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Hidalgo County Herald
Lordsburg, New Mexico
June 1, 2012     Hidalgo County Herald
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June 1, 2012

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6 HIDALGO COUNTY HERALD FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2012 Hidalgo County election candidates respond to question, s The Hidalgo County Herald contacted each of the local can- didates in this year's Primary Elec- tion with a few questions. Care was taken to ensure that all can- didates received copies of the questions, whether by email or regular mail, or in some cases. both. Following are their re- sponses. 1. What' specific experience do you have that you feel will make you a qualified candidate for the position you are seeking? County Commissioner--Posi- tion 3 Richard A, Chaires: My qualifi- cations include 29 years of busi- ness experience as a Farmers In- surance Agent and real estate broker In 1984. I graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor Degree in Ac- counting. Given my business ex- perience and my accounting de- gree, I have the financial back- ground to oversee the county's funds. As the current chairper- son of the county commissioners, 1 am proud to say that Hidalgo County is financially sound. Another reason I am qualified for this position is my involvement in numerous civic organizations over several years. I am currently a board of director for Hidalgo Medical Services and the Lordsburg Police Athletic League. I have been a member of the Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce. My involvement in these organizations has helped me understand the needs of our community. This understanding is important for as a commis- sioner as it allows you to make informed decisions that will best suit the residents of the county. By being in business and being involved with these organiza- tions I have learned how to work with others to establish and meet goals. This ability is useful as a commissioner as you must work with various departments, agen- • cies and the public in order to achieve success. I believe I have the aptitude to help unite rather than divide, to help believe rather than dream, and to listen rather than speak. David A. Ramos Candidate for Hidalgo County Commissioner, Position 3 David A. Ramos: I have served 10 years as Hidalgo County Commissioner, have experience working with County budgets and have served With multiple Hidalgo County elected officials. I also have 30 years experience as a board member for the Hidalgo Soil& Water Conserva- tion District and am currently service as Chairperson for the District. I feel this will be very beneficial as County Commis- sioner I have 37 years of farm- ing business experience in Hidalgo County, working with budgets, retail and wholesale. My upbringing in the Cotton City area helps me to understand ru- ral concerns• I attended both school districts in Hidalgo County and graduated from Lordsburg High School in 1970. I have more years experience as County Commissioner than all three current Commissioners combined, t Anthony J. Mora: I have a broad range of experience in the com- munity when it comes to admin- istration of Government organi- zations. I served four years on the Lordsburg City Council, ten years on the Lordsburg School Board, and eight years as County Commissioner 1 served as School Board President and Chairman of the Board of Com- missioners. I have been zn a man- agement role for over twenty five years. I have a good understand- ing of the different funding sources available and a good- network with local agencies that are vital resources when utiliz- ing those funds. We achieved many positive outcomes as a group in all of the organizations I was a part of One area that I felt was important was creating a partnership with all the orga- nizations in the community. Our community is so small that in or- der to be successful we must join forces to achieve success. One good example of this is the effort to build the Hidalgo County Learning center. It took coopera- tion between the City, County, and Public Schools to make this facility a reality. 1 have a good understanding of policy and pro- cedure and believe in the evalu- ation process for employee devel- opment. I believe that planning and organization are vital to the success of the community. County Clerk Republican Bobble Orphey: I have leader- ship and organizational skills paired with management experi- ence. Democrat Anthony Talavera: No response submitted Melissa K. DeLaGarza Candidate for Hidalgo County Clerk Melissa K. DeLaGarza: Specific experience that I have that makes me the most qualified candidate is that 1 am currently the Chief Deputy Clerk. I know what du- ties and responisbilities are re- quired to operate the office. I am familiar with the election laws and procedures. I have found fa- vor in this position and enjoy serving the public and their needs. Catrina A. Silvas: I feel I have great customer service skills in a community that 1 know well. I also have many years of mana- geritl experience in a wide vari- ety of workplaces. County Treasurer Republican Tyler G. Massey: I have worked for county and state government for five years and a year of that experience has been spent in the County Assessors office working hand in hand with the Treasur- ers office. If elected I will be en- rolling in the NM EDGE County College Affiliate Certification Program. I feel it necessary to en- roll. as it will help me to better serve our public. MR FIX I The Right l,'ix All Repairs (Superior Roofing) 575-313-2627 Democrat Patsy M. Camacho: I have been blessed with 27 years in the Treasurer's office, and every day is a new and exciting day that we learn from. 2. What changes, if any, do you plan to implement if elected? County Commissioner--Posi- tion 3 Richard A. Chaires: As the Chairperson of the county com- mission, we continue to work to- ward a more open government. We have implemented a website where you may read the minutes of each of the commissioners meetings, review all the financial budgets" and be aware of upcoming events. It is my intention to con- tinue to strive to improve the county services by revamping our policies to better define the goals of the county. We are also mov- ing toward updating the technol- ogy available to our employees so that they may better serve the needs of our residents. A future goal is to have all county records imaged so that they are assess- able online to all our residents. David A. Ramos: I am eeking the elected office as County Commissioner with plans to go into it with nothing but positive input for our county, l feeL as in business, that there is always room for improvement. I have sev- eral ideas right now, but will have to work closely with the other commissioners before implement- ing any of them, I will work to- wards any savings that can be made, more efficiency in daily op- erations and the positive promo- tion of Hidalgo County. Based on past experience as County Commissioner concerns only move forward in a positive direc- tion with input from the public, other elected officials and Of course with the manager's recom- mendations. Changes to the of- fice of County Commissioner will come as needed with communi- cation, discussion and agree- ntent. I feel we can only strengthen and improve Hidalgo County with David A. Ramos elected to the office of County Commissioner Anthony J. Mora: Some changes have already occurred since I was last on the Commission. I would begin by evaluating the changes and look for ways to improve and build on what is cur- rently in place. I felt that our past commissions had much success in partnering with the City and Schools to create a one commu- nity approach to tmprovement and growth. We established our- selves in Santa Fe as a commu- nity that could stand alone and not ride on our surrounding counties shirt tails. I would work to ensure that this representation in Santa Fe continues. Ten years ago we set goals and strategies to accomplish these goals and it is my opinion that we accom- plished about fifty percent of these goals. To me there is unfin- ished business that we just didn't have time to complete. I believe we need to keep focused on em- ployee training and development and be consistent when manag- ing personnel issues. I believe we need to remain proactive on fa- cility maintenance and improve- ments. I believe it tie the commission's obligation to pro- vide direction for the County that creates a safe, self-sufficient, and pride-filled community. County Clerk Republican Bobble Orphey: 1 : 1 don't plan to make any specific changes, but will always focus on efficiency with a courteous and friendly at- mosphere. Democrat Anthony Talavera: No response submitted. Melissa 'K. DeLaGarza: If I am elected I will be working on a public records grant. This grant will allow access to search for documents on the internet through the Hidalgo County Website from your personal com- puter No more having to come into the office and using our pub- lic computer This will be conve- nient for former residents who have to drive to use our terminal. Catrina A, Silvas Candidate for Hidalgo County Clerk Catrina A. Silvas: If elected, I will take the time to see what is working well in the office and focus on areas I think can be im- proved. 1 will say, however, that modernization through technol- ogy would be a focus of mine. Tyler G. Massey Candidate for Hidalgo County Treasurer County Treasurer Republican Tyler G. Massey: Ifelectedlplan on eventually upgrading the of- rice. Though the office runs effi- ciently, this upgrade will not only help in the day to "day operations of the office but it will also sig- neantly help the tax payers who live locally and those who live outside of the county as welL This upgrade will actually save the taxpayers moneytn the long run. Democrat Patsy M. Camacho: None, be- cause everything is working as it should be. 3. One of the major issues County Commissioners must deal with each year is county roads. What is your position on the closure of county roads? (Commisston Candidates Only) County CommissionerPosi- tion 3 Richard A. Chaires: My position with the county roads is to fol- low my motto of "You talk and I listen". 1 am on record for vot- ing against closing a county road as it was the majority of my constituent's wishes to keep the road open. However, in the fu- ture if the majority of the voters are in favor of closing the roads then I shall vote in that manner. David A. Ramos: In nly second term in office as a County Com- missioner in the mid 90s we had a ranch family close a county road off of Highway 338 to the entrance of another ranch fam- ily. I remember Lloyd Payne turned to me in executive session and asked, "David, what do you want to do?" I said, "Lloyd, even if we have to take it to court and fight it, I feel compelled to do so." It was an interesting period. We had Catron and Sierra Counties looking out to see how it turned out, for they had similar issues. We had the road reopened when we were in office. This is one ex- ample of cqunty roads when a question of a road clos.ure came up we always asked a group of area residents to support us (viewers), tell us what they thought of any request on a road closure. We always requested the road superintendent comments. the history of the road, who or what it may affect was always brought into question together with any public input, then we asked for any legal advice if needed. That's how 1 will con- tinue with any roads that would come mto question. Anthony J. Mora: Roads are a major issue'in every County. My experience with roads led me to believe there should be criteria and, procedure in place to help Commissions make decisions on • roads. Whether it was closing a road or accepting a new road the procedure should be to assign viewers, hold hearings, and use criteria on which to base our de- cisions.. The usual practice was to assign viewers. With a good procedure in place the Commis- sion would have guidelines in place to avoid any confusion or un-researched decisions• This process would allow for public input and a way for anyone wish- ing to close or add a road to fol- low policy and procedure. The important part of this process would be developing the criteria. This should be built with public input• It may be a big job to get this done, but beneficial to future commissions. 4. What strategies or ideas do you have that would help to boost economic development in Hidalgo County? (Commission Candidates Only) County CommissionerPosi- tion 3 Richard A. Chaires: We must capitalize on the resources that we are blessed with. We have plenty of sunshine, land, and wa- ter We need to start attracting businesses that will develop so- lar and wind power We must of- fer them incentives to move to this area. We also need to be support- ive of our agricultural commu- nity. We should think outside of the box anti try to find crops or, products ttTat can take advantage of our natural resource such as geothermal energy. It is impor- tant that all the county, city and other local officials work to- gether to set a goal to attract businesses that will eventually benefit all the county regardless if the industry is placed in Aninlas, Lordsburg, Playas, Ro- deo or Virden. A key component of attracting business is having a well-trained and educated work force. Therefore. it is im: portant that we continue to sup- port the learning center in devel- oping a strong reliable work force. Another area to develop economically is to target retirees. One of the best things that Hidalgo County offers is virtu- ally a low crime rate compared to other counties around the state. People need to know that there still are communities that care for their residents and that there are still relatively safe places to raise their kids. This endeavor will take promoting the county as a place to live outside the stress of big cities. Along with this pro- motion wemust make people aware of the reasonably prtce land that is'available to build homes on. We can also target those individuals who needed assisted living. With our good weather and quite life, we can of- fer those people a nice place to " live their remaining part of their lives. We should consider the possibility of opening up such a facility to see if it would be fea- sible and economically sound to pursue such a project• David A. Ramos: As a County Commissioner we need to be open minded and forward think- ers to any and all potential eco- nomic development opportunities in Hidalgo County. I for one have not given up on relocating a dairy to Hidalgo County--when milk prices stabilize, hopefully in the near future. The importance of a dairy in the area would help boost agriculture in a lot of ways creating jobs, helping area merchants, help incredse area farm values and help stabi- lize gross tax receipts for Hidalgo County. Talking to area farmers, they are willing to help a dairy get established to be able to con- tinue to raise, feed and deliver in our back yard. I stay in contact with several "dairies. The Cotton City area is establishing pecan orchards that have a place in our county. The Victor family is mak- ing a go of it, stating to look promising. Anything Hidalgo County can do to help them suc- ceed will be in my favor Such as a desheller, storage or things of that nature. My economic think- ing and background leads to- wards agriculture, but is not lim- ited. I will work with current and future elected officials. 1 will work with any current projects that are in place in a bipartisan manner. I would like to thank the Hidalgo County Herald for giv- ing the candidates the opportu- nity to express our feelings on these issues. Anthony J. Mora: It is common knowledge that there is not a lot of money for capital improve- ments right know. What I believe the County should be working on is preparing for the next eco- nomtc upturn. This would involve creating a solid Comprehensive Plan outlining the needs of the community to include economic development. One idea we left on the table two years ago was the possibility of an indoor event center that could support roping's, concerts, and other rev- enue-based events. This would have a double edged result in cre- ating revenue and sustaining the County's Agriculture based Cul- tural setting. Another huge en- deavor for the County is to cre- ate a solid Zoning Ordinance / Plan. This is important to eco- nomic development and should first focus on Industrial / Com- mercial uses. With the possibility of a Power Grid coming into the area we should be preparing our- selves for the possibility of Solar Farms and other renewable power sources coming into our community. Unless we ,have con- trol over these targeted Commer- cial areas, most investors will be hesitant to build here. It is the infrastructure and planning of these areas that are crucial to economic development. Our com- munity has not taken advantage of possible FedeFal Economic Development monies. It's time to focus our efforts in this direction. FOR SAL 2005 Jayco Jay Flight Travel Trailer Excellent Condition, 32', Sleeps 8, Full Kitchen, Slide Out. Everything in great working condition. $,s00 Call 575-313-3883 COMPUTER SERVICES Build, Install, Maintain and Repair • SOFTWARE REMOVAL • SYSTEM UPGRADES • PC CLEAN OUT • DATA RECOVERY • DATA TRANSFER CHRISTOPHER iDERLE Network Consultant DELL * HP * WI-POWER WE ER| MEET RLL OF YOUR COMPUTER |fiBS. • VIRUS REMOVAL • PC OPTIMIZATION *PC REPAIR • SOFTWARE INSTALLATION *SQFTwARE/INTERNET TRAINING • DATA MANAGEMENT • •CONSULTING • COMPUTER TRAINING • HOME/BUSINESS NETWORKING *COMPUTER SET UP 704 E. 9th Street Lordsburg, NM 88045 Office: 575-51%1418 Cell: 575-654-8164 Fax: 575-51%1419 chris.and•tie@ i