The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

Community Bits

C. Rudi Klimpert, Signpost Cartoon

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 them ourselves.

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 unchecked.

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, www.sandovalcounty.com.

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 One
—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
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 expansion needs.

Pete Salazar
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 controlled.

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 activities.

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 you!


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 profiles:

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.

Doug Wood
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’ profiles:

Janice Saxton
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.

Kathy McCoy
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 in 1977.

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 Colorado.

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 people's lives.

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” policy.

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 mutt.

 

TOP OF PAGE

 

 

Ad Rates  Back Issues   Contact Us  Front Page   Up Front  Animal News   Around Town   Classifieds   Calendar  Community Center Community Photos Community Profile  Eco-Beat  Election  Featured Artist  The Gauntlet  Community Links  Night Skies  My Wife and Times  Public Safety Sandoval Arts   Schoolbag  Time Off