City Councilor Peter Ives, shown here at the downtown Railyard, is one of five candidates for Santa Fe mayor. He’s a longtime lawyer with the Trust for Public Land, which helps city government secure land for the Railyard Park. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

Santa Fe city councilor and mayoral candidate Peter Ives says he came to Santa Fe because it offered good art, good music and good mountains. He found all that and more. He also found love.

As fate would have it, he and Patricia Salazar were taking the New Mexico bar exam at the same time. They were introduced to each other on the third day of the exam by John Hickey, and got to know each other a little better at a pot luck dinner for the softball team Ives and Hickey played on.

“We fell into conversation, and I was smitten,” Ives said of his future bride.


They were married less than two years later. Patricia, who grew up in Los Alamos and whose family has ties to the Española Valley, is now a partner with Cuddy & McCarthy, a law firm she has been with for more than 30 years. Peter started with Campbell & Black, but has now worked for The Trust for Public Land for the past 20 years. Together, they have three adult children, who still live in the area.

“It’s been great fun to see them building their lives in Santa Fe,” Ives said.

Ives grew up the second oldest of four boys in and around New Haven, Conn., where his father was a professor teaching graphic art at Yale. That’s where his love for art came from. World-renowned artist Josef Albers and photographer Walker Evans were friends of the family.

“Dad collected pre-Columbian and other artifacts. We had a Mayan stela on the wall at home and different kinds of masks,” he said, adding that he grew up in a “rich artistic environment.”

“Mom collected fossils and shells, so it was a wonderful juxtaposition that brought a sense of not only made-made beauty, but natural beauty.”

Ives says his love of natural beauty stems from the time he spent outdoors as a young man. He was active in Boy Scouts and later got into rock climbing. He fondly recalls two-week-long backpacking trips on the Appalachians and attending the Adirondack Winter Mountaineering School at Lake Placid, N.Y.

So the Sangre de Cristo Mountains overlooking Santa Fe were an immediate attraction.

“Having kids diverted me from spending more time in those mountains, but I still feel a connection to the environment,” said Ives, who during his six years on the city council has championed sustainability and environmental causes, including sponsoring the resolution that calls for Santa Fe to become a carbon neutral city by 2040.

But perhaps more than the mountains, and more than Santa Fe’s reputation as an arts center, it was music that drew him here.

“I had heard of the (Santa Fe) Opera, and I had heard a reference to the Desert Chorale, which I think was formed the year before I came. So it looked like there was great music out here,” he said.

Ives sang in his high school’s glee club and close harmony group and was also a standout athlete. When he went to Harvard, where he majored in philosophy, he said he had to make a decision whether to join the men’s glee club or go out for the wrestling team. “The glee club at the time was the principal men’s choir for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which was hard to beat,” Ives said, a situation that made the decision easier.

He sang for an orchestra led by Leonard Bernstein and is on a recording of Igor Stravinsky’s “Oedipus Rex.” He later joined the University of Maryland Alumni Choir and performed the Verdi “Requiem” at Wolf Trap, and sang with the Washington National Cathedral Choir for a time. “That was the first time I got to sing with real countertenors,” said Ives, who sings bass. “It was a real treat.”

He was a member of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society when he attended law school at Georgetown. He did that while attending school full-time and working 30 hours a week clerking for a D.C. firm that focused primarily on alternative energy issues.

While finishing law school, he worked at the office of newly minted New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman.

“If I learned nothing else from Jeff, it was that you can’t be afraid to say if you don’t know something,” he said. “I liked Jeff’s approach. It was intelligent, it was reasoned, and very calm.”

But it was his classmate at Georgetown, Diego Zamora, who urged him to come to New Mexico and visit Santa Fe.

“We joke whenever I see him that it was actually his mother Emily’s chile that convinced me to move to Santa Fe,” Ives said.

Ives was working for a law firm in the Chicago area when he decided to make a move. Seattle, San Diego and Santa Fe were the three cities he planned to visit. “I never made it past Santa Fe,” he said.

While he never sang for the Desert Chorale – his day job prevented it – he served as the group’s third president. He says he has performed with just about every chorus in Santa Fe, except the Zia Singers and Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble, and continues to sing and cantor in choirs at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

Santa Fe City Councilor Peter Ives, as part of a city delegation, visits the USS Santa Fe after it returned home to Pearl Harbor in January 2014 after a six-month deployment. (Courtesy of Jodi Mcginnis Porter)

Having spent 35 years in Santa Fe, marrying a northern New Mexico girl, raising kids here, following them as they participated in sports at St. Michael’s High School, working for The Trust for Public Land, serving on numerous boards for local nonprofit groups, and as city councilor for six years, Ives said he’s hoping that will strike a chord with voters.

“All of that has put me in that position to have the knowledge, the experience, and the respect, in terms of how I do what I do, to lead the city, which I think is the next logical step,” he said.


AGE: 63

EDUCATION: Harvard College, A.B. cum laude in Philosophy; JD, Georgetown University Law Center.

OCCUPATIONS: Senior counsel, The Trust for Public Land, and city councilor for District 2.

1. Why are you running for mayor? What distinguishes you from your opponents?

I run for mayor to lead, and better and more quickly implement positive change across the city. I have lived here for 34 years, married Patricia Salazar with deep roots in northern New Mexico, been an active community participant, been a city councilor (6 years) and led on critical issues at the city, including the environment, housing and water conservation.

2. What is the biggest issue facing city government and how would you address it?

Housing is our biggest issue. Bringing our workforce back into Santa Fe will significantly boost our economy, allow businesses to start and expand with workers living near their jobs. I have led with resolutions to build out Tierra Contenta, expand LIHTC housing, engage the private sector in affordable housing. I would create a revolving fund to leverage more affordable housing.

3. How would you encourage more affordable housing in Santa Fe? Do you support development of more rental apartments in town?

I initiated an investigation into where housing could be developed working with the City Asset Development Office. I proposed modifying the ADU ordinance to increase affordable housing. I proposed measures to build out Tierra Contenta. I proposed an LIHTC project in District 2. I do support development of more rental apartments, where our vacancy rate is critically low.

4. What uses would you support for the city-owned campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, which the school is vacating?

I desire a masterplanned process that would preserve a higher education use, utilize the significant functional improvements fully (sound stages, film production, music production, Folgelson Library, etc.), create more affordable housing, centralize city functions and services, create walking paths and bike trails, and engage the private sector in making it a vital and vibrant space that embraces the creative economy.

5. Do you support the city’s living wage ordinance – which currently sets the minimum wage at $11.09 per hour – and its mandatory annual cost of living increases?

Yes. Our cost of living in Santa Fe is high and we must ensure that all who work and live in our city can afford to live here and raise their families here. That preserves and builds our community, and supports our diverse population. We should every five years evaluate its effectiveness and impacts. 6. Did you vote in the May “soda tax” election? If so, did you vote for or against it? Please explain your vote or your opinion of the failed tax proposal.

I voted in May in favor of it. Earlier, however, I voted to ensure that the voices of all Santa Feans were heard on this issue, making it a city-wide vote. Without action by our Legislature, the city must act on early childhood education. The people spoke, but I will still search for solutions to lift children up through education.

7. Should the city continue to grant a permit and provide police support for the annual Entrada event held on the Plaza that is opposed by Native Americans and others?

The First Amendment protects speech, even speech that is offensive. Unless illegal, permits for the use of public spaces should be granted. Those taking out permits should pay for the services incident to the permit. All that said, as a community, we must work to find ways to celebrate that do not cause injury, as noted by Archbishop Wester.

1. Have you or your business – if you are a business owner – ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?

Yes, a personal one back many years ago. This was long ago taken care of.

2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding? Yes, as an attorney, I have represented numerous parties in bankruptcy proceedings. No personal or personally owned business bankruptcies.

3. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony?

I have never been arrested or charged with, or convicted of drunken driving or any felony. Parking tickets in the city of Santa Fe used to be misdemeanor matters until the City Council changed that and made them civil matters. I have on occasion before the change in our code received parking tickets that, to my knowledge, were all long ago paid.

2018 Santa Fe Municipal Election

NOW: Absentee is voting already underway.Request an absentee ballot by stopping by the City Clerk’s Office, 200 Lincoln Ave., or by calling 955-6521, 955-6519 or 955-6326.
Feb. 6: Last day to register to vote in the municipal election.

Register at the Santa Fe County Clerk’s Office, 102 Grant Ave., Santa Fe, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Feb. 14: Early voting begins

Vote early at City Clerk’s Office, Room 215, 200 Lincoln Ave., Santa Fe, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or at Genoveva Chavez Community Center, 3221 Rodeo Road, Santa Fe, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, except March 2, when polls close at 5 p.m.

March 2: Early and absentee voting ends at 5 p.m.

March 6: Election Day

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. See the city’s website,, for polling locations and addresses for voter convenience centers around town.

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