Village of Los Ranchos mayor Joe Craig dies 

Village of Los Ranchos mayor Joe Craig dies

The Village of Los Ranchos was taken aback when they saw a sign posted on the door at city hall Tuesday, announcing the passing of Mayor Joe Craig.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Village of Los Ranchos was taken aback when they saw a sign posted on the door at city hall Tuesday, announcing the passing of Mayor Joe Craig. 

Village leadership ended up cancelling their closed session and regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

KOB 4 reached out to the mayor just last week about scheduling an interview when we found out he was on medical leave for an unknown reason. Not a week later, the village announced his passing and the friends of Los Ranchos say they will continue his work. 

“All he wanted was to protect the neighborhoods we live in, that was his goal. That was his goal when he ran for mayor,” said Mel Eaves, Craig’s friend. 

“Joe was a bright light, he was excellent with people. He brought people together, he lobbied for open space for the village. He was just a shinning light,” said Marsha Adams, president of Friends of Los Ranchos.  

Those close to Craig say he loved his community and was steadfast in preserving the village’s charm and rural way of life.

Eaves first crossed paths with Craig when he was the president of Friends of Los Ranchos, and had his own questions about the proposed Village Center Project.

“Joe happened to call me, and he was looking at the same thing, and from that time on we became virtually inseparable. On a daily basis because we were both committed to holding Palindrome accountable because the village was not holding them accountable,” said Eaves. 

A recent decision from a judge validated their work, ruling that developers and village leadership at the time violated the Open Meetings Act and none of the plans for the project are valid. 

Earlier this month we got a press release from the mayor saying, “As I am recovering at home, I am excited that villager’s concerns were validated by the recent court ruling. I look forward to getting back to the village and assuring that our ordinances are being followed.”

While Craig never returned to his office after that letter, his friends are committed to seeing his vision through. 

“We will continue his legacy, his projects that he had. We will fight to the bitter end,” Adams said.   

“We are going to see that Palindrome is held accountable to the full extent of the law because that is what Joe literally lived for, and we are going to do anything we can to make that happen,” said Eaves.  

Village leadership has also released a statement about the mayor’s passing, saying that he lead with unwavering commitment and passion. 

Find the full statement below:

“The Village of Los Ranchos is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Mayor Joe Craig, a dedicated public servant and beloved community member. Mayor Craig served the Village of Los Ranchos with unwavering commitment and passion, profoundly shaping the community and leaving a legacy that will be felt for generations. Mayor Craig prioritized maintaining the Village’s rural charm and greatly enhanced the quality of life for all residents. He championed the preservation of our Village’s land, wildlife, culture, and heritage, encouraging a sustainable lifestyle while fostering kindness and a sense of community that respected every person and included every voice. Mayor Pro Tem Frank Reinow expressed his heartfelt condolences and admiration for Mayor Craig’s contributions to the Village both as Mayor and as the Executive Director of the Friends of Los Ranchos. “Mayor Joe Craig was not only a remarkable leader but also a cherished friend,” said Mayor Pro Tem Reinow. “His passion for our community was evident in everything he did. Joe’s legacy will continue to inspire us all to work towards a better, more connected Los Ranchos. He will be deeply missed, but his spirit will live on in the work we continue in his honor.” The Village of Los Ranchos extends its deepest sympathies to Mayor Craig’s family during this difficult time.”