Candidates make last pitch

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks The Clovis/Curry County Chamber and Clovis Industrial Development Corp. sponsored a pancake breakfast and the final candidate forum before March 4 municipal election Wednesday at the Clovis Civic Center.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

In their final public forum before the March 4 municipal election, Clovis mayor candidates discussed their platforms on economic development, beautification and water conservation Thursday morning at the Clovis Civic Center.

Candidate Mario Martinez said a scheduling conflict prevented him from attending the event sponsored by the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce and the Clovis Industrial Development Corp.

CIDC Board President and moderator Lee Malloy asked the candidates to explain how their platforms would address economic development and how they would address the dilapidated buildings and houses in Clovis like the ones showcased in a disparaging You Tube video about Clovis.

• Gloria Wicker said it was necessary to beautify the entrances of Clovis to attract new industries. But she said the city has to be careful not to recruit businesses in Clovis that are heavy water users.

She said Clovis could recruit automobile and clothing manufacturing industries.

“We have the room, we have the work force, I think we can go for something big,” she said.

Wicker, a former railroad employee and city commissioner, said while she didn’t want to infringe on anyone’s rights by taking over the care of private property, owners need to be responsible for the appearance of their property.

“Clean it or screen it, it has to be done,” she said. “If someone is affecting the value of your property, there is a course (of action) you can take.”

• Rube Render said he has served on the economic development tax advisory board for five years. He said he doesn’t remember a time he voted against any industry introduced by the CIDC.

Render, a former Lockheed Martin program manager, said a video similar to the You Tube video about Clovis can be made about any city. He said before the city can make a move to tear down unsightly buildings, it has to respect property rights.

“We need to absolutely remember that every one of those dilapidated projects or houses is owned by a citizen,” he said. “Property rights are important for all of us.”

• Rudy Kumar said the city has to enhance its infrastructure to attract business.

“We have to go back to the grassroots,” he said. “We do not have the basic amenities other cities have.”

Kumar, a medical entrepreneur, said the problem of rundown houses and dilapidated properties is not new to Clovis. He said the city should apply for federal grants for revitalization projects and encourage property owners to take advantage of those incentives.

• Gayla Brumfield said the city has to focus on what it has.

She said the city should utilize the agriculture based-economy and the new mission at Cannon Air Force Base to bring in new industries.

“I think we’ve done a very good job in bringing industries here that relates to (agricultural economy),” she said referring to the Southwest Cheese plant.

She said the new mission at Cannon will use more contractors and the city should take advantage of that.

“If I’m elected mayor, I think it is very critical that we work with contractors to get whatever the base needs,” the Clovis Realtor said.

She said the city has ordinances addressing nuisance and safety issues that could be enforced to deal with rundown properties. She said she would like to see programs such as Clovis Pride, which addresses beautification within the city, continue.

• Tim Ashley said having a good rail service is the key to expanding the industrial base of the city.

Ashley, a Clovis business owner, said the city could address the issue of rundown houses and dilapidated businesses through infill projects, which would raze rundown buildings and sell the land to property developers or new businesses.

Ashley, who is chairman of the Curry County Land Use Committee, said the committee is working on a nuisance policy for the county to clean up right-of-ways along the entrances into the city.

“This is something I personally have been involved in,” he said.

Municipal election sample ballot
Clovis
Mayor
(One four-year term)
• Tim L. Ashley
• Gayla D. Brumfield
• Gloria P. Wicker
• Rudy Kumar
• Mario J. Martinez
• R.L. “Rube” Render

City Commission
District 1
(One four-year term)
• Rosalie L. Riley
• Randal S. Crowder
District 2
(One four-year term)
• Ben L. McDaniel
• Fred Travis Van Soelen
District 3
(One four-year term)
• Fidel M. Madrid
• Robert O. Sandoval
District 4
(One four-year term)
• Chris Bryant
• David R. Briseno
Polling locations
• Precincts 17, 35, 37 — Mesa Elementary, 4801 N. Norris
• Precincts 18, 19, 24 — Zia Elementary 2400 N. Norris
• Precincts 21, 22, 26, 20 south 17th Street and north of Ninth Street — Marshall Middle School, 100 Commerce Way
• Precincts 23, 27, 32 — Yucca Middle School, 1500 Sycamore St.
• Precincts 2, 28, 33 — Lockwood Elementary, 400 Lockwood Dr.
• Precincts 7, 8, 9, 31, 20 south of Ninth Street — Cloivs High School Freshman Campus, 1400 Cameo
• Precincts 6, 25 — La Casita Elementary, 400 S. Davis
• Precincts 13, 14, 15, 20 north of 17th Street — Highland Elementary, 100 E. Plains Ave.
• Precincts 10, 11, 12 — Sandia Elementary, 2801 Lore

Grady
Councilor
(Two four-year at-large postitions)
• Kathy Edwards
• Mae Szaloy
Polling location
• Grady Senior Citizens Center, 104 West Main St.

Melrose
Councilor
(Two four-year at-large postitions)
• Tuck N. Monk
• Hulin P. (H.P.) Cargile
Councilor
(One four-year term)
• Darrel L. Bostwick
Polling location
• Melrose City Hall 105 East Ave. B.
Texico
Councilor
(Two four-year at-large postitions)
• Jerry Bradley
• Doug Scioli
Polling location
• Texico Community Center, 215 Griffin St., Texico, NM.

Fort Sumner
Councilor
(Two four-year at-large postitions)
• Mary E. Segura
• Selestino J. Lovato
Municipal judge
(One four-year term)
• Martha Sena
Polling location
• De Baca County Annex Building, 248 E. Ave. C.