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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Message from Santa Fe Mayor David Coss Regarding Recent Tragedies

The following statement was issued today by David Coss, Mayor of Santa Fe, New Mexico:

As we prepare for the 4th of July, Santa Feans are coping with great tragedy. I want to express my thoughts and discuss actions I believe we must take as a community. First, I want to express my deep condolences to the parents, families and friends of Rose Simmons, Kate Kline, Julian Martinez and Alyssa Trouw. I pray for the speedy recovery of Avree Koffman. I also want to express my condolences to the parents, family and friends of Pedro Maldonado.

Only weeks ago, I was expressing condolences to the Lovato family after a horrific domestic violence incident that affected all of us. There have been too many senseless and tragic losses. Domestic violence, gang violence and drunk driving affect us all. Santa Fe can not tolerate this, no community can.

In attending memorials and funerals this week, I have been moved by the depth of suffering and by the strength and character of our people. I ask all Santa Feans to decide that they will be safe and to see to the safety of their fellow community members this 4th of July weekend. I am humbled to be with our community in its bereavement. There has been great wisdom in the sentiments and insights expressed by people young and old. Yet, the healing will take a long time. Please continue to reach out and support one another in these painful times.

Out of the tragedy, the Santa Fe community must continue to work for change. Elected leaders shoulder a special responsibility to make solutions happen. Local government leaders will hold a joint City Council/Board of County Commissioners meeting next week to respond to these incidents, especially to the role that abuse of alcohol plays in our community.

We have to do more and working together, we will. We will support dialogue but we will also move for action. We know what programs work in education, enforcement and treatment. We have to improve our ability to implement these programs and practices. Change must occur quickly.

I have tremendous faith in the people of Santa Fe. It’s important that every individual makes personal decisions to look after the safety and well-being of their fellow community members. This weekend please make that decision. Be safe on the 4th of July. Make sure your actions show respect for yourself and for the safety of your family, friends and neighbors.

In closing, I want to again express my deepest condolences to those in our community who are most directly affected by the tragedies of this past week.

For background, see this article about the traffic accident that resulted in four deaths and severe injuries to a fifth teen, and this article about the death of Pedro Maldonado.

July 2, 2009 at 07:00 PM in Children and Families, Crime, Law Enforcement, Santa Fe, Urban Issues, Youth | Permalink

Comments

I say tax alcohol! alot! It is time to take the same intolerance to alcohol as communities have to smoking.

Posted by: mary ellen | Jul 2, 2009 7:57:49 PM

Mary Ellen, I doubt extra taxes would have the desired effect... that it would more likely, in fact, be counter-productive. Alcohol is an addictive substance for whatever reason... myself, I only drink in small amounts... maybe once per week at the most, and have been drunk only once in my life (no, never drove in that condition). The hangover was enough to teach me it was over-glorified. However, as we are seeing with many other controlled substances and indeed illegal substances, the harder it is to get, the more a person is willing to do to obtain it, and the dumber they will be with it... think of teenagers who just managed to obtain a case of beer somehow. The answer at this point I feel really isn't more taxes or more laws... but perhaps better rehab programs... encouraging alcoholics to come forward to these programs and not treating them like criminals before they become criminals.

Posted by: randall sobien | Jul 2, 2009 8:12:48 PM

More taverns so people can walk to them, give money to cab companies so there are more of them and they are affordable, increase public transportation and do what randall says about serious rehab. These people are sick not evil.

Posted by: Shaun | Jul 2, 2009 8:20:04 PM

Well... I'm not sure about the "more taverns" idea, as they are privately ran businesses.

Posted by: randall sobien | Jul 2, 2009 9:38:58 PM

The problem with NM is that the state only issues x-number of liquor licenses no matter what, which makes them very expensive. Big chains etc. buy them up from small outfits and small towns. Most states issue way more licenses making them affordable and so small neighborhood taverns can exist. Drunks can walk to them and walk home. It's the old English or Irish Pub concept-let the inebriated walk home.

Posted by: Shaun | Jul 3, 2009 11:42:27 AM

"the old English or Irish Pub concept-let the inebriated walk home"
That is the way the NMtech students do it.
There are 4 bars in Socorro and home is within walking distance from all of them.

Posted by: qofdisks | Jul 3, 2009 3:37:51 PM

You bring up a good point, Shaun.

Posted by: randall sobien | Jul 4, 2009 4:41:20 AM