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Tierna Unruh-Enos is the managing editor and associate publisher at The Paper.

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Tim Keller may be a tried and true progressive Democrat, but surprisingly he’s received some A+ marks from the other side of the aisle. He’s also received his fair share of lower grades from both parties, especially when it comes to public safety and police reform.

The Democratic Grades

Pete Billetto is the president of Dist. 6 Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, and he feels that the mayor has gone above and beyond for his district. “He’s come through for our district for sure. He helped with a big project on San Mateo and Kathryn, and allotted more money than we had originally asked for. We’ve also worked closely with him on the homelessness population in the area, and he’s been very responsive to requests for assistance for those in need. Some of these problems date back to the Chavez administration, and he’s doing what can,” he said.

Billetto also feels that the mayor has been responsive to businesses and residents in the Nob Hill district to address concerns with the ART bus project. “The mayor likes to say he’s making lemonade with the ART situation. It’s definitely a carryover from the Berry administration, but I know the neighborhoods in my district feel their concerns are being heard.”

When asked about the mayor’s grades on public safety, Billetto thinks there is room for improvement. “First and foremost he needs to deal with the issue of public safety and reform of APD. The department needs to get in compliance with the DOJ. I understand those problems were there before he got into office, but I do see it as a challenge.”

The Republican Grades

Former Bernalillo County sheriff and outspoken Republican Darren White also believes there is room for improvement with public safety. “People need to feel safe right now,” said White. “Just look at the numbers since January, and you know things are not good. He’s going to have a tough time with that issue, because it’s happening under his watch.”

What would Darren give the mayor an A grade for? “It’s a good time to be a mayor right now in the middle of a pandemic. Businesses closing down are not your fault, and you get to be the good guy who helps people in their time of need. I think he’s done a good job with that. He’s put himself out there as the guy who is helping everyone, and he’s done as much as he can do to help folks in the city,” said White.

As White sees it, this upcoming election is going to be determined by public safety. “Keller needs to address the crime rates in this city. It’s his responsibility. If people don’t feel safe, they leave, or they vote for someone else.”

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