Clovis mayoral candidates

CNJ staff

Tim Ashley
Age: 44
Occupation: Construction supply business owner
Prior elected offices: Currently serving his second term as Curry County Commissioner.

• What do you think is the mayor’s most important job?
The mayor’s most important job and first duty is to preside over the board of commissioners meetings. Other “important” duties include being the public relations representative for the city of Clovis, including diplomatic relations with other government officials.
I believe that my seven-plus years of experience as Curry County commissioner, including two years as chairman, are valuable resources.
During this time I’ve also been actively involved with the New Mexico Association of Counties. This has given me the opportunity to develop a network of contacts with community leaders from across the state as well as state officials and legislators.

• What do you want to see happen to Hotel Clovis and how do you propose we get there?
My approach to the Hotel Clovis is a little broader than just the hotel, but rather the entire downtown area.
I would like to see the city develop “infill” projects in this area. These projects remove older deteriorated properties, leaving bare ground with in-place infrastructure that can be affordably developed with new structures by private developers.
This would help the hotel be a more attractive opportunity for private development of potential office space, shopping and apartments.
This could possibly be done through private/public partnerships. It’s possible that the county could also partner in such a project since the outcome of increased property value would fit into its revenue stream.
These types of joint governmental partnerships also make it easier to attain additional state and federal funding.

• How would you propose we attract new business to town?
We currently have an organization involved in business recruitment, which is the CIDC. They’ve been successful at recruiting such businesses as Southwest Cheese and Clovis Bio-Diesel.
The city has been and should continue to be aggressive in the use of Industrial Revenue Bonds as well as other incentives to attract new industries to the area.
It should also be said that we must be sensitive to the types of industries we recruit so that they match our resource availabilities such as water.

• What is your long-term vision for the city? And how will you plan for that?
As mayor I would like to assign a task force formed largely of citizens to look at the possibility of a unified city/county government.
There are several potential benefits, including economies of scale that would save the taxpayers a great deal of money and enhance services provided.
This model would also make the elected officials take a holistic approach to solving difficult issues that our community currently faces. It would eliminate the us/them attitude of whose revenue stream is effected.
The demographics of Curry County fit this model. This model currently exists in Los Alamos County, so if the task force found it beneficial, I believe it could be doable.
I definitely believe the worse case scenario is that Curry County and the city of Clovis work closely together as we move forward.

• What do you think the city should do to address water conservation?
While water conservation is environmentally important and not to mention cost-saving under current water rates, I believe the issue is much larger than that.
The data I have seen shows that agricultural usage of water makes up approximately 95 percent of total water consumed in the county, while residential, commercial and industrial usage make up 5 percent combined.
I believe we must address the 95 percent user to make a significant impact on water usage. This can be done through aggressive purchase of water rights with possible state and federal funding assistance.

• What do you consider the city’s greatest need today? And how should we resolve that issue?
Infrastructure development is critical especially with regards to the future of Cannon Air Force Base.
Our Local Growth Management Committee is planning for the future base expansion. The county and city have developed a joint comprehensive plan to meet the needs of future growth.
I have served as the chairman of Curry County’s Land Use Committee. This committee is involved with regulating rural subdivisions and development of land use policies. I believe this experience will prove helpful in addressing future needs of the community. 
Public safety is a top need as well. I have historically supported public safety and will continue to do so. I have served as chairman for the Curry County Juvenile Justice Alternatives Committee.
I believe the best long-term solution for crime is prevention and interdiction at the youth level before the offender is institutionalized and graduates to the adult criminal system.

• Do you think the city needs more or fewer ordinances? What are some ordinances that need to be added or removed?
I definitely believe less government is better. All ordinances should be reviewed periodically to see if they are still needed or even applicable. I don’t favor “feel good” legislation so all ordinances, either existing or proposed should be viewed by their enforceability and practicality.
I wish we could replace all ordinances with just one, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Gayla Brumfield
Age: 54
Occupation: Broker and owner of Coldwell Banker Colonial Real Estate
Prior elected offices: Clovis Community College Board of Trustees member.

• What do you think is the mayor’s most important job?
To provide a vision for the community that promotes Clovis as a thriving, growing city.
I will foster economic development, which will provide jobs, create a larger tax base, and a more diverse economy, and in turn will help fund the city’s needs. The mayor’s job is also to work with the city commissioners, city staff and committees to reach the goals of the citizens.

• What do you want to see happen to Hotel Clovis and how do you propose we get there?
I would like to see Hotel Clovis restored. I have seen many beautiful historic hotels that have been transformed into functioning facilities.
This can be done through private entities, as well as public funding, which could include tax credits.
I would work closely with Downtown Revitalization to prepare Hotel Clovis for a private developer to restore and operate the facility.

• How would you propose we attract new business to town?
I have experience with economic development through the Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Clovis Industrial Committee. I believe it is critical that we work to promote businesses coming into our area, as well as retention and expansion of existing businesses.
Some tools available are the industrial park, Clovis Community College Workforce Development, and the Small Business Development Center.
I would also continue developing the good working relationship that the city has with prospective new businesses.

• What is your long-term vision for the city? And how will you plan for that?
My long-term goals actually consist of five points to make sure Clovis is a growing community.
• Economic Development — I will continue to work to ensure that Cannon Air Force Base remains an integral component of our economy, but we always need to diversify.
• Quality of Life — Quality of life issues are why people move to a certain area. I believe we need walking and biking tracks, the wellness center, and more activities for our youth.
• Infrastructure — Making sure we keep up with our drainage, street repairs, and traffic flow, for a growing community.
• Downtown Revitalization and Beautification — We need to clean up the entrances to the community and give Clovis a “Better First Impression.”
• City Services and Transportation — Make sure our salaries are comparable to other areas, continue to expand public transportation and work towards recycling.

• What do you think the city should do to address water conservation?
We need to be good stewards of our water usage.
Conservation is critical. This can be done through continuing the Ute Water Project, effluent reuse and conservation by the individual citizens.
I will also work with prospective and existing businesses to ensure that conservation is of the utmost importance in their planning.

• What do you consider the city’s greatest need today? And how should we resolve that issue?
The city has many needs, most I have addressed, but one of the most pressing needs is a better educated work force. This is vital if we are going to attract new businesses to our area. This will also allow us to grow and improve our existing businesses.
One way we can accomplish this is by cooperating with Clovis Municipal Schools and the Clovis Community College to develop and conduct industrial technology programs. This will enable those citizens that don’t choose to pursue a four-year college degree to become skilled, productive members of our community.

• Do you think the city needs more or fewer ordinances? What are some ordinances that need to be added or removed?
There are probably many ordinances that need to be updated, revised or eliminated. This needs to be done on an individual basis.
Because this may take some time, a committee could be formed to review and report back to the commission.

Rudy Kumar
Age: 51
Occupation: CEO of a medical equipment coroporation.
Prior elected offices: none

• What do you think is the mayor’s most important job?
The mayor needs to provide clear direction for the city by outlining goals that can be reached and measured.
The mayor’s most important role is to represent the city by lobbying at the state and nation’s capitals for more funds to build a stronger infrastructure of the city and other projects necessary to enhance the community quality of life.
The mayor needs to have a passion for the city.
The mayor needs to lead, direct, persuade and inspire city officials such as the commissioners to synchronize their efforts for the common good of the community. Elected officials such as senators are more inclined to speak to the mayor because of the political clout the office possesses.
A mayor speaks like no one else on the position, philosophy and future of its municipality.

• What do you want to see happen to Hotel Clovis and how do you propose we get there?
I would restore Hotel Clovis to its former glory by passing a bond initiative to raise the capital necessary to accomplish the task.

• How would you propose we attract new business to town?
First of all, we need to have a plan to follow. The city planners have to establish the needs of the community, then we can establish a plan of action.
Then the mayor can meet with city leaders from Los Angeles, New York, Florida and chamber of commerces nationwide as an example. By doing so, he can persuade other businesses to come to Clovis without giving away the city.
Economic growth is necessary; however, caution has to be taken to develop progressively.

• What is your long-term vision for the city? And how will you plan for that?
I see Clovis as an oasis of the Southwest, a jewel that we can be proud of.
I would proposed an initiative changing mayor status from a symbolic one to an actual mayor running the city.
Therefore, his salary will reflect that of a leader and not one just to cut ribbons. He will be a full-time leader with power, one who can vote to make things happen. This will decrease corruption and conflicts of interest.
Utilizing vertical integration like the gas companies, we can sustain a solid and self-sufficient economy.
I would like to build a medical school here, which will generate tremendous economic benefits that spearhead us into the 21st century with comfort. I would build a military school to discipline our youths to prepare them for a competitive future with confidence.

• What do you think the city should do to address water conservation?
I would freeze all potential businesses that require high-volume water usage and evaluate them for long-term benefits, keeping in mind that water is limited.
Get the community involved and use experts to evaluate and study projects.

• What do you consider the city’s greatest need today? And how should we resolve that issue?
The city needs a mega mall and a sports arena to accommodate the diversity of a growing community.
One way is to pass bond initiatives to raise the funds to build them.

• Do you think the city needs more or fewer ordinances? What are some ordinances that need to be added or removed?
Ordinances are made to enhance and beautify a community, without causing too much inconvenience for its citizens. These will increase naturally as we progress.

Mario Martinez
Age: 53
Occupation: Retired cook
Prior elected offices: none

• What do you think is the mayor’s most important job?
Listening to the citizens of Clovis and the needs of the people and having a open door and letting the people know what is coming and the actions that will take place.
I personally would like to be a republic-type of mayor for the city of Clovis, where solvent power is invested, and a representative mayor chosen by the people to govern the city, where the government is the people.
It is from the people to the leader and not the leader to the people.

• What do you want to see happen to Hotel Clovis and how do you propose we get there?
As a child growing up in the great city of Clovis, I would look up to see clouds that would surround the top of this great building (I thought). And how beautiful a landmark it was.
As I grew up in the late 1960s, my dream of becoming a great cook started there.
I saw my family members and friends get married and using the enormous, magnificent and beautiful ballroom of the Hotel Clovis and Santa Fe railroad employees using the rooms to rest before going back to work.
My dream for the hotel is to find companies or individuals interested in restoring it back to it original state and inviting business to use it also; or let the state of New Mexico make Hotel Clovis a historical landmark so all visitors can come and see the amazing history of our great city, Clovis.

• How would you propose we attract new business to town?
I would work close with the Chamber of Commerce, city and county commissioners to propose and send invitations to various compmanies throughout the country to view our beautiful, growing city; address the need for more environmentaly-friendly companies; and work with Santa Fe to propose tax cuts for companies that are interested in relocating to Clovis.

• What is your long-term vision for the city? And how will you plan for that?
I would like to see the city of Clovis become economically independent with fewer crimes; and to have friendly hangouts for our children, who are our city’s future as they travel to the next stages of their lives; and help our senior citizens with some type of property tax cut, after all they planned for us and gave of their selves selflessly.
So I plan to apply myself to getting resources to put all future plans on a roll.

• What do you think the city should do to address water conservation?
The water conservation question is very wide in spectrum, and one would have to consider working with all surrounding counties.
Considering all that the city of Clovis has already done to pursue this topic, it will always remain a major factor in the lives of all members of the city.
If we do not tackle it realisticlly, our city would have to look further than Ute Lake for the number one source of life and take the cost of bringing water to the city.
All citizens should really take it to heart and think for the future.

• What do you consider the city’s greatest need today? And how should we resolve that issue?
The greatest need is to keep our public employees for the long term such as our fire, police, sanitation, administration, park and street departments. Every employee we have should be happy to work for the city of Clovis.
If elected I would like to have fundraisers for each department, who have to raise their own funds to buy supplies. We have to offset the cost for them so they won’t have to use their own money to keep up with their jobs.

• Do you think the city needs more or fewer ordinances? What are some ordinances that need to be added or removed?
The number of ordinances that the city of Clovis has should not matter so long as they remain or are removed for the safety and the best interest of the people and the city of Clovis.
I find this question to be asked on a personal level; however, I would see it fit that all of our city ordinances should be looked at carefully by a group of citizens, commissioners and committee members.
In doing so, find ordinances that have no place in our city and have them balloted for reinstatement or removed by members of the city of Clovis, not by one person.

Rube Render
Age: 65
Occupation: Retired program manager for Lockheed Martin
Prior elected offices: None

• What do you think is the mayor’s most important job?
The mayor’s most important job is to lead the citizens of Clovis in deciding how to resolve the special situations we face that I know we can turn to the great advantage of our community. Situations like the Hotel Clovis, the new and different mission soon to be implemented at Cannon Air Force Base and the assurance of adequate water supplies for the foreseeable future.

 • What do you want to see happen to Hotel Clovis and how do you propose we get there?
I want to help the citizens of Clovis decide how to determine the best possible outcome for this city-owned asset.
Toward that end, I propose a cost/benefits analysis be completed for the various options proposed and made public.
At that point the issue should be put before the citizens for their ultimate decision.

• How would you propose we attract new business to town?
Clovis has many advantages for attracting new business to our community. These include an existing railhead, a temperate climate, and ample space and facilities at a reasonable cost.
As mayor, I would continue to work closely with the CIDC, whose function is to uncover new businesses, investigate them (perform due diligence), and if these businesses meet our established criteria, determine what the city can do to expedite their establishment in Clovis.
For my part I intend to tell everyone, “Clovis is open for business!”

• What is your long-term vision for the city? And how will you plan for that?
I would like to see Clovis remain:
• a bastion of individual freedom while at the same time providing a nurturing a community that lifts us all toward our greater potential;
• a place where a skilled, competent work force is available to implement new business ventures as they become available;
• a place where recreational facilities are available for citizens of all ages, and the environment contains ample clean air and water for healthy families to prosper.
It is the responsibility of government at all levels to facilitate this process. It is also the responsibility of the citizen to partner in this process.

 • What do you think the city should do to address water conservation?
The city established a Water Policy Advisory Board several years ago. This board advises the City Commission on water conservation issues among other things.
Several of the recommendations of this board include more xeriscaping, watering lawns only three days a week (depending on your numerical address), and establishing a system to use reclaimed water for watering city parks and school grounds. These measures seem to be accomplishing what was intended of them.
Remember that this is an “advisory” board. I do not recommend we redefine the board into a “regulatory” entity.  

• What do you consider the city’s greatest need today? And how should we resolve that issue?
We should ask Mayor (David) Lansford to continue his work on the Ute Water Pipeline project. However, we should also investigate any viable alternative available in the event that the necessary funding fails to materialize.
At this point, a rough estimate to complete the project is $400 million. A brackish aquifer exists in New Mexico below the Ogallala. Would it be feasible to pump water from this aquifer and reclaim it for drinking? Can we use desalination techniques to claim existing water for drinking?
At the pace technology is advancing today, what was not practical a few years ago may very well fall within the range of feasibility today. Let’s not limit ourselves to one source.   

• Do you think the city needs more or fewer ordinances? What are some ordinances that need to be added or removed?
The city needs as many ordinances as are required to implement the vision of our citizens and no more. No ordinance should be enacted that is unenforceable.

Gloria Wicker
Age: Declined to comment
Occupation: Retired railroad employee
Prior Elected Offices: Elected to City Commission in 2000.

• What do you think is the mayor’s most important job?
The mayor must be available to each citizen in every commission district, preside at all meetings of the commission, perform any other duties as assigned by the commission.
The mayor is the official head of various ceremonies. The mayor must promote a liaison with our military. I am a member of the Officers Club, which could be an asset.
The mayor may be called upon to represent our city in Washington. D.C. I’ve held the position of chairwoman of the Protective Committee of Brotherhood of Railway Clerks.
I have lobbied in Washington D.C., and I am prepared to do so as mayor of Clovis.
As supervisor of Priority Section of Base Supply at Cannon Air Force Base, I was in constant contact with the military, as my job was to obtain aircraft parts that were scarce and hard to find.

• What do you want to see happen to Hotel Clovis and how do you propose we get there?
Hotel Clovis should be restored to its original condition. It is listed on both the state and national historic registry. There are several places where funding can be obtained, i.e., “Laura Bush,” “Restore America.”
Because of large tax breaks, I feel an advertisement should be placed in the Wall Street Journal that might attract companies that restore old hotels. The hotel is solid poured concrete. It was estimated to cost $2 million to destroy it, as some have suggested.

• How would you propose we attract new business to town?
I feel the citizens of Clovis should make suggestions for new businesses. The Chamber of Commerce works diligently with a trained staff to obtain new businesses for Clovis.

• What is your long-term vision for the city? And how will you plan for that?
I see Clovis as being the star of eastern New Mexico. A recently implemented Comprehensive Plan Joint Action Guide will help the city and county work together for a common goal. As mayor, I will act quickly to urge both entities to form a committee of interested citizens to make recommendations.

• What do you think the city should do to address water conservation?
I refer back to question 4 for a start. There are many intelligent citizens in Clovis and Curry County that have a lot to offer. So many of them joined together when asked to water yards on alternate days. There are ways to pump water from Lake Superior, which could re-stock the Ogallala aquifer and also power hydro-electric generators. This would be many years in the making, but would affect seven states.

• What do you consider the city’s greatest need today? And how should we resolve that issue?
Once again, I refer to item 4, the comprehensive plan, which will cause everything to fall into place in beautification and cleaning up. Projects now outside Clovis city limits could join into wastewater lines and do away with septic tanks or cesspools instead of seeping water into the ground through leech lines.
Having served on the Public Works Committee, I learned much.

• Do you think the city needs more or fewer ordinances? What are some ordinances that need to be added or removed?
We need to expand the city limits each direction so ordinances or zoning could give direction to beautify our area. Mayor (David) Lansford suggested “Clean it or screen it.” Sound advice, I think. Owners now outside the city limits will save on their property insurances.