By Jack King
Robert O. Sandoval
Employment: Retired, formerly worked for the U.S. Postal Service.
Political experience: Currently a city commissioner, 30 years of community service.
What is your experience and background?
I was appointed as commissioner in March 2003 when Commissioner Robert Moreno passed away. In the past year, I’ve gained much valuable experience, both in the commission meetings and committee meetings I’ve attended. I serve on the public safety committee, the civic center committee, the request for proposal committee.
I’ve been involved in community activities for the past 30 years. I’m a 12-year veteran of the New Mexico Army National Guard. The last 38 years of my career were served with the U.S. Postal Service. I’ve been retired three years. I haven’t missed a commission meeting yet, knock on wood.
How do you feel about the proposed quarter-percent gross receipts tax increase?
I’m for it. I’m very much for it. Clovis is experiencing growing pains, because it’s growing rapidly. We’re behind on our road repairs, probably five to 10 years behind. The money we would take in we could use either to repair roads or to build new ones, but we need to do both at this time. Our police and firefighting vehicles are wearing out. We need to worry about our water supply. We need to continue working with the Ute pipeline, because we can’t sit back and hope that it’ll rain someday and take care of our problems.
Which is more important, infrastructure improvements or raises for city workers, including police officers?
That’s a hard question to answer, because they’re both very important — and I think we can do both with this quarter-percent increase. The gross receipts tax can’t be used for pay raises, but it’ll free money that we’re using for infrastructure now that can be used for pay raises.
How do you feel about the city’s participation in the Ute water pipeline project?
I’m for it. I think it’s very necessary that we participate. If we didn’t I think that we’d be letting our children and grandchildren down. It is very expensive, but it’s something we have to prioritize, because water is something we have to have regardless of the cost.
How do you feel about the water conservation measures adopted by the city commission? Should some measures be mandatory?
That’s something else that’s very important. We have to conserve our water. Right now I think we’re doing the right thing by enacting them as drought management measures. We’re keeping a close eye on drought and, if the time comes, we’re prepared to make them more stringent. No, I don’t think they should be mandatory at this time. I think the citizens of Clovis understand the problems we’re having with water and I think they’re responding responsibly.
What projects not mentioned would you work for as a commissioner?
I’m interested in seeing more work done in my district. One dream that I have right now is to see a sidewalk built on Martin Luther King between Grand Street and 21st Street. There’s a path there that I have seen elderly people walking to doctors’ offices on 21st Street. This is a part of town that has been neglected in the past and I’m going to try to see we get more work done here, especially in the southwest part of town.
This Q&A was compiled by Jack King of the Clovis News Journal. He can be reached at