner of Corrales Road and Dixon Road.

Dilts addressed head on a controversy surrounding a political sign attached to his fence facing Loma Larga last year. At both candidate forums organized by the League of Women Voters earlier this month, Dilts decried repeated incidents of vandalism on his sign with the words “God, Guns, Trump” and two images of  assault rifles surrounding a religious symbol, all superimposed on an American flag background.

The candidate conceded that the messages on his political signs and banners “are not necessarily on the popular side of things in Corrales.” But he insists on his right to make those views known without harassment or vandalism.

“We were Trump supporters, okay? Am I a die-hard Trump supporter? No. He was the candidate who was chosen through the process to choose a Republican candidate. Going back to 2016, I don’t honestly remember who I voted for in the primary, but I don’t think it was Trump. But come Election Day in November, you only get essentially two choices.

“I can certainly understand why a lot of people dislike Trump, but at the same time in a lot of ways, he was an effective president.” Dilts said he doesn’t agree with Trump on everything, “but if he runs again, we’ll see. It’s not about who’s the perfect candidate, because that person isn’t running.

“To be  honest, when I agreed to be a candidate, I didn’t entirely know what I was getting myself into.” He said he didn’t realize that municipal elections here are meant to be non-partisan, and that state and national politics are less relevant for such local elections. “If we look at the issues we have locally compared to the issues we have nationally that kind of define Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green Party or whatever else, they don’t really come down to the village level… at least  not in this village.

“So it bothers me a little bit that people would peg me in that way in my run for Village Council. If we look at party platforms, I can’t make any of that happen in the village.”

Among top local issues he ranks water usage. “We need to carefully monitor irrigation usage, probably through the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.” He suggests applying for grants or appropriations to provide a water meter to all residents.

The candidate thinks it may be worthwhile to further explore the option of having the City of Rio Rancho supply water to the future commercial area in Corrales just east of the Rio Rancho Industrial Park.

He would like to see an ongoing program to track well-pumping impacts to groundwater. Referring to discontinuation of monitor wells to evaluate impacts from Intel’s pumping to produce microchips, Dilts paraphrased Ronald Reagan: “trust but verify. We don’t know what happening when we’re not verifying.”

Regarding Intel’s operations on the escarpment above Corrales, “I don’t know that Intel has been an entirely trustworthy environmental partner with their emissions into the air or into the ground or water usage. I haven’t read anything that makes me think they are entirely trustworthy.”

Broadband access is another big issue in his district.

He strongly supports a careful update of the community’s Comprehensive Plan. “It’s where all of the issues need to be captured. It’s a chance to look at the bigger picture over a longer term. It should direct where the Village is going to be applying its money.”

Although he supports the idea of saving farmland, he would like to know how such land will be used over time. “What’s the village going to do with it?”

He’s skeptical about plans for a performing arts center, especially where it has been proposed west of the post office. When events are underway, “where will cars park? Where will they park when soccer game or soccer practice is

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