Posts in Category: 2022 February 5 issue

ISSUE 02-05-22 WHAT’S ON?

By Meredith Hughes

Only 28 days to whip through this month, masks in your pockets, hanging in the car, airing outside from the apple tree….still, on we go!

Do visit the websites of your favorite museums/galleries/organizations to check opening times/new regulations. Published the first issue of the month, What’s On? invites suggestions one week before the publication date. corralescomment@gmail.com

  • Dogs! Just opened February 5 at NM Museum of Natural History and Science. “Sniff out the science behind our puppy love! Let curiosity be your guide and discover life from a dog’s point of view in Dogs! A Science Tail, a richly interactive 9,000 sq. ft. exhibition for humans.” 1801 Mountain Rd.
  • The Annual Albuquerque Garden Center Rummage Sale is on, February 25 and 26, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Center, 10120 Lomas. Proceeds benefit the Council of ABQ Garden Clubs. (505) 296-6020.
  • New Mexico Museum of Art. Ansel Adams: Pure Photography, has just opened. The exhibition runs through May 22. It includes close-up nature studies, portraits, and views of architecture Adams made during the 1930s. 107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe.
  • Chatter Cabaret, February 27, at Albuquerque Museum, 5 p.m. W.A. Mozart Violin Sonata in F major, K. 377; Hannah Kendall Processional; Joan Tower Trés Lent; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Piano Trio in A minor, op. 50. With David Felberg, violin; James Holland, cello; Judith Gordon, piano. Food and drink to purchase. 2000 Mountain Rd.
  • Jewel Cases, through early April, celebrates “Albuquerque's incredible wilderness-urban interface and chronicles one man's daily explorations and the gems found on the way.” The artist is George Julian Dworin. Plus, Thoughts on the Rio Grande in Photographs and Haiku, also through early April. Works by Clarke Condé. “This series explores the great river and its surroundings as it passes through an ever-expanding city of Albuquerque..” Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors. The Center is now open to the public Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • The University of New Mexico Art Museum reopens this month with “Mysterious Inner Worlds,” the first solo exhibition in New Mexico by Pakistan-born American artist and professor Anila Quayyum Agha. The exhibition from February 18 through July 2 features four sculptures activated by light, including the large-scale light installation titled Intersections (2014) and the debut of the sculpture Steel Garden (Red) (2021). Agha combines forms from Islamic architecture with her own concepts about patterns of sacred and worldly spaces. 203 Cornell Dr. NE.
  • Concerts? Shows? The long-awaited arrival of “Hamilton” has been delayed more than once, but right now you can buy tickets for the show, scheduled to appear in early May of 2023. We kid you not. Be upbeat and optimistic, ok? Check website regularly. https://www.popejoypresents.com/ Popejoy Hall, 203 Cornell.

Did You Know?

Yes, we all are tired of fending off COVID-19 and its pals.  But the Corrales Fire Department is tireless.  For news, updates, and assistance from the fire department team do visit http://www.corrales-nm.org/fire/page/covid-19-resources-health-and-resilience.

In Corrales

  • Early voting for Corrales municipal elections runs February 1-25, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Village Clerk's Office, 4324 Corrales Road. The actual Municipal Officer Election Day will be March 1 at the Corrales Recreation Center, 500 Jones Road. This polling location will be open 7am through 7pm. Please contact the Village Clerk, Melanie Romero, at 505-897-0502 or mromero@corrales-nm.org with questions.
  • Corrales Senior Center is closed for exercise and group activity, though meals will still be available for pick-up or homebound delivery. The Center plans to reopen February 21. 
  • Planning and Zoning Commission, February 16, 6:30 p.m.
  • Village Council meetings, February 8, 22, 6:30 p.m.
  • The Corrales Community Seed Library opens on February 8, thanks to the funding from the FOCL group, community donations, and volunteer contributions. “The seed library preserves rare, heirloom, or open-pollinated seeds and encourages our community to save quality seeds that are suitable to our growing area. Up to 15 seed packets may be borrowed from the seed library during a calendar year.

“To ensure as many people as possible can enjoy seeds from the Corrales Community Seed Library, we are limiting check-outs to one packet per variety. At the end of the growing season, borrowers may save seeds from their harvest, label them and return a portion of the seeds to the library during our hours of operation.”   And, for a recorded course in seed starting from Master Gardener Judy Jacobs, go here: https://tinyurl.com/tj9yjdbn

  • Corrales Bosque Gallery guest artist of the month for February is Laura Balombini of Red Paint Studio. A reception for Balombini at the gallery is on February 6, from 1 to 5 p.m., with COVID protocols in place.
  • Corrales Historical Society Speakers series, February 20, 2 p.m. Elizabeth Horodowich, professor of history at New Mexico State University, presents “When New Mexico was China.” Please note this talk likely will be via Zoom, but as so much is still being juggled COVIDly, it could well be rescheduled. ( The January 16 talk on the topic of “Los Arabes of New Mexico” was cancelled and is set to be rescheduled, one assumes.) So stay tuned….

This February talk explores how for hundreds of years after the Columbian voyages, Europeans believed that Asia and America occupied the same continent. “European cartographers and cosmographers understood the lands that are today the American Southwest and New Mexico to be near, or even overlapping with, China and India. Seemingly endless maps, narrative accounts, and images illustrate this phenomenon. Exploring these sources to better understand how and why early modern Europeans connected these two worlds allows us to see how ideas about New Mexico were at the heart of the very earliest European conceptions of globalization.”

  • Casa San Ysidro Museum is open again, and offering three February programs. “New Mexico's Money, Coins of the Colonists: 1536 – 1812,” February 12, from 1-4, with numismatic scholar, Rod Frechette, unfolds the history of Mexican coinage, contemporary US and European coinage, and Colonial (US) paper money. February 19, Blacksmithing Basics, 1:30 to 3:30. Plus three more classes through May. February 26, Heritage Spinning and Weaving – Fiber Prep, 1:30 to 3. This class features a special emphasis on fiber harvest and preparation using Churro wool. Participants will learn to wash, card, and comb wool in preparation for processing wool into yarn for domestic and commercial use. The first of eight different classes, one per month. Sign up via Aaron Gardner, agardner@cabq.gov, 505-898-3915.
  • Corrales Arts Center. Creativity in Photography, February 19, and March 19, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with Dennis Chamberlain. (Rescheduled from January 22.) Corrales Community Center, 4324 Corrales Road. Register at corralesartscenter.org
  • Music in Corrales, February 26, 7:30 p.m. American pianist Claire Huangci, winner of the first prize and the Mozart prize at the 2018 Geza Anda Competition, performs. This concert already is sold-out. “Due to public health considerations, we have limited ticket sales to a smaller-than-normal capacity for the Old San Ysidro Church; this concert has reached that limit. If at some point we can safely increase the seating, we will re-open ticket sales, so please check back periodically for availability.” Lance Ozier 505-899-8830
  • Corrales Library. Author series, February 22, 7 p.m. with Barbara Kotulska-Haskin, author of “How My Brain Works.” Plus, Thursdays at 6 p.m. Spanish Conversation. Please contact Sandra Baldonado for Zoom event details. sandra@corraleslibrary.org T
  • Corrales Growers’ Market. Sunday, February 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Village in the Village. Focussed primarily on helping Villagers, more than social events, until Omicron and its ilk are booted out. Call 274-6206 or email corrales.viv@gmail.com.

ISSUE 02-05-22 LETTERS AND OPINIONS

Dear Editor:

There are apparently some people in the Village of Corrales anxious over an ordinance they successfully influenced the Village Council to pass… although it conflicts with state law. It is now the “law of the land” in the village until the state or a judge says otherwise. The position of the mayor as the executive is to enforce and defend the ordinances.

As mayor I would enforce and defend the Village ordinances approved by the Village Council and by extension, the citizens of Corrales. The recently passed ordinance that does not allow commercial cannabis production in the village will be enforced and defended.

As a professional person and one without cognitive deficiencies, I resent and question the thought processes of those who claim to know what I am thinking or what I would do in any situation. I am honest, truthful and tell you what I know after research and careful consideration. People aren’t always happy with the truth, but reasonable people realize you can’t ignore the truth and facts… unless you don’t care and make your own truth.

I’m running for mayor of the entire village of Corrales and all the citizens. Hopefully, we can all come together and do what is best for the village.

Jim Fahey

Dear Editor:

My first impression from attending a Village Council meeting was “Wow! These people are smart... and well informed, care about their town, and for all of their spirited disagreements, seem to know we are all in this together.” Or, something like that.

That night was well over a week and a half ago. I’ve witnessed many civic disputes and concurrences since then, seen a few bad ideas kicked aside, seen a few gems grown from undistinguished beginnings, a few obvious common goals nursed along to fruition, then revised and reworked until all concerned seemed to realize we can never arrive at a perfect final answer, but we need to get along with life and avoid staring darts at one another whenever we cross paths at the post office or growers’ market.

My first impression from seeing the campaign mailer from Jonathan Dilts was that I was getting an official notice from the Village of Corrales. Else, why would it display the official seal of the Village? Further examination revealed the seal was appropriated to lend credence to a fevered screed built on all caps and underlined words and phrases, of exclamation points and underlining, and more than a bit of hysteria. And cannabis operations “immediately next to our homes!” Except for the 300-foot setback requirement, I suppose.

The notion that cannabis is the only issue facing the village is wide of the mark. Our exposure to lawsuits might never come back to haunt us, but why not examine reasonable and tough restrictions on cultivation and processing instead of an outright ban that puts the Village at odds with state law?

Sonoma County, California has a 1,000-foot setback requirement between residences and cannabis farms. I am not advocating wholesale emulation of every imaginable California custom, but they do a bit of agriculture there. And, I’m betting residents of Sonoma care as much as do Corraleños about the quiet enjoyment of their rural community. Property values, too.

And why indulge in litmus-test politics? To toss aside a long-time practitioner of public service in favor of a man who never reveals his own agenda or notions of what good governance involves? The list of critical issues is complete enough, but details are nowhere to be seen.

When my wife joined the Corrales Library Board in the 1980s, Mel  Knight had already been on the FOCL board for many years. She’s been an active member of the equestrian community for years, served on the Planning and Zoning Commission (not a spot for glory-seekers, I can personally attest), and has served well as District 3 councillor.

Vote to re-elect Mel Lawlor Knight for District 3 councillor.

Mick Harper

Dear Editor:

Our compliments on the article on the restoration of the contents of the old-time capsule in your last issue. As residents of Corrales, it’s wonderful to realize we have talent working with Mayor Roake, such as Mary Davis, Kitty Tynan and Anne Van Camp.

Of course, not all “old-time” things age as well. Things such as attempts at voter manipulation. One can easily ask, “Do some folks think we’re so easily manipulated?

For instance, consider the recent antics of a small but vocal shadow group that has been seeking to manipulate Corrales voters: this group hides its funding sources, twists the facts, misleads voters with bogus, official-looking mailers, and offers up candidates ill-prepared to govern our Village. For example:

  • A glossy “petition” mailed to Corraleños that contained untruths and trades on ill-founded fear of the State of New Mexico’s legalization of marijuana. This group was unwilling to reveal the dollars behind the petition and used misleading information regarding who controls the issue of commercial marijuana growth (leaving the Village open to an expensive lawsuit).
  • Peddling that “petition” with its inflated, unverified signatures to intimidate Village councillors with distorted “voter” numbers.
  • Identical election mailers deployed right now against two current council candidates, disguised as an official Village document by unauthorized use of the Village seal.
  • “Flash mobs” besieging Village Council meetings echoing orchestrated lies.
  • The multiple appearances of a former Village councillor (who was never elected in a contested election) sermonizing, then excoriating the Village Administration.

The only remedy is to tug back the curtain on these deceptive practices by thinking critically and carefully reading the material that clutters our mailboxes. These tactics must fail. We do not want or need this disruptive, misleading, “dark $$” type of governance in Corrales! So, vote!

If Gary Kanin and his backers win the mayoral election, you can be sure there will be more antics to come. We have seen tactics like these this play out at the national level and do not want to see it happen in our village.

We urge you to reject these efforts and join so many Corraleños in supporting Jim Fahey for mayor. Jim Fahey brings the experience, integrity and continuous community involvement that will guide us into the future. He will use reason, not scare tactics to address complex issues, and will listen to all sides before he acts. And he will act in the best interests of this village. In other words, he will govern.

Gary Sims and Terry Eisenbart

Dear Editor:

I am writing today to ask my fellow citizens of Corrales to join me in supporting my friend Jim Fahey as the next mayor of our village. I know him to be honest, straight forward and diligent.

I also know that he values the rural agrarian lifestyle of Corrales because that is the lifestyle he lives.

His experience as a surgeon assigned to the University of New Mexico and the Veterans Administration provides the medical background important to the villages’ continuing climb out of the COVID pandemic. While we all hope that scourge will be over before the next mayor is sworn in, I expect that it will be a major concern in the Village of Corrales for several years to come.

Jim Fahey has the experience necessary to assure that the Village takes advantage of the financial opportunities available due to current federal funding and the State’s financial surplus. His experience in Village government is unmatched. For the last 16 years, since 2006, he has been a fixture in Corrales government, serving on the Corrales Council (2006 – 2020); as director and chair at the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority, (2010 to the present) and at the Corrales Growers Market (manager and member).

Notably, 2006 is the last time his opponent served in Village government. Jim Fahey’s current experience with bond issues and infrastructure financing will assure that we get our fair share.

Finally, Fahey believes in open, collaborative government, that considers all sides of the issues. I have observed that he listens to all parties’ concerns, even when he personally disagrees, and supports the decisions reached, even when he voted the other way. In today’s political climate, there may be no more relevant characteristic.

Jim Fahey truly cares about Corrales. Thank you for taking the time to consider this endorsement. Let’s elect Jim the next mayor of Corrales.

Robert J. Martinez

Dear Editor:

In his “commentary” in Corrales Comment’s January 22, 2022 issue, former Village Councillor George Wright opines at great length about the so-called “ban” on commercial cannabis operations in Zones A-1 and A-2 and its import for the upcoming mayoral election.

Indeed, the self-named “Concerned Corraleños” did mobilize a lot of signatures with expensive mailers, posters, scare tactics and misinformation. But they remained completely closed-mouthed about who was behind the “campaign” and whose big bucks were funding it.

I personally was appalled at this lack of transparency, and when I asked about who they were and their sources of funding, former Village Planning and Zoning Commissioner Frank Wirtz declined to answer.

This is the same style and misinformation you can expect if former Mayor Gary Kanin and —more to the point—his enablers like Wirtz and Wright get their hands on Corrales Village government. Hidden agendas, misinformation, no transparency. Which is not a good look for our Village government.

Jim Fahey served three terms as Village councillor representing Council District 5, my district. I always found him to be transparent, blunt and reasonable. He listened well anytime I raised an issue with him, explained his position, and could change his mind when he saw other sides to issues.

He has proven himself to be someone who cares deeply about this village, and I have no doubt that he will govern our Village with everyone in mind, explaining what he’s doing as he works to build consensus and good policy. And I also have no doubt he will enforce the current council ordinance banning commercial marijuana production in A-1 and A-2 as it stands. Until he —or Gary Kanin if he wins— has to defend Corrales in an expensive lawsuit using our tax dollars.

George Wright in his commentary also tries to make out Mel Knight as the “one” holdout against his agenda. But unfortunately, the circus around the petition conveniently ignored the fact that cannabis policy is set at the state level, and unfortunately again, the councillors voting for that misguided petition have indeed opened up the Village to risk of an expensive lawsuit. Mel Knight was correct —and brave— to vote against the ordinance.

So villagers, we actually have a stark choice in the upcoming mayoral election: “dark” money, misleading information, and a small cabal of folks who prefer not to operate in daylight, propping up a former mayor who did a lot of good several decades ago but who has been out of public life for almost that long ever since. Versus an intelligent, thoughtful neighbor who’s dedicated much of his energy to strengthening our Village. Please consider voting for Jim Fahey.

He’s a much better choice for our village.

Mary Ellen Capek

Dear Editor:

A new tenor: outcome-based legislators.

Our most vulnerable population is our children. We as parents and as a society try to protect them from harm. The greatest harm they may incur, of course, is death. The CDC’s 2020 report shows the various causes of death for all age groups. I would hope that we, as a society, might prioritize protection of children from death as one of our priorities, if not the No.1 priority.  Let us say we formed a task force to reduce if not eradicate that No.1 cause of child deaths. We gather experts in the areas of disease, public health, public health law and all manner of learned people who have familiarity with the problem as well as potential solutions, perhaps even ones that already showed promise from within and outside of our country.

The task force comes up with recommendations and suggests implementing them, say, for one year, to see if they worked, i.e., were associated with a reduction in child deaths. If they were, great. If they weren’t, we can disband the interventions. Sounds reasonable? I would think so.

Task force members would be based on their expertise and not their political affiliation.  All we want to see is a reduction in child deaths.

If we look at that leading cause of child deaths and add the adults who also died of that same cause, there were over 40,000 such deaths in 2021. If our task force were to look for possible interventions elsewhere and saw Japan had only 76 deaths for their entire country from the same cause, there may be important life-saving information to glean from our neighbors across the Pacific.

This dramatic difference in death totals by a factor of over 500x, and the No.1 cause of child death in America, is …firearms.  And, all of a sudden, we as a society who had been on board to deferring to the expert task force, is now, you should pardon the expression, up in arms. Or maybe not.

Perhaps the gravity of the situation in our country, and how successful another country can be, might allow some dispassionate and constructive dialogue to grow. Perhaps we, as the electorate, can insist our representatives, regardless of their political stripe, focus on solutions to the social ills that affect all of us, rather than perpetuating divisions between us by the tenor of their discourse. If we insist on outcomes-based legislation, our legislators, regardless of “D,” “R”, or “I” after their names, may sharpen their pencils a bit more, and become outcomes-based legislators.

Michael Baron

Dear Editor:

My name is Charles Thomas, and for the past ten years, I have had the pleasure of working for, and with James Fahey, candidate for mayor of Corrales. During this time, Fahey has served the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority in the role of board director and chairman, and has been actively involved in most aspects of providing flood control solutions for the entire jurisdiction.

Fahey has supported actions by SSCAFCA to prioritize flood control projects but also encourages staff to work closely with the other public and private entities to develop positive solutions to flood problems that benefit all involved.

He has proven to be a quick study, and consistently asks questions to help him better understand the world of flood control provided by a public agency and continues to build his knowledge to make better, more informed decisions.

It is clear from my interactions with him that he has a strong desire to help people. One of the common statements I have often heard from him is “What do you need from me?” In my view, this is a strong indicator of “servant leadership,” of someone who is not too important to do the little things, even if they are inconvenient. As an example, SSCAFCA often needs  documents and checks signed by a board director, and many of these are time-critical. Fahey has never shirked this  responsibility, and has always made himself available, even on short notice, to drive to our offices in Rio Rancho and sign the needed paperwork, even if it is only a single item.

When Jim Fahey comes into the office, he makes a point to greet staff on his way in and out, and frequently stops to chat with them. This indicates to me that he has a genuine interest in the SSCAFCA staff and their continued well-being. Speaking for myself, I truly appreciate this as an individual and as the administrative head of the agency that he serves as an elected official.

In closing, if asked to describe Jim Fahey in three words, I would say he is fair, decisive and personable. I have enjoyed engaging with him through the years, whether the discussion involved the detailed analysis of a recent storm event or the best way to cultivate tomato plants. I believe Jim Fahey will make an excellent mayor for the Village of Corrales.

Charles Thomas,

SSCAFCA executive director

Dear Editor:

It is becoming increasingly evident that Jim Fahey’s opposition consists of a small group of people who have drafted a figure from the past, created a one-issue election scenario and are attempting to ride his coattails to gain control of the Village.

Their efforts have reached the point where their flyers and ads have blatantly misstated that Jim Fahey voted against the ban on commercial cannabis in Corrales’ residential zones. This ban (Ordinance No. 21-06) was passed by the Village Council in early January 2022. Jim Fahey was not a member of the council, and not even in the room when that ordinance was passed. The opposition campaign is creating a deliberate misrepresentation in pursuit of its narrow agenda.

There are many challenges and opportunities ahead for our village. Cannabis may turn out to be one. But the restriction banning the growth and processing of cannabis in Zones A-1 and A-2 is now Corrales law. Fahey has stated he is fully committed to support, enforce and defend the will of the people as expressed by that law. I believe that he is the one candidate with the energy and capabilities to carry that out.

But our next mayor can’t be a “one trick pony.”  There are a number of important areas —agriculture, economic, environmental, infrastructure— where the mayor’s leadership will be necessary to move the Village forward in the 21st century in a manner consistent with our cultural heritage.

Jim Fahey has the current skills, the commitment, the vision and the integrity to be that leader for Corrales. I urge you: Vote competency. Vote vitality. Vote Fahey.

Bill Vega

Dear Editor:

We write in support of the mayoral candidacy of Jim Fahey. Jim has a long history of public service in the village and in Sandoval County. As a retired surgeon, he brings many strong and valuable traits to the job of mayor: experience, focus, determination and commitment.

We strongly encourage our fellow citizens to vote for Jim Fahey for mayor of Corrales!

Gary Miller and Valerie Beaman

Dear Editor:

Whether they admit —or tout— it or not, all candidates (and non-candidates) who do not favor the ban do in fact favor commercial intensive cannabis greenhouses next door.

Some candidates might say they favor “family” backyard commercial cannabis greenhouses, but allowing these necessarily means allowing intensive cannabis greenhouses, which can easily fit in most Corrales backyards, and mega-scale greenhouses on bigger lots. 

Given the Cannabis Regulation Act passed by the legislature this spring, the “family” and the intensive and the mega greenhouses are inextricably linked.

The smaller can’t be allowed without also allowing the intensive and big.

So, the ban is very much an either/or situation.  Corrales either allows commercial cannabis greenhouses —smaller and larger, intensive and not— in A-1 and A-2 or it does not.

For the last 6 months, the Village Council, Village Hall, attorneys and the public have been working to find a best stance. Many, if not most, council meetings during that time have had commercial cannabis in residential neighborhood as part of the agenda.  Work study sessions have been dedicated specifically to that.

At council meeting discussions, many residents would offer opinions and suggestions. The large majority of public input was in favor of the ban. For example, on January 4, 16 persons from the public spoke, with 14 in favor of the ban and 2 against.

At the end of the six-month deliberation process (which was during a special moratorium, affording the governing body —and public— extra time to consider the issues) on January 4, two different proposals were before council to consider and possibly approve one or the other or none.  Proposal No.1 from several councillors banned commercial cannabis operations in A-1 and A-2 zones; this re-instituted Ordinance 18-02, which was approved by council four years ago. 

Proposal No.2 from Village Hall and its attorneys was just as restrictive as Proposal No.1 for lots less than eight acres in size but allowed greenhouses of unspecified size and unlimited cannabis plant numbers on larger lots than that.  Council voted 5-1 in favor of Proposal No.1.

 Like it or not, both Proposals No.1 and No.2 amounted to either allowing intensive commercial cannabis operations in residential neighborhoods or not allowing them.  The only way that any commercial cannabis operations would have been allowed in A-1 and A-2 would have been to reject both proposals, which council did not do.

So, the candidates now are either for the ban or are not for the ban; if the latter, they are in favor of allowing intensive cannabis operations in residential neighborhoods and mega-sized operations on larger lots.

Because of its ample property lot sizes and wide-open fields and Village policy of not taxing cannabis producers, Corrales is attractive to commercial growers, who might or might not reside in the village. Some people will make a profit but at the expense of surrounding neighborhoods’ quality of life and property values. 

Currently, we have a ban but it is only as good as it is supported by the governing body in the future.

Questions: Would you want commercial cannabis production next door? If not, please vote for the candidates who support the ban. Ask candidates, “Are you for or are you against the ban?”

  Fred Hashimoto

Dear Editor:

George Wright and Andy Dilts, would like you to believe that I don’t care about the villagers in Corrales, and that I want cannabis growing in residential areas. I don’t.

On January 4 in the special meeting of the Village Council, I explained to everyone in the Zoom meeting that I supported the 300-foot. setback amendment that our Village Attorney, Municipal League attorney as well as citizen attorneys were in favor of.

I stated that I was also worried about the smell, water usage, lights, fencing and increase of crime surrounding the growing of cannabis. I also made a comment about how difficult it was to vote on this issue because an organized group of people (never identifying themselves) campaigned with a flyer promoting a total ban on growing cannabis that would violate New Mexico State law.

Backing the total ban on cannabis and this petition were law enforcement officials, retired veterans and elected officials. I can’t fathom how these civil servants could suddenly decide that they will only obey laws they like and they don’t have to obey laws they don’t like. In our Constitution there are ways to change laws, but to say “I don’t like this law, so I don’t have to abide by it” is scary to me. When I took office in 2018, I took an oath to follow the laws of the State of New Mexico. This oath is important to me.

I’ve lived in Corrales for 37 years and have been on numerous Village boards and commissions. Dilts has lived here for eight years and has not donated any of his time to Corrales organizations.

At this time in politics, people will tell half truths to get what they want.

There are political playbooks that foster “do anything to win.”

I trust in the villagers I’ve worked with over 37 years to know myintentions and to realize I have, and will continue to work for Corrales’ best interests.

As Mayor Jo Anne Roake stated in her Friday address to the villagers, the ordinance that was passed on January 4 about cannabis is now the law. She stated in her message that the Village will rigorously defend the rule of law and so will I.

I just thought there was a better way to accomplish the goals we wanted to achieve.

Mel Knight

Dear Editor:

I don't think Jim Fahey should be elected mayor. Period. He’s been a booster for outsized development in Corrales for as long as he’s lived here, following a move from Texas where development goes largely unregulated.

In 2008, he voted to effect a zoning change to M (Municipal) from A-1 (Residential). The Corrales Planning and Zoning Commission had denied the change request by the owner who wanted to lease the residential home and over-sized garage at 7227 Corrales Road to a charter school, and this required the zoning designation of “M.”

The property is at the corner of Corrales Road and Camino de Todos los Santos, a hazardous intersection approached by a blind curve when heading north.

Contrary to the Corrales Comprehensive Plan, and rooted in irregularities and political favoritism from the get-go, the drive for spot zoning and large-scale development spawned a great deal of division and acrimony between village residents. I reside close to the property, and opposed this poorly-conceived plan, along with many neighbors and residents of the village in general. I particularly remember the expression on Jim Fahey’s face, a mixture of glee and malice, as he voted “Yes” to favor the developer and the proponents of the charter school.

The school’s charter application planned on a student body numbering 180, potentially a very large influx of traffic to an already over used and narrow road. The charter school board was eventually stymied in its goal due to an inadequate site development plan, which was rejected by the Corrales P&Z Commission.  Things finally came down to earth, and at the risk of losing its charter due to the delay of development approval and for the lack of a fit location, the school decided to locate in a vacant school building outside of the village.

The over-leveraged developer then requested that his initial plea for rezoning to M be reversed back to A-1 Residential and the council duly granted his request.  The property at 7227 Corrales Road remains a single-family residence and the irrigated land it sits on is the daily winter grazing home for a great many Sandhill Cranes and other migratory birds. 

Jim Fahey brooks no discontent, a my-way-or-the-highway kind of personality. According to my recent correspondence with former councilor Ennio Garcia-Miera, whose second term ended in 2020, an ethics bill he sponsored, one designed to curb counsel corruption, received a “No” vote from councilor Jim Fahey, who it seems doesn’t believe in oversight or accountability.

It’s also of interest that Jim Fahey has twice been deferred to in his bids for election: once by Sayre Gerhart, who chose not to seek a second term in 2012 as councillor for District 5, leaving the field open Jim Fahey to run in her stead, and now, with current mayor Jo Anne Roake stepping aside for a run at a second term and leaving the field open to Jim Fahey yet again. These actors are working in concert and shifting power between themselves, and to what ends?

Garcia-Miera was a newly elected councillor when he joined a majority of councillors in voting against then-mayor Phil Gasteyer’s nomination of Fahey for the Planning and Zoning Commission during the interregnum when Fahey was out of power. The nomination closely followed the pair’s disastrous and failed scheme to spot zone farmland for large scale development at 7227 Corrales Road.

Garcia-Miera also confirmed my observation that at a Village budget meeting, when he asked Jim Fahey where he got a monetary number he was floating, Councillor Fahey replied derisively, crudely stating on the record “I pulled it out of my ass.” What are the many other things Jim Fahey will be pulling if elected mayor?  

Please support the opposition candidate and former mayor Gary Kanin's bid for the mayoral seat.

Adrian Panaro

ISSUE 02-05-22 DIOLINDA GARBAGNI DIES

The 80 year old Corrales Siphon is in trouble yet again.

Now the old, wooden pipe that delivers irrigation water to Corrales has a gaping hole near the Sandia Pueblo side of the river. It’s so serious that water may have to be pumped from the  river directly into the Corrales Main Canal this spring and summer.

The new chief engineer for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Distrct (MRGCD), Jason Casuga, contacted Corrales Comment January 27 to report  that “a large sink hole was formed under the siphon on the east side of the river sometime after Christmas.

“As we explored the situation more, we concluded that it could only be from a hole in the siphon,” and that would mean that the Conservancy District will not be able to deliver enough water through the culvert to the Main Canal when irrigation season resumes.

Casuga said the likely solution would be to set up mobile pumps on the east side of the river to pipe water across the river for Corrales farmers to use.

“The damage to the siphon is likely to prevent the use of the siphon altogether. However, this does not mean that no water will be delivered to irrigators supplied by the Corrales Main Canal. The MRGCD and its consultants are currently exploring options for an alternative supply which include pumping water directly from the river into the Corrales Main Canal.”

Casuga has replaced Mike Hamman, who resigned at the end of December to become Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s senior water advisor. For several years, Hamman had warned that the old pipe was beginning to fail, primarily because it had been exposed to flowing river water once the river bed under which it had been buried since the 1930s was gradually washed away.

(See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXII, No.16, October 5, 2013 “River Bed’s Drop Disturbs Buried Irrigation Culvert.”)

But two years ago, the remarkable wooden stave culvert under the Rio Grande was apparently performing well after protective measure were undertaken.

That was the assessment by Hamman in January 2020. But high-water flows in the river caused erosion and undercutting of the river bank just south of the old Corrales Siphon, he reported.

“We are monitoring the siphon, and it is clear that what we did before certainly has stabilized the original exposed area,”  Hamman explained. “We have noticed that some exposure of the frame above the pipe has occurred east of the stabilized section, and we are not too concerned at this point.  But we are keeping a close eye on it.”

Hamman said the rip-rap installed along the west bank “performed well during the high and extended run-off, but just downstream of that area, the west bank is being undercut and eroding. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is aware of this problem, and will be addressing it under its work planning process.”

The 84 year old 1,000-foot wooden pipe has been buried under the river bed since the early 1930s but has been uncovered gradually by chronic erosion of the channel since upriver dams were constructed, reducing sediment deposited here.

When the problem was revealed more than ten years ago, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District implemented temporary fixes while trying to figure out what the real solution might be.

With assistance from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Conservancy District constructed a rock weir immediately downstream of the pipe near the west bank of the Rio Grande. “The MRGCD had previously had an inspection performed on the siphon and found that the wood pipe was in remarkably good condition with the exception of one missing wood stave in a section near the east bank,” Hamman said at the time.

The wooden culvert brings irrigation water from the east side of the Rio Grande to the west and into the Corrales Main Canal. Nine years ago,  rapids began to appear where water flowed over the pipe. 

An earlier MRGCD executive director, Subhas Shah, had explained to the mayor and Village Council that the uncovering of the siphon had been caused by a reduction in silt pouring into the Rio Grande after Cochiti and other dams were constructed upstream.

“In 1975 when Cochiti Dam was built, we started getting less silt coming into the river, and the river bed was getting eroded. So this is what we are seeing after 38 years.”

(See Corrales Comment Vol.XXX, No. 2 March 5, 2011 “So Far, River Bed Still Degrading Here.”)

The siphon is made of a series of 20-foot long by five-inch wide wood staves that are held together with steel bands to form a pipe that is approximately 900 feet long. It brings irrigation water conveyed through Sandia Pueblo under the riverbed and into Corrales.

In a statement January 29, Casuga added the following information for Corrales farmers.

“For the 2022 irrigation season, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District will have little storage water available and will depend on natural river inflows for irrigation deliveries. Considering water storage restrictions, poor climate forecasts, uncertainty in river inflows and a sizeable outstanding water debt to the Rio Grande Compact, the MRGCD is warning all irrigators to expect significant changes to irrigation delivery during the 2022 irrigation season.

“In addition to these conditions, it’s anticipated that water deliveries to the Corrales Main Canal, and the laterals and acequia fed by the Main Canal, will be significantly impacted due to the recent discovery of damage to the Corrales siphon pipe.

“The Corrales Siphon is the irrigation supply line for the Corrales Main Canal, bringing water from the east to the west side of the river through an underground pipe. The damage to the siphon is likely to prevent the use of the siphon altogether. However, this does not mean that no water will be delivered to irrigators supplied by the Corrales Main Canal. The MRGCD and its consultants are currently exploring options for an alternative supply which include pumping water directly from the river into the Corrales Main Canal.

“Please be assured that the MRGCD is taking all reasonable steps to find an alternative(s) to deliver water to affected irrigators.

“However, given these circumstances, the MRGCD strongly encourages irrigators served by these facilities to carefully consider all of these factors and their options when making farming plans for this season. If funding is approved by the State legislature during the current session, the MRGCD’s new Emergency Fallowing Program (EFP) will provide financial compensation for irrigators who voluntarily forego irrigation this season.

“Participation in the EFP, which is designed to lessen demand in times of lower water availability, will not impact your water rights.

“The MRGCD is pre-enrolling farmers on a voluntary basis in the 2022 EFP. If approved for enrollment and funding from the State is provided, participants will receive $425 per acre enrolled. Irrigators can access the pre-enrollment form by clicking on the “Enroll In The 2022 Fallowing & Leasing Program” button at mrgcd.com.

“For questions about the Fallowing and Leasing Program, contact Casey Ish at casey@mrgcd.us or call him at 505-259-8799 after reviewing the enrollment form.

“For questions related to the siphon, contact Acting CEO/Chief Engineer Jason Casuga at 505-247-0234.”

ISSUE 02-05-22 LYNN ROGERS DIES

An avid quilter, music teacher and  horsewoman, Lynn Rogers died November 22 at her home in Rio Rancho. With her family, she lived in Corrales from 1984 to 1997.

Originally from Iowa, she earned a master’s degree in science education from the University of Northern Colorado and later studied music education at the University of New Mexico.

Her fabric art was exhibited at juried shows regionally.

She is survived by husband Kirk Benson and children Chris and Kali Benson, as well as brother John Rogers and sister Christine Tade.

ISSUE 02-05-22 PIANIST SUSAN ROKICKI DIES

Former Corrales resident and piano instructor Susan Rokicki died January 14.

She lived here during the 1980s and 1990s, but during the past two decades had lived in Calumet, Michigan. While here, Rokicki was known as a gifted pianist and lover of music. She maintained supportive relationships with her  students over many years.

Rokicki was a member of the Soka Gakkai International Buddhist movement. While in Michigan, she and partner Joseph Mihal were active in the Norwegian Lutheran Church Historical Society, the Sons of Norway and the Calumet community.

Among her other interests were Native American culture, anthropology, history and alternative medicine.

Survivors include Mihal, sons Stephen and Shelby Rokicki, daughters Stacey Rokicki and Sari Ashe; brother David White, sister Sally Kearney, four grandchildren and former spouse Stephen Rokicki.

ISSUE 02-05-22 FORMER LAW OFFICE TRANSFORMED TO SELL PRODUCE WINE COFFEE

A zone change and site development plan have been approved for the property south of Village Pizza where the law office of Tessa Davidson has been located. The proposed use by new owners Elan and Aaron Silverblatt-Buser of Silverleaf Farms was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission January 26.  It also recommended approval of the zone change to commercial for the rest of the 1.5-acre property at 4206 Corrales Road.

The actual zone change would be made by the Village Council, which could come at its Tuesday, February 8 meeting.

The Silverblatt-Buser brothers have joined with Milagro Vineyards and Winery to  develop the site. Plans include selling wines and locally grown vegetables as well as cheeses, meat and other food.

According to the proposal considered January 26, a local coffee roaster would open at the site as would a small cafe inside the existing office building. And a new 600 square foot retail structure would be added to sell produce.

A new business entity, Silver Milagro LLC,  will be managed by Elan Silverblatt-Buser. Water law attorney Tessa Davidson and realtor Matt Davidson sold the property last year.

The front half-acre of the  property was C-zoned for the law office and real estate business in November 2010, but the rear one acre remained zoned for residential-agricultural use. If the council aproves, the entire lot will be zoned to a depth of 350 feet for commercial.

According to the announced plan, the existing main building would have a bar for wine, beer and spirits and coffee service with seating for up to 18 patrons.

The existing smaller outbuilding would be for coffee bean roasting and some retailing. “The new 600-square foot retail building located on the southeast corner of the commercial property will be built for retail use,” the proposal said. “Agricultural products (vegetable plant starts, vegetables, etc.) will be sold out of that building.”

ISSUE 02-05-22 EXTEND ANGEL ROAD OUT TO HWY.528?

Prohibited by a judge more than 15 years ago, a plan has re-surfaced to extend Angel Road west into Rio Rancho, perhaps connecting to Highway 28. Amid strong pressure in 2004-05, the Village Council attempted to prevent a roadway easement from the Corrales border into a planned 80-acre commercial and residential development in Rio Rancho. Now apparently that project is back.

On January 27, Corrales Comment contacted the State Highway Department’s District 3 office to ask whether  planners there are considering the extension of Angel Road in their current project to widen and upgrade Highway 528. Spokesperson Kimberly Gallegos replied January 28 that District Three Engineer Justin Gibson is aware the developer “is exploring that option.” At their March 25, 2004 meeting Village Council members directed Village Attorney John Appel and Village Administrator Harry Staven to insist that Angel Road and Camino de la Tierra be dead-ended at the Rio Rancho boundary.

A definitive statement to that effect had been elusive for more than six months. Finally the council clarified that the Angel Road easement out to Highway 528 would be maintained as an emergency evacuation route with access through a “crash gate” or other barrier.

Councillors also made it clear they wanted Village Attorney John Appel to negotiate the closure for the Village, rather than then-Planning and Zoning Administrator Taudy Smith, who had been designated to interact with parties in a lawsuit aimed at resolving the status of Angel Road and the “dog-leg” connection between it and Camino de la Tierra.

The land development firm Curb, Inc. had wanted to subdivide about 80 acres between Corrales’ village limits and Highway 528. The firm had a proposal before the Rio Rancho planning and zoning department for more than a year. It was told the project could not proceed until the issues involving the long-controversial Angel Road easement had been resolved.

In 2004, Curb Inc.’s attorney filed a district court law suit naming the Village of Corrales and  more than a hundred homeowners along Camino de la Tierra and Angel Road who were presumed to have a legal interest in the Angel Road easement.

(See Corrales Comment Vol.XXIV No.10 July 9, 2005 “Angel Road May Dead-end Soon.”)

After months of discussions, it had seemed clear that most of the homeowners along Camino de la Tierra and Angel Road wanted the easement vacated completely. The argument heard most often was that they didn’t want Angel Road to become “another Meadowlark Lane.”

But Village officials were not totally convinced that it was in Corrales’ best interests to completely give up that access out to Highway 528. That position was underlined the previous summer when bosque wildfires raging south of Corrales heightened awareness for the need for emergency evacuation routes.

The long-running dispute over the Angel Road easement to Highway 528 dates back more than 40 years to the days when most of the west side of Corrales was outside the Village limits and before Loma Larga was established as a public right-of-way.

Back then, people who wanted to subdivide land in Corrales west of the Main Canal sometimes felt they  had to find legal access to their tract through Rio Rancho. The pre-Loma Larga ditch bank road was not legal access for subdivision purposes. The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, which owned the ditch bank, wanted to keep traffic off and was disinclined to allow its use for subdivision access.

One of those early developers got his legal access for lots along what is now  Angel Road through an easement out to Highway 528 in Rio Rancho. That easement, called John Black Road, was ruled to be a public road by a judge in the early 1980s.

When developer George Lambert wanted to subdivide the  Seventh Day Adventists’ tract west of the Main Canal behind Sandia View Academy, he used that easement as his legal access and acquired another section of easement  northward just outside the Corrales municipal limits leading to the westerly end of what is now Camino de la Tierra.

That connection out to Highway 528 along John Black (Angel) Road and the north-south dog-leg to Camino de la Tierra became the legal access for Lambert’s subdivision. Future homeowners in La Tierra Subdivision became beneficiaries of the easement.

But disputes over that easement  never really ceased.

Over the years, disputes continued to arise. In the late 1980s, two developers, Lambert and rival Richard Norton, almost came to blows over who got to use part of it.

Norton attempted to develop a few acres using the dog-leg portion of the easement, against Lambert’s wishes, and the battle between the two developers escalated.

At one point, Norton bladed in a road from the dog-leg to his parcels and then Lambert called in a back hoe to dig a deep trench across Norton’s would-be access road.

Back then, some Village officials, notably former Village Administrator Chris Allen and former P&Z Administrator Taudy Smith, argued that the community at-large, not just residents of Angel Road and Camino de la Tierra, had a stake in retaining the easement out to 528, if only as an emergency evacuation route.

But most Corrales residents with an interest in the easement recorded in their deeds said they wanted it vacated, although some wanted it retained for easier access out to Rio Rancho for medical and retail services there.

Although it also owns property along Camino de la Tierra and Angel Road, the Village was basically caught in the middle.

While generally agreed that the Village should support what the majority of affected homeowners desire, some Village officials expressed a “public welfare” motive for retaining at least some access out to Highway 528, if only through a break-away barrier, in case of emergencies.

ISSUE 02-05-22 ARTS CENTER FINDS SOME PROGRAMS MAY WORK BETTER REMOTELY

Corrales Comment’s January 22 issue  ran an incorrect report on the Corrales Arts Center’s programs. A corrected version is below.

The Corrales Arts Center (CAC) has come out with its schedule of workshops, classes and salons for 2022. From Southwest history to sports car appreciation, there is something on the menu for each of its members. 

After deciding to close the brick-and-mortar part of their operation during the pandemic, CAC had to make other accommodations to continue.

In mid-December, CAC President Dennis Chamberlain told Corrales Comment, “We were limited to Zoom events for about a year and a half, but luckily, we started picking up steam before the vaccines.  We are back to full speed now.”

The CAC has found that some of its programs actually work better virtually. One of the most successful new programs is the “Exploring Artful Places,” led by Carla Wright. These are a series of Zoom video tours featuring the homes of art-appreciating Corraleños.

While the Omicron COVID variant might have thrown down a speed bump or two for the organization, Chamberlain is full of hope for 2022.

Along with the salons, which are  member-only events, CAC will focus on or expand a number of new and ongoing programs in the coming year.

One of these is the educational program. Joann Mackenzie has joined the organization as educational chair, and brought with her “all kinds of new ideas and creative thoughts about what kinds of classes and workshops to offer.” Chamberlain said, “[Joann] has brought us out of the COVID era with a vengeance, scheduling classes almost faster than we can accommodate them.” Classes are “anything from painting, to wine tasting, to jazz, to opera,” Chamberlain advertised, adding that over half were being held in-person.

Relatedly, the CAC has had a presence in Corrales Elementary School for the last eight or nine years, sponsoring a 5th grade juried photography exhibit, among other things. Chamberlain hopes this program will resume later in 2022, and that other programs with other Corrales-based schools might be established.

Also worth noting on the 2022 menu is the return of CAC Driving Tours. Established in 2021, the inaugural tour took participants to see 25 picturesque adobe churches in Northern New Mexico, with an overnight stay in Red River. Chamberlain says CAC plans to host at least two such tours every year.

Being a professional photographer, Chamberlain plans to expand the number of photography workshops and classes as well.

When asked if having a premises is a goal for 2022, Chamberlain responded, “Since the very inception of CAC, a multi-use space, including performance, has been a hope and a goal.”

ISSUE 02-05-22 RICKETY WOODEN SIPHON PIPE BURSTS; WATER FOR CORRALES FARMS THREATENED

The 80 year old Corrales Siphon is in trouble yet again. Now the old, wooden pipe that delivers irrigation water to Corrales has a gaping hole near the Sandia Pueblo side of the river. It’s so serious that water may have to be pumped from the  river directly into the Corrales Main Canal this spring and summer. The new chief engineer for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Distrct (MRGCD), Jason Casuga, contacted Corrales Comment January 27 to report  that “a large sink hole was formed under the siphon on the east side of the river sometime after Christmas.

“As we explored the situation more, we concluded that it could only be from a hole in the siphon,” and that would mean that the Conservancy District will not be able to deliver enough water through the culvert to the Main Canal when irrigation season resumes.

Casuga said the likely solution would be to set up mobile pumps on the east side of the river to pipe water across the river for Corrales farmers to use.

“The damage to the siphon is likely to prevent the use of the siphon altogether. However, this does not mean that no water will be delivered to irrigators supplied by the Corrales Main Canal. The MRGCD and its consultants are currently exploring options for an alternative supply which include pumping water directly from the river into the Corrales Main Canal.”

Casuga has replaced Mike Hamman, who resigned at the end of December to become Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s senior water advisor. For several years, Hamman had warned that the old pipe was beginning to fail, primarily because it had been exposed to flowing river water once the river bed under which it had been buried since the 1930s was gradually washed away.

(See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXII, No.16, October 5, 2013 “River Bed’s Drop Disturbs Buried Irrigation Culvert.”)

But two years ago, the remarkable wooden stave culvert under the Rio Grande was apparently performing well after protective measure were undertaken.

That was the assessment by Hamman in January 2020. But high-water flows in the river caused erosion and undercutting of the river bank just south of the old Corrales Siphon, he reported.

“We are monitoring the siphon, and it is clear that what we did before certainly has stabilized the original exposed area,”  Hamman explained. “We have noticed that some exposure of the frame above the pipe has occurred east of the stabilized section, and we are not too concerned at this point.  But we are keeping a close eye on it.”

Hamman said the rip-rap installed along the west bank “performed well during the high and extended run-off, but just downstream of that area, the west bank is being undercut and eroding. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is aware of this problem, and will be addressing it under its work planning process.”

The 84 year old 1,000-foot wooden pipe has been buried under the river bed since the early 1930s but has been uncovered gradually by chronic erosion of the channel since upriver dams were constructed, reducing sediment deposited here.

When the problem was revealed more than ten years ago, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District implemented temporary fixes while trying to figure out what the real solution might be.

With assistance from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Conservancy District constructed a rock weir immediately downstream of the pipe near the west bank of the Rio Grande. “The MRGCD had previously had an inspection performed on the siphon and found that the wood pipe was in remarkably good condition with the exception of one missing wood stave in a section near the east bank,” Hamman said at the time.

The wooden culvert brings irrigation water from the east side of the Rio Grande to the west and into the Corrales Main Canal. Nine years ago,  rapids began to appear where water flowed over the pipe. 

An earlier MRGCD executive director, Subhas Shah, had explained to the mayor and Village Council that the uncovering of the siphon had been caused by a reduction in silt pouring into the Rio Grande after Cochiti and other dams were constructed upstream.

“In 1975 when Cochiti Dam was built, we started getting less silt coming into the river, and the river bed was getting eroded. So this is what we are seeing after 38 years.”

(See Corrales Comment Vol.XXX, No. 2 March 5, 2011 “So Far, River Bed Still Degrading Here.”)

The siphon is made of a series of 20-foot long by five-inch wide wood staves that are held together with steel bands to form a pipe that is approximately 900 feet long. It brings irrigation water conveyed through Sandia Pueblo under the riverbed and into Corrales.

In a statement January 29, Casuga added the following information for Corrales farmers.

“For the 2022 irrigation season, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District will have little storage water available and will depend on natural river inflows for irrigation deliveries. Considering water storage restrictions, poor climate forecasts, uncertainty in river inflows and a sizeable outstanding water debt to the Rio Grande Compact, the MRGCD is warning all irrigators to expect significant changes to irrigation delivery during the 2022 irrigation season.

“In addition to these conditions, it’s anticipated that water deliveries to the Corrales Main Canal, and the laterals and acequia fed by the Main Canal, will be significantly impacted due to the recent discovery of damage to the Corrales siphon pipe.

“The Corrales Siphon is the irrigation supply line for the Corrales Main Canal, bringing water from the east to the west side of the river through an underground pipe. The damage to the siphon is likely to prevent the use of the siphon altogether. However, this does not mean that no water will be delivered to irrigators supplied by the Corrales Main Canal. The MRGCD and its consultants are currently exploring options for an alternative supply which include pumping water directly from the river into the Corrales Main Canal.

“Please be assured that the MRGCD is taking all reasonable steps to find an alternative(s) to deliver water to affected irrigators.

“However, given these circumstances, the MRGCD strongly encourages irrigators served by these facilities to carefully consider all of these factors and their options when making farming plans for this season. If funding is approved by the State legislature during the current session, the MRGCD’s new Emergency Fallowing Program (EFP) will provide financial compensation for irrigators who voluntarily forego irrigation this season.

“Participation in the EFP, which is designed to lessen demand in times of lower water availability, will not impact your water rights.

“The MRGCD is pre-enrolling farmers on a voluntary basis in the 2022 EFP. If approved for enrollment and funding from the State is provided, participants will receive $425 per acre enrolled. Irrigators can access the pre-enrollment form by clicking on the “Enroll In The 2022 Fallowing & Leasing Program” button at mrgcd.com.

“For questions about the Fallowing and Leasing Program, contact Casey Ish at casey@mrgcd.us or call him at 505-259-8799 after reviewing the enrollment form.

“For questions related to the siphon, contact Acting CEO/Chief Engineer Jason Casuga at 505-247-0234.”

ISSUE 02-05-22 CORRALES COMMENT COMPLETES 40 YEARS

This issue completes Corrales Comment’s 40th year of publication. The premiere issue, Volume I No.1, dated February 26, 1982 had a front page banner headline reading “A New Mayor: Who’ll It Be?” The lead article began this way: “March 2 is election day in Corrales. The new mayor may be an electrician whose family once owned 28 square miles from the Corrales Valley to the Rio Puerco… or a firefighter/auto mechanic who settled in Corrales more than a decade ago after years of trucking Broadway shows around the country… or a horse lover who moved here nine years ago and now chairs the Village’s Planning and Zoning Commission.”

The winner was the second of those, Tommy Gentry, an African-American  who retired from employment as a New York City bus driver. A photograph of him, taken by Comment Editor Jeff Radford to illustrate his hobby as a model train enthusiast, hangs in the Village Council Chamber.

A scanned replica of that first issue of the newspaper is shown on this page. Others show the paper’s evolution over the following 40 years.

Note that villagers could buy the paper for just 20 cents back in the early 1980s. The price had jumped just a nickel since then. The editor-publisher insisted that the paper —and news about what was  happening in the community— should be accessible to all Corraleños regardless of ability to pay.

But the price is finally going up, as many readers have urged over the past decade. Starting now a copy of the  paper sells for 75 cents, although many locations around town have counter top display boxes where the paper can be purchased for a donation in any amount. Those are found at Frontier Mart, Hannah & Nate’s, Village Pizza, Perea’s,  Ambiente, Secondhand Treasures, the Village Office and the Corrales Library.

Here at the Comment, we want to make sure every Corraleño can have access to the news he or she needs to make informed decisions.

The subscription price for mailed delivery —which has been $12 a year for a long time— goes up to $20. Again, appreciative subscribers have advocated such a price  hike for decades.

These price increases are accompanied by a jump in advertising rates as well, and reflect economic pressures of higher costs to print and mail the  paper.

Corrales Comment’s resilience can be appreciated by learning that none of the six shops that advertised in Volume I No. 1 —Corrales Inn, Thomas Hardware, La Casita Miniatures, Corrales Feed Store, Bavarian Sausage House and Perfect Corner Picture Framing— is still in business.

Yet other early advertisers in the Comment, such as Ambiente, Creative Jewelers, Atlas Pumping, Perea’s, Village Pizza and Realtors Robin Riegor and Ann Taylor, have thrived and continue to this day to use these pages to attract customers and clientele.

Since its earliest days, this newspaper generated a profit or at least avoided deficits… until the pandemic hit. Revenues began bouncing back in the latter months of 2021, and that has continued so far in 2022.

While Corrales Comment has demonstrated sustainability over the past four decades, its founder and editor-publisher, Jeff Radford, is now nearly 80 years old, and ready to step down. “Everybody knows I can’t hear worth a damn, but I can’t see very well either and my typing fingers are gnarled with arthritis,” he lamented.

As announced several times on these pages over the past two years, Corrales Comment will cease publication this coming June if a new owner is not found.

Stephani Dingreville, a very capable and energetic replacement for the editor, has learned all aspects of the newspaper’s operations during 2021.

Anyone interested in facilitating a transfer of ownership is urged to contact the newspaper by calling 505-897-3700 or by writing to Corrales Comment PO Box 806, Corrales NM 87048 to explore that opportunity.

ISSUE 02-05-22 NEW LAND USE RULES PROPOSED FOR CORRALES

Further proposed revisions to Corrales’ land use laws are expected to come before the Village Council at the February 8 meeting. Or, if not, then perhaps at the February 22 session. Recommendations for crucial changes to Chapter 18 of the Village’s Code of Ordinances had been expected at the council’s January 25 session, but Mayor Jo Anne Roake apologized those  were not ready for consideration.

Corrales’ land use laws and regulations are set out in that section which covers such topics as residential density, commercial and light industrial uses, cell tower height, landscaping requirements, accumulation of junk or abandoned cars, walls and fences along Corrales Road, outdoor lighting, stormwater run-off and a wide range of other issues. Many, if not most, of those matters are likely to remain as-is after the council  reviews changes recommended by Planning and Zoning Commission assisted by planners with the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) based in Albuquerque.

Last  year the council directed the mayor to contract with MRCOG (often referred to as “Mister COG”) to help Village officials extricate from troublesome issues such as short-term rentals and construction of “casitas” on parcels that already contain a dwelling… an apparent violation of Corrales’ long-standing “one dwelling per acre” rule. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXIX No.22, February 6, 2021 “Moratorium on Permits for Casitas, Short-Term Rentals.”)

“The Planning and Zoning Commission is looking at the latest Chapter 18 draft, and will discuss it at the February 16, 2022 meeting,” P&Z Administrator Laurie Stout said January 31. “Council has seen it once, and had some questions,  and attorneys wanted to look over some of the nonconforming uses language.”

Responding to villagers’ concerns that Corrales’ one-home-per-acre policy is consistently circumvented, a year ago the Village Council imposed a six-month moratorium on permits to build secondary dwellings on lots and on applications to operate short-term rentals.

After substantial public comment at its January 26, 2021 session, the council voted five-to-one to impose the 180-day moratorium noting that “the size of accessory structures is virtually unregulated, sometimes resulting in what appears to be two homes on one lot,” and that such residences “are being utilized for the commercial purpose of providing short-term rental accommodations.”

The approved resolution noted that “the proliferation of loosely-regulated accessory structures being used as short- and long-term rentals has the potential for far-reaching deleterious effects on the village, including negatively impacting neighborhoods with greater numbers of vehicles and persons not previously present and increasing the effective density above that permitted or intended in the A-1 an A-2 zoning districts.”

Much of the discussion during the  January 2021 meeting, focused on the perceived need for a moratorium when the same issues were being addressed by planners with MRCOG through a contract with the Village approved the previous month.

Those recommendations were to be submitted to the mayor and council by the end of 2021.

Problems related to such land use restrictions have been recognized for years, even decades, but it had become more acute with the advent of Airbnb and other short-term rental opportunities. Going back to the 1980s, pressures to bust the prohibition against higher residential density were  expected to intensify when the Village installed a sewer line, thereby obviating groundwater pollution from septic leach fields.

But in recent years, the pressures actually came from neighborhoods not served by the wastewater system, especially where new homes are built on vacant lots. The controversy erupted over a new home being built on West Ella Drive in 2020. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXIX No.13 September 19, 2020 “West Ella ‘Casita’ Draws Neighbors’ Ire.”)

P&Z Administrator Stout’s summary of proposed changes to MRCOG draft recommendations and “issues of concern in Chapter 18” highlights the following topics: restrictions on cannabis growing, residential density, group homes, senior living projects and non-conforming lot sizes.

Partial text is provided below for draft recommendations on those topics.

  1. Changes to Cannabis, incorporating all recent amendments and correcting for consistency;

Amending Code definitions, 18-29 to comport with Cannabis Regulation Act Definitions:

Personal production of cannabis means the production or manufacture of homegrown cannabis or homemadecannabis products pursuant to Section 26-2C-27 of the Cannabis Regulation Act.

Homegrown or homemade means grown or made for purposes that are not dependent or conditioned upon the provision or receipt of financial consideration. Amending General Regulations, Section 18-30(r) to conform to Cannabis Regulation Act language.

Cannabis and hemp: compliance with applicable law and regulatory requirements.

(1) The cultivation, production, intentional growth, manufacture and distribution of cannabis and cannabis- derived products shall be in compliance with the provisions of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, Cannabis Regulation Act, all regulations promulgated thereunder by the  Regulation and Licensing Department, and all applicable Village Code requirements, including those relating to zoning and building.

(2) The cultivation, growth, manufacture and sale of hemp shall be in compliance with all provisions of applicable federal and state law and regulations thereunder, in addition to all applicable Village code requirements, including those relating to zoning and building.

Amending Zones A-1 and A-2 Sections 18-33(b) and 18-34(b) as follows:

18-33(b)(4)Agricultural uses, including the planting, growing and harvesting of crops for consumption, [provided, however, that the commercial production, manufacture and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are prohibited in the A-1 zone.] Agricultural and rural residential zone, 18-33(b)(8) Sale of livestock and/or crops raised on the premises, but not including the sale or distribution of cannabis or cannabis-derived products.

A-2 zone, 18-34(b)(4) Agricultural uses, including the planting, growing and harvesting of crops for consumption, [provided, however, that the commercial production, manufacture and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are prohibited in the A-2 zone] 18-34(b)(8) Sale of livestock and/or crops raised on the premises, but not including the sale or distribution of cannabis or cannabis-derived products.

Re-numbering Permits, certificates and plan approval, Section 18-45(h) to be 18-45(f) and inserting language from Ordinance 21-02, as Amended.

(f) Cannabis related activities, approval and permit required.

For purpose of this section, all measurements for the purpose of determining the location of a cannabis retail establishment, cannabis consumption area, or cannabis courier in relation to schools or daycare centers shall be the shortest direct line measurement between the actual limits of the real property of the school or daycare center and the actual limits of the real property of the proposed cannabis establishment, cannabis consumption area, or cannabis courier.

(1) No person(s) or entity shall engage in the production, manufacture, or sale of cannabis or cannabis products in any zones without a current business registration and a valid Cannabis permit issued by the Village of Corrales, permitting the specific cannabis-related activity or activities sought to be permitted on the premises. Cannabis permits are issued to the applicant(s) and are not assignable or transferable. Compliance with this section does not alleviate the applicant(s) from requiring approval from the Planning Administrator for all other applicable sections of 18-45.

(2) Application and fee. Anyone wishing to conduct cannabis-related activity must submit a completed application. The application shall be returned to the Administrator accompanied by the appropriate application fee for the use(s) to be permitted, and must show, at a minimum:

  1. The complete documentation to be provided to the Regulation and Licensing Department.
  2. The cannabis retailer, cannabis consumption area, or cannabis courier facility to be permitted may not be located within 300 feet of a school or daycare center in existence at the time a permit was sought.
  3. The cannabis retailer and cannabis consumption area seeking a permit may not be located within 200 feet of another cannabis retailer or cannabis consumption area in existence at the time a permit was sought.
  4. A site plan [which conforms to the requirements set forth in Section 18-45(b)], including all greenhouse(s) proposed for the growth of cannabis and any accessory structure(s) located on the premises.
  5. Valid proof of identity of the person(s) seeking the permit, indicating they are at least 21 years of age.
  6. Proof of ownership or legal occupancy of the premises to be permitted, including an affidavit from the owner of the property that the applicant has permission to conduct cannabis-related activity on the premises if the property is not owned by the applicant.
  7. A valid New Mexico gross receipts tax number.
  8. The name, mailing address, email address, and contact phone numbers (including 24-hour emergency contact numbers) of the owner of the property for which the permit will be issued.
  9. The name, mailing address, email address, and contact phone numbers (including 24-hour emergency contact numbers) of the applicant, if different than the owner of the property.
  10. All other legal requirements as provided for according to the regulations set forth by the Regulation and Licensing Division pertaining to cannabis and cannabis related activity
  11. The Zoning Permit approval shall be granted contingent upon the licensee providing a valid license upon approval from RLD.

(3) Compliance with 18-45[(f)(3)(a)] through 18-45[(f)(3)(dc)] required. Any cannabis requiring a site development plan pursuant to 18- 45[(f)(3)(a)-(dc)] of the Village Code must provide documentation of Site Plan approval at the time of permit application.

  1. All cannabis establishments shall be equipped with odor control filtration and ventilation system(s) based on the current industry-specific best control technologies. No operable windows or exhaust vents shall be located on any building facade. Exhaust vents on rooftops shall direct exhaust away from residential uses or zones. The building, or portion thereof, used for cannabis production, manufacture, retail, or consumption shall be designed or equipped to prevent detection of marijuana odors and other objectionable odors from the property line.
  2. Greenhouses or other structures incidental to the production of cannabis or cannabis[-derived] products [or manufacture of cannabis or cannabis products] shall [be ventilated in such a manner that no:
  3. Pesticides, insecticides or other chemicals or products used in the cultivation or processing are dispersed into the outside atmosphere
  4. No odor from marijuana cultivation, processing, sale, storage or consumption can be detected by a person with an unimpaired and otherwise normal sense of smell at any adjoining use or adjoining property to the cannabis producer or cannabis manufacturer

iii. Activated carbon [Odor] filtration systems shall be maintained regularly such that odor abatement remains effective.

  1. Cannabis producers shall keep a maintenance record for their filtration system(s) which shall include, at a minimum: the filter(s) changed, date the filter change was conducted, and due date for next filter change.
  2. The exhaust system to control odor shall be designed by a licensed professional air quality/environmental engineer recognized by the State of New Mexico.
  3. Greenhouses, manufacturing facilities, or other structures incidental to the production of cannabis or cannabis products shall be equipped with noise buffering panels sufficient to reduce sound emissions below 85 decibels as measured from the property line.
  4. Applicants must provide a valid permit from the Office of the State Engineer at the time of application certifying access to water rights sufficient to conduct the activity or activities for which the Village permit is sought.

(4) Hours of Operation. No commercial cannabis producer, manufacturer, or courier shall be permitted to operate between the hours of 10pm and 8am the following day. No commercial cannabis retailer or consumption area shall be permitted to operate between the hours of 8pm and 10am the following day.

II.Legal changes necessary for Group Homes under the fair housing act and highlighted the definition of family to discuss.

Definitions in Section 18-29(a)

Family means one or more persons occupying a single dwelling unit, all of whom are related to each other by blood, marriage or legal adoption, or persons occupying a single dwelling unit if they are not all related to each other by blood, marriage or legal adoption; provided, however, that this restriction shall not conflict with the federal Fair Housing Act.

Group home means a dwelling unit that contains a community residence that may or may not be licensed by or operated by the State as a community residence providing housing, care and counseling or therapy for elderly residents or residents who are mentally ill, handicapped, or developmentally or physically disabled A Group Home in a Commercial Zone may also contain a medical or health care facility.

No Group Homes may be used as Correctional Facilities

18-33(b)(3), 18-34(b)(3), and 18-35(b)(2): Group homes. The maximum occupancy on the premises shall be reasonable as determined by the Administrator or Building Inspector in relation to the lot size, square footage of the residence, number of bedrooms, parking availability, septic capacity, and relevant safety considerations].; however, nothing in this Section shall violate the Federal Fair Housing Act.

18-33(c)(4), 18-34(c)(4), and 18-35(c)(5) State-licensed and state-operated group homes. The maximum capacity to house on the premises shall be no more than 10 patients or residents.

Removed from Section 18-36(c)b. Group homes.

  1. The maximum capacity to house on the premises shall be no more than five patients or residents.
  2. The applicant must provide a traffic engineering analysis showing to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer that the operation as proposed will not adversely affect the public safety either because of increased traffic or on street parking.

In Section 18-37(c)

(3) Group homes having a maximum capacity and occupancy reasonable as determined by the Administrator or Building Inspector in relation to the lot size, square footage of the residence, number of bedrooms, parking availability, septic capacity, and relevant safety considerations].; however, nothing in this Section shall violate the Federal Fair Housing Act . [no more than five (5) patients or residents residing on the premises.]

(4) State-licensed or state-operated group homes having a maximum capacity and occupancy of no more than ten (10) patients or residents residing on the premises. See Section 18-33(b)(4)

Removed from 18-37(d)

  1. Group homes having a maximum capacity and occupancy of no more than eight (8) patients or residents residing on the premises.
  2. The applicant must provide a traffic engineering analysis showing to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer that the operation as proposed will not adversely affect the public safety either because of increased traffic or on street parking.

III. Highlighted all references to Senior Living and related terms to discuss;

Definitions, Section 18-29

Independent living means the provision to residents of a housing facility or community of limited levels of domiciliary care, including as a minimum room and board. a housing facility or community that provides services for citizens who need little or no assistance with daily activities, including as a minimum room and board.

Senior living facility means a housing facility or community (A) that is intended for and is operated for occupancy by persons sixty-two (62) years of age or older; (B) in which at least ninety (90) percent of the occupied dwelling units are occupied by at least one person who is sixty-two (62) years of age or older; and (C) that provides significant facilities and services specifically designed to meet the physical and social needs of older persons, including as a minimum, assisted living, or skilled nursing care, or a combination thereof. It may optionally include independent living.

Skilled nursing care means the services provided to residents of a housing facility or community, including as a minimum room, board, and living assistance, skilled nursing care, and prescribed medical treatment.

Municipal zone, Section 18-38(c)(10) Senior living facilities;

  1. Purpose: The purpose of this Subsection 18-38(c3)(g10) is to provide standards for the development of senior living facilities in a manner that recognizes and provides reasonable accommodation for the varied housing needs and desires of seniors, and ensures that senior living facilities are so located and constructed within the Village as to be compatible with surrounding properties, to not impose an undue financial or administrative burden upon the Village, and to not fundamentally undermine the Village’s zoning plan.
  2. Density and lot size: The allowed number of residents per acre shall be reasonably compatible with the density of the surrounding properties, not to exceed more than one resident per 5,445 square feet subject to compatibility exceed more than one resident per 5,445 square feet subject to compatibility with surrounding properties and compliance with all dimensional, design, parking, landscaping and other Village development standards. No senior living facility shall be permitted on a lot or contiguous lots having a total area of less than 15 acres.
  3. Landscaping requirement: A minimum of twenty percent of the lot shall be landscaped area. The landscaping requirements for nonresidential development in Section 18-40 apply to senior living facilities.
  4. Placement of parking: Parking areas shall be placed off the street to the rear and sides of buildings whenever possible.
  5. Traffic: The applicant must provide a traffic engineering analysis showing to the satisfaction of the Village engineer that the operation as proposed will not adversely affect public safety or quality of life of the neighborhood.

Off Street Parking, Section 18-39(c)(6)

Senior living facilities. One and one-half parking spaces per dwelling unit for independent living and one parking space per two beds for assisted living and skilled nursing. The parking requirements for senior living facilities may be reduced if justification can be provided.

  1. Highlighted whether Special Use Permits still have any purpose under the Code; Use by Review is the current normal process.

18-45(d) removed in entirety: (d) Special use permit.

(1) Approval and permit required. Any person or entity wanting to engage in a use on a commercial zoned lot which is not identified as a commercial permissive use for the C zone, or a use on a lot zoned M for municipal, public or quasi-public use which is identified as a use by review for the M zone, may request a special use permit for that particular use.

(2) Application and fee. Anyone wanting a special use permit must obtain and submit the completed application for a special use permit. This application shall be returned to the Administrator accompanied by the appropriate application fee and number of sets of required drawings. All special use permits must satisfy at least the following minimum requirements:

  1. Show proposed new structure(s) and any existing buildings or structures, all property lines with dimensions, all roads/streets, easements and setbacks.
  2. Show all locations on-site for water, septic, sewer, refuse, electrical points of connections, proposed service routes and existing utilities on the site.
  3. Show all required parking, drainage and grading information.
  4. Show required landscaping information
  5. Indicated drainage inflow and outflow locations and specify areas required to be maintained for drainage purposes.
  6. Include a topographic survey if requested by the Administrator.

  1. Added the specific definition of “Connected” for dwelling unit purposes;

Amending Section 18-29(a) to include “Connected under the definition of dwelling unit shall mean all living areas shall be within the same contiguous heated square footage and accessible through the same primary entrance.”

VII. Clarify Nonconforming use sections and fix the lot size problem

Definition 18-29(a)

Lot means a parcel or tract of land platted and recorded with the County clerk in accordance with appropriate laws and ordinances, including such lots as may later become lawfully non-conforming due to changes in these regulations.

Nonconforming lot means an existing lot of record that was legally platted and recorded prior to November 13, 1989 that no longer meets the requirements of this article, or after subsequent amendments to this Article.

Nonconforming structure means an existing structure that was built prior to the November 13, 1989 that fails to conform the present setback, lot coverage, or other development standards of this article, or after subsequent amendments to this Article.

Nonconforming use of structure or land means a use that was lawfully established prior to November 13, 1989 and since maintained, that does not meet the district or use specific development standards of this article, or after subsequent amendments to this Article.

Nonconforming uses, section 18;47

  1. Defined. A nonconformance for purposes of the Land Use Regulations may exist in the location or use of a structure, the use of land, or with the size of the lot. of a lot (as defined in Section 18-29) which was lawful prior to November 13, 1989, but would be prohibited or restricted under the terms of this article, or has become nonconforming by amendment of this ordinance since 1989, shall be deemed a nonconforming. use.
  2. Burden of proof. The burden of establishing that a nonconforming use, structure, or lot lawfully exists under this article, in all cases, shall be the owner’s and not that of the Village of Corrales.
  3. Certificate of nonconformance. At the request of the property owner, and to the satisfaction of the Administrator that a structure or use of structure or land qualifies as a nonconforming use, the Administrator shall issue a certificate of nonconformance to the owner of each nonconforming use. A certificate of nonconformance will be issued by the Administrator for a nonconforming use structure, land or for the size of a lot, at the request of the property owner or the Planning and Zoning Commission.
  4. Expansion. The addition of a lawful use to any portion of a building which currently houses a nonconforming use which existed prior to the effective date of this article shall not be deemed an extension of such nonconforming use. Nonconforming uses of structures or land. Nonconforming uses of structures or land shall not be expanded, enlarged, or intensified without conforming to the requirements of this article.
  5. A lawful use may be added to any portion of a building which currently contains a nonconforming use or a portion of a nonconforming lot without being deemed a nonconforming use.
  6. Restoration and replacement. If a nonconforming structure is damaged or destroyed by any means, its restoration and/or replacement shall be permitted provided that:
  7. There is no increase in lot coverage or total square footage of structures as a result of that restoration and/or replacement; and
  8. Restoration and/or replacement is in conformance with the height, setback, 2. Restoration and/or replacement is in conformance with the height, setback, open space, landscaping and architectural requirements other development standards of this article. within the applicable zone district.
  9. Abandonment of a nonconforming use. Whenever a nonconforming use has been discontinued or abandoned for a period of twelve (12) months or more, such use shall not thereafter be reestablished, and any future use must be in conformance with the provisions of this article.
  10. Nonconforming lot size lots of record.
  11. Lot or lot of record as used herein shall mean a lot or parcel created by a plat adopted by a local government and recorded with the County Clerk. Any lot of record existing, prior to the effective date of this article, which fails to meet the minimum lot size requirements of this article, may be developed, redeveloped, or improved provided that it meets all other requirements of this article. If a nonconforming lot is within three-hundred (300) feet of an existing sewer line, a connection to that sewer line is required. If a connection to an existing sewer line is not available, the Village of Corrales requires that any lot that is less than .75 acres must install an advanced septic treatment system. No conventional septic system shall be installed on a lot less than .75 acres. Proof of a permit for the installation of the advanced septic treatment system, or connection to the sewer line, will be required by the planning and zoning division prior to issuance of a development review permit.
  12. If a nonconforming lot of record contains an existing use in a structure, that use may continue for a period of two years to allow the owner of the lot to bring the lot into compliance with the provisions of 1 above. If the lot does not come into compliance with the provisions of paragraph 1 that use will then become illegal.

ISSUE 02-05-22 CANDIDATES FACE OFF IN FEB. FORUMS

Candidate forums for those running for mayor and Village Council are scheduled for Monday, February 7 and Thursday, February 10, but only accessible via Zoom thus far. League of Women Voters volunteers will moderate, enforce time limits and vet questions. Organizers urge citizens to submit questions in advance. Opportunities to ask questions during the forums via Zoom may be limited. A volunteer from the league will decide which questions are asked of candidates. The format is expected to be that for a webinar, rather than typical Zoom Village Council meeting.

Requests for invitations to participate can be made at the Village of Corrales website, http://www.corrales-nm.org, after clicking on the “Election 2022” tab. Under that tab, another link will allow you to  submit questions which should be targeted to the mayoral or council candidate. Questions will go to the League of Women Voters moderator and a vetter. The webinar forums are expected to run from 6 to 9 p.m., although half of that will be devoted to the two candidates running for mayor, Gary Kanin and Jim Fahey, while the remainder of time will be given to candidates to represent Council Districts 1, 3 and 4.

No in-person forums had been announced by press time for this issue presumably due to pandemic precautions.

Early voting for the March 1 municipal election began February 1.

Candidates for Village Council are:

District 1 - Cora “Cory” Frantz and Rick Miera;

District 3 - Mel Knight and Andy Dilts;

District 4 - John Alsobrook and Courtenay Eichhorst.

In the campaigns so far, most fervor has been generated over the race for mayor; advocates for former Councillor Jim Fahey and former Mayor Gary Kanin are most active. (See the outpouring of endorsement letters to the editor in this issue, starting on Page 2.)

Kanin is seeking another term as mayor, although it’s been 12 years since he stepped down. He was mayor from 1991, when then-Mayor John Callan resigned, to 2006, when he decided not to seek another term but ran for a seat on the Village Council instead. He lost that race to Fahey.

In Council District 1, in the northwest area of the village, Kevin Lucero chose not to seek another term, leaving a vacancy for candidates Cory Frantz and Rick Miera.

Frantz is a 17-year Corrales resident who has worked in customer service for major multinational corporations. She continues to work full time. Frantz holds a  degree in business administration with a focus in marketing from Mercer University, and has completed coursework for a master’s in business administration at Loyola University.

Also seeking the District 1 seat is Rick Miera who ran for N.M. lieutenant governor in 2018. He has worked as a therapist, drug counselor and program administrator for more than 40 years, working primarily with youth and at-risk groups.

In District 3, incumbent Mel Knight seeks a new term on the council. She moved to New Mexico more than 40 years ago after earning a master’s degree in speech pathology. “When I was working at Albuquerque Public Schools, I came on a field trip to Corrales and fell in love with the open space and greenery,” the Chicago native recalled.

Knight has served on the Corrales Planning and Zoning Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Corrales Historical Society and Friends of Corrales Library, among other volunteer groups.

A second candidate for the District 3 seat, Andy Dilts, is a design engineer at Sandia Labs. He holds degrees in electrical engineering. He moved from the Chicago area to Albuquerque in 2001. After marrying here and starting a family which now includes five children, the couple bought a lot in Corrales in 2012 and have lived here since 2015.

“The primary issue that led me to run for Village Council is commercial cannabis in residential areas,” he said. “While this issue was voted on during the special session, I doubt that it is entirely laid to rest as state regulations are still in flux. Cannabis is not traditional farming!”

In Council District 4, the sitting councillor has chosen not to run for a new term. But a former councillor for that district, John Alsobrook, is. He had to resign in 2016 for his work as director of a research lab in Seattle.

The Adaptive Biotechnologies lab at which he works focuses primarily on the human body’s response to cancer cells, particularly leukemia. He now directs the program remotely.

In 2005, he joined the Albuquerque-based Exagen Diagnostics firm, and moved his family into a home on Corrales’ Coronado Road in spring 2006.

Alsobrook took a seat on the Village Council in 2008, eventually winning two terms.

Another well-known name is a candidate for the District 4 council seat: Courtenay Eichhorst. For more than six years, the Cibola High graduate has been the business manager for the Local 412 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union.

His father, Bob Eichhorst, served on the Village Council in its early days as a municipality, and his mother, Susi Eichhorst, was for decades the best-known person at Corrales Elementary School.

The candidate serves as chairman on the N.M. Workers Compensation Advisory Council, appointed by Governor Susanna Martinez. He was appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to the N.M.  Apprenticeship Technical advisory Council.

Terms are not expiring for Councillors Bill Woldman, Stu Murray and Zach Burkett, nor for Municipal Judge Michelle Frechette.

Candidate profiles for the competitive races will be published in Corrales Comment’s February 19 issue.

In the mayor’s race, both Fahey and Kanin are retired. Kanin was an advertising account executive for KOAT-TV. Fahey was a surgeon with a practice in

Texas.

Fahey served for 12 years on the council. He has also been elected to several terms on the board of directors for the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority for which he is now chairman.

Kanin’s long run as mayor initiated many of the community’s most popular programs, such as the Bosque Preserve, buying land for the rec center and bringing the south end of Corrales into Sandoval County. He has lived here since 1965. Kanin has been known as a fighter to retain Corrales’ one dwelling per acre rule.

His supporters say he will best protect neighborhoods from commercial marijuana farming.

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