County line—Don’t cop out.
Voting is a right, a responsibility, and a privilege.
—Jack Thomas, Chairman, Sandoval County Commission
We've all heard the excuses before. In fact, we've probably used
But this year—in what may be the most important election
of our lifetimes—there are no excuses for not voting.
“My vote doesn't count,” or “there are no good
candidates” or “I don't have time” are cop-outs
used to shuck off the most basic obligation in our democracy.
By not voting, we jeopardize the future of our nation, our state,
and our communities. It makes absolutely no sense for 80 percent
of Americans to stay at home and complain how government is run
while the other 20 percent select the candidates who will, in fact,
determine our future.
This year's General Election, on November 7, is highly important.
It will be a deciding point that shapes national security, our nation's
values, the economy, and our well-being, both as individuals and
as a society.
Globally, we have Americans in harm’s way who are facing
life-or-death situations every minute of every day in the shambles
of Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iran and Korea, meanwhile, real weapons
of mass destruction that threaten our very survival are being developed
Foreign policy and use of our armed forces are just some of the
many concerns that members of Congress we elect in November will
have to hit head-on. Others include health care, immigration, energy
costs, Social Security and, the fodder of politics, taxes.
Closer to home, in critical races that will be decided by Sandoval
County voters are candidates who will determine our future on such
concerns as transportation, education, water supplies, and jobs.
The election process is the most effective—and easiest—way
to make a difference in how our communities and nation progress.
Voting for the November 7 General Election is already taking place.
Sandoval County residents have a range of options to vote. If you
hurry, you can even cast your votes without leaving home.
To request a ballot by mail, either stop by the county courthouse,
in Bernalillo, or call the county's Bureau of Elections, 867-7577.
But hurry. The deadline to request a ballot is November 3.
The process is so simple that residents wishing to vote by absentee
ballot can make their request at the county courthouse, sign the
application, and then cast votes in a matter of minutes. Or, if
you wish, you may return the ballot by mail. In order to be counted,
however, mail-in ballots must be returned to the county by 7:00
p.m. on Election Day, November 7.
Early voting in-person also is underway at Rio Rancho City Hall,
the county Election Warehouse, at 800 South Hill Road in Bernalillo,
and at San Ysidro Village Offices. Voting at those three locations
will continue from noon to 8:00 p.m. through Friday, November 3,
and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 4.
If you wait until Election Day, polls will be open in neighborhoods
throughout Sandoval County on Tuesday, November 7, from 7:00 a.m.
until 7:00 p.m. An updated list of voting locations is included
in local newspapers and can also be found at the county's Web site,
Voting is a freedom guaranteed by our democratic form of government.
As citizens, it is our right and responsibility to make certain
our voices are heard at the polls. It's the one process that determines
the quality of our local and national leadership—and our future.
There are no excuses not to exercise that right and privilege.
Questions or comments for Commissioner Thomas may be mailed to him
in care of Sandoval County Administrative Offices, P.O. Box 40,
Bernalillo, NM 87004.
Candidates for Sandoval County Commissioner, District
—In their own words
Democrat Orlando Lucero and Republican Pete Salazar are the candidates
for commissioner for Sandoval County District One, which includes
Bernalillo and Placitas. They have submitted the following profiles:
Orlando Lucero, a long-time educator and life-long resident of Bernalillo,
is also a product of the Bernalillo Public Schools.
Lucero attended the University of Albuquerque, where he majored
in biology and political science, with an emphasis in state and
local government. After teaching for four years, Lucero received
his master’s degree in bilingual education, English as a Second
Language, and curriculum and instruction from the University of
New Mexico, through a Title VII Fellowship.
In 1974, Lucero completed his studies in education administration
at UNM. He went on to work with the Los Angeles Community College
District as a Washington Policy Fellow with the U.S. Office of Education
and as administrative assistant to the president at East Los Angeles
College (enrollment: twenty-three thousand).
Lucero is active as a volunteer in prison ministry at the Sandoval
County Correction Facility, serves on the Our Lady of Sorrows Religion
Education Board and the Church Restoration Committee, and is chairman
of the Planning and Zoning Commission for the town of Bernalillo.
Lucero feels that the biggest challenges facing Sandoval County
are rapid growth, traffic, and quality of life. Lucero would like
to see better traffic routes in Sandoval County, which would help
lessen the impact of traffic flow through Bernalillo and the local
pueblos. Another major area that has to be focused on is public
safety for residents. Thus, Lucero feels that the county must provide
for the growth of the sheriff’s department in order to meet
Having been born and raised in Bernalillo, respect and love for
the region run in my veins. My commitment to the homestead prompts
my enthusiasm for the preservation of our natural resources. Curbing
the irresponsible squandering of our open spaces is important to
me. Protecting and supporting our water resources, as well as innovation
in purification processes, holding corporations responsible when
they choose not to use more-efficient water-recycling techniques
must be considered a priority if we are to assure the continued
well-being of all residents.
This is why the long-overdue solution to the I-25-US 550 interchange
congestion problem must be one that adheres to the wishes of district
residents at the same time that it preserves the environment and
the wealth of our communities. Growth may be good, but it must be
Our volunteer fire department and EMS workers, along with Police
and Animal Control, have insured the safety of their neighbors faithfully
and without complaint, receiving only our thanks in return. Many
of them would devote themselves full-time to the department if it
were possible. It is time for us to take a closer look at our priorities.
The welfare of our aging population is a growing concern. A community
that cares for its elders is emotionally sound; the youth understand
better who they are and are less likely to exhibit destructive behaviors.
Intergenerational interaction is vital to creating the relationships
that assure the transmission of our values, history, and culture.
I believe that it is in our best interest to utilize the resources
and federal matching-grant opportunities that are available to create
an accessible space to facilitate this interaction. The envisioned
community space would include an accessible fitness, garden, and
nutrition center, as well as accommodation for gatherings and cultural
Committed to New Mexico, I have served for eighteen years as CEO/President
of SER de New Mexico, a nonprofit organization with 450 employees
and volunteers. I have earned a BS in education and an MA in guidance
and counseling from UNM. I have served two terms as county commissioner
(1984-1988) and was a Bernalillo school board member from 1978 to
1984, and I never missed a meeting.
When you vote for Pete Salazar, you vote for an impassioned, informed,
and flexible champion for the causes that are important to you.
I am educated. I am proven. You can count on me. I will work for
Candidates for Sandoval County Sheriff
—In their own words
Democrat John Paul Trujillo and Republican Doug Wood are the candidates
for sheriff of Sandoval County. They have submitted the following
John Paul Trujillo
I have been sheriff of Sandoval County since January 2003. I have
twenty-two years of law-enforcement experience serving Sandoval
County. I graduated from the New Mexico State Police Academy, the
FBI National Academy, and the National Sheriffs Academy. I am a
member of the New Mexico Sheriffs and Police Association, the FBI
National Associates, the New Mexico State Law Enforcement Academy
Board, and the National Sheriffs Association, where I am a member
of the Tribal Affairs and the Weapons of Mass Destruction committees.
Our philosophy has always been, and will continue to be, “proactive
law enforcement.” Since taking office we have greatly increased
patrol coverage throughout the county. This high visibility has
aided us in reducing alcohol-related traffic accidents, burglaries,
and drug activity, while imparting our vision of a safe community
to the entire county. Working with the Sandoval County Commission
has allowed us to improve salaries and benefits for deputies, thus
reducing turnover losses. We have increased the number of sworn
officers by over 30 percent. Improved training has reduced lawsuits,
saving taxpayer money. We have obtained laptop computers for patrol
vehicles, a boat for Cochiti Lake, as well as mobile homes, which
have been placed in outlying areas of the county to allow increased
coverage—all at no expense to the taxpayers. We have established
a system working with the courts to assure scheduling of deputies
weeks prior to court dates, ensuring cases are properly handled.
A tactical-response team has been created and trained to handle
drug, hostage, and other critical situations.
Our proactive approach to law enforcement encompasses our community
projects. We conduct monthly random, in-person address checks of
registered sex offenders. Our Kasey Says program has had tremendous
growth in schools throughout the county. It has exhibited proven
results in teaching children safety and the importance of education
and truancy prevention, in addition to an anti-bullying message.
Our new SOS Program, Sheriffs Office Safety, has increased patrols
of school grounds to recognize and address any foreseen problem
as early as possible. Our Citizens Corp has helped us improve our
Child ID program by adding new ID kits containing DNA swabs. We
value our Neighborhood Watch Programs.
We will continue to work diligently with a proactive approach
to law enforcement, addressing issues before they become a problem.
Foresight is imperative when dealing with the tremendous growth
Sandoval County has seen and will continue to see in the future.
I am a lifelong resident of New Mexico, raised in the town of Alameda,
on Albuquerque's north side. I am married and have two daughters
and one son. My wife is a master sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve,
and we are both avid supporters of the U.S. military and the brave
personnel who serve on behalf of our country.
I graduated from Cibola High School in 1979 and worked for the
next ten years in my family's business, rising to the position of
general manager. At the age of twenty-eight I enlisted in the U.S.
Army as a military police officer. Following basic training, I was
stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, where I served as a military police
officer and criminal investigator. I was then later assigned to
Fort Clayton, in the Federal Republic of Panama, where I had the
distinct honor of serving my country during both Operation Just
Cause and Operation Desert Storm.
After being honorably discharged and upon my return home to New
Mexico, I became a deputy sheriff with the Sandoval County Sheriff's
Office. I gained extensive experience within all three divisions,
working a lengthy period in the patrol, investigation, and administration.
I was nominated as the recipient as the American Legion Law Enforcement
Officer of the Month Award in 1994. While assigned to the Investigation
Division, I received the Sandoval County Sheriff's Outstanding Police
Service of the Year Award in 1996.
I was promoted to patrol sergeant in 1997. I was also nominated
as Officer of the Year in 1997, for the New Mexico Sheriffs and
Police Association Annual Award. After ten rewarding years, I accepted
a law-enforcement special agent position with the New Mexico Taxation
and Revenue Division, where I have been employed as a criminal investigator
for the past three years.
I am a member of the American Legion and the Disabled American
Veterans associations. I attend the Legacy Church, in Albuquerque.
I am also a strong supporter of the Girl Scouts of America.
I believe that my hundreds of hours in advanced training, extensive
experience, and sincere passion for the law-enforcement profession
qualify me to serve as your sheriff.
Please view my Web site, www. dougwoodforsheriff.com, for more information
and comments from past and present law-enforcement leaders who are
supporting my candidacy for sheriff of Sandoval County.
Candidates for state House of
Representatives, District 22
—In their own words
Republican incumbent Kathy McCoy and Democrat Janice Saxton are
the candidates for the state House of Representatives, District
22, which includes Placitas, as well as much of the East Mountains
north of I-40, and Sandia Heights. Here are the the candidates’
I was raised in a small town in Kansas. I worked my way through
college as a waitress, graduating with a BS in mathematics and physics
and later earned an MS in both environmental science and computer
science. I had a successful career as a software engineer. My husband,
Jerry, and I live in Placitas and have two daughters and one granddaughter.
I am a lifelong Democrat and am currently president of Democratic
Women of Sandoval County.
I am running for state representative because I will better represent
all of the residents of District 22. I will work to promote fairness,
compassion, justice, and honesty in every vote cast. I will strive
to protect and improve our public schools, honor and provide for
our veterans, encourage the development of alternative energy, promote
stable families, balance the budget, respect the diversity of our
cultural heritage, and serve my constituency honestly and openly.
My approach to local issues is to serve and protect the homeowners,
individuals, and small businesses in my district. When federal policies
adversely affect New Mexicans, I support the enforcement of stricter
state guidelines. I oppose the expansion of existing mining in our
district. Mining operations are not compatible with residential
development. Any expansion must be subject to state regulation of
air quality, highway safety, reclamation, etc. Owners of hazardous
materials must be held responsible for safe transportation of their
materials by truck, rail, or pipeline.
I support affordable, universal, basic health care for all New
Mexicans. I support the development and improvement of neighborhood
schools. I will promote community improvement projects, such as
libraries, senior centers, recreational facilities, and open space.
Water resources are scarce locally and statewide. I support the
Sandoval County one-hundred-year water-supply requirement for new
development. The Bernalillo County forty-year requirement is inadequate.
We need to determine how serious the water problem is in our district.
The current adjudication process for water rights, which requires
every water owner to be adversarial to every other owner, is cumbersome
and is not fair to those with limited means. Steps must be taken
to simplify the procedure and protect the interests of each claimant.
New development should be required to demonstrate adequate water,
retain the character of the surrounding area, and provide for open
space, walking trails, and/or other community amenities. Jerry and
I, along with Ruthie and Ginger, our two dogs, enjoy the community
ownership of the arroyos in our section of Ranchos.
My family came to New Mexico in the late 1800s—my grandmother,
to treat TB patients, and my grandfather, who became a circuit judge.
Due to a divorce, I was raised in South Jersey, but moved here permanently
As a single mom, I held a number of “get by” jobs:
waitressing, bookkeeping, and secretarial work. I eventually found
my niche in advertising sales and covered New Mexico and Southern
After nearly fifteen years in sales, I had the opportunity to
return to school to get my degree. I graduated from the University
of New Mexico in 1993 with the intention of becoming a technical
writer. But my husband and I bought a home in the East Mountains,
which, after years of remodeling, we still (not so fondly) call
“The Money Pit.”
Almost immediately, I was immersed in East Mountain activism.
Growing up in New Jersey and having seen many of the rural areas
paved over, I wanted to help preserve the sense of rural living
that I found in my new community. I cofounded the East Mountain
Legal Defense Fund, which addressed land-use and water issues, and
we were instrumental in fending off a Wal-Mart Super Center.
As a result of my community work and two sessions working at the
legislature, I began this job with a good feel for the issues important
to our district and the legislative process involved in making something
happen. Being a legislator is not dramatically different from community
work—with the notable exception that our votes directly affect
Although I've actively fought against inappropriate development,
I also recognize the critical importance of growth to our economy.
I think water will define New Mexico's future and I've long advocated
that we adjudicate our basins to quantify our supply. I also support
water banking, which would alleviate the “use it or lose it”
While attending a recent meeting regarding the proposed expansion
of the quarry in Placitas, I learned a great deal about the problems
it's generated. We all need roads and concrete, but it is the corporation's
responsibility to first fix the simpler problems and then mitigate
the tougher issues with the community. I've arranged a meeting with
La Farge to discuss my concerns.
I'm running for reelection not only because I believe in public
service but also because I believe my balanced approach to legislation
is important to the residents of House District 22.
I've been married to my husband, David, for sixteen years. I have
a daughter, Heather, and two grandkids, Morgan (ten) and Owen (nine).
I have four dogs: two Great Pyrenees, one keeshond, and one serious