City Commission candidate forum

CNJ staff

The Clovis News Journal asked the eight candidates for city commission in Tuesday’s Clovis municipal election to tell readers about themselves, their qualifications and their platforms. Below are their responses.

District 1
Randal Crowder
Age: 57
Occupation: Builder/developer.
Prior elected office: Elected to city
commission in 2004.

Crowder: I would like to thank the voters of District 1 for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Clovis as their commissioner for the past four years. And also to thank all of the commissioners for the opportunity to serve as the mayor pro-tem for the past two years.
Having served as the representative for the city on the Northeast Regional Water Plan, the Ute Reservoir Master Plan, The Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority, as chairman of the Water Policy Advisory Committee, the City of Clovis Action Plan for Drought Management, and the City of Clovis Water Conservation Plan, I have gained the knowledge and understanding of area water needs and concerns and I am able to discuss water issues and represent the City of Clovis with engineering firms that are working on the Ute Pipeline Project, the wastewater reuse pipeline and other water projects.
I am again asking the voters from District 1 for their support in order to serve a second term and continue to use the experience gained for the benefit of our community.
Thank You,

Rosalie Riley
Age: 56
Occupation: Owner of floral shop.
Prior elected office: None

Riley: I, Rose Riley, would be honored to serve as Clovis’ District 1 commissioner.
As your commissioner, I will work diligently with our city manager to finish projects that need immediate attention before we begin new ones.
I believe we owe our citizens safety and security. We must address our safety concerns through a fully trained and experienced police and fire department. I am the only candidate that is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, and I don’t take that endorsement lightly.
I want to make sure we stop the loss of our trained people by keeping their salaries competitive with surrounding towns.
I encourage citizens to become partners with their elected leaders by volunteering their time. There are so many opportunities — just choose one and we will all benefit — without anyone having to pay a dime!
I, Rose Riley, would appreciate your vote this Tuesday, March 4.

• • •

District 2

Ben McDaniel
Age: 27
Occupation: Operations manager of furniture store.
Prior elected office: None

McDaniel: As your District 2 city commissioner, I will ensure that the city does not lose focus of its core responsibilities.
The city is tasked with three primary jobs. The first is public safety, including the police and fire departments. The second responsibility is building safety. The commission must address planning, zoning and building inspection. Lastly, public works such as sewer, garbage and streets must not be neglected. Only when these responsibilities have been fully addressed, should the commission pursue other endeavors.
For example, the city wastewater treatment plant needs to be replaced by a larger-capacity facility. The cost to the city for this endeavor will be extensive.
Additionally, with Clovis’ planned growth, the current water-shortage needs to be addressed.
With key issues such as these to handle, the city must prioritize its spending. With slow or no growth predicted in the next year or two, difficult decisions, including delaying less vital projects, may have to be made. The only other option would be to increase taxes, and the overwhelming majority of citizens are against higher taxes.
As your commissioner, I am prepared to face these difficult decisions head-on.
I would appreciate your vote on March 4.

Fred Van Soelen
Age: 37
Occupation: Deputy district attorney.
Prior elected office: Elected to city
commission in 2004.

Van Soelen: I have served the past four years on the city commission, representing District 2.
We have accomplished much in that time: Including a much-needed pay increase for the police department, passing regulations restricting access to products used in methamphetamine labs, establishing a graffiti cleanup program and building a skate park at Greene Acres.
We established a street-repaving program. We worked with the chamber of commerce and the Clovis Industrial Development Corp., establishing the Industrial Park to attract new industry to Clovis. We established a comprehensive plan for future growth and development. We all worked together as a city to keep Cannon Air Force Base, and to clean up after the recent tornado, and we succeeded together.
In the next four years, we hope to have federal authorization for the Ute Water Pipeline project. I will support the effluent reuse pipeline project, as well as the wind energy project, which will help conserve our natural resources, and save money in the long run. I will continue working to improve our parks. I will continue to work to see that our firefighters and all city workers are appropriately paid for the great work they do.
I respectfully ask for your support and vote.

• • •

District 3

Fidel Madrid
Age: 60
Occupation: UPS driver.
Prior elected office: Fair board member for 12 years.

Madrid: My experiences as a community leader include memberships in the Curry County Fair Board, the city of Clovis 100th Anniversary Committee, the New Mexico National Guard, the American Legion Post 25, the Knights Of Columbus, the La Casa Family Health Center Board and the Sacred Heart/Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
I have been a UPS employee for 32 years.
My wife, Marta, and I have been married for 37 years. We have four children, Annette, Toni, Joe and Patrick, plus seven grandchildren, Cynthia, Makaylia, Markus, Jaeden, Bradley, Brettenie and Joe Jr. This is all new to me and I have lived in Clovis for most of my life.
I will have an open-door policy. People are the most important resource in Clovis. Our city employees — like police, firemen, EMTs and city workers — should be making a decent salary for job they do.
We need to have more recreation for the future generations of Clovis. We need to attract more industries to keep Clovis growing. Like I said, this is all new to me, but I am willing to work to make Clovis a better place live.
I would appreciate your vote on March 4.
Thank You and God bless.

Robert Sandoval
Age: 71
Occupation: Retired timekeeper for Postal Service.
Prior elected office: Elected to City Commission in 2004, current Curry County commissioner.

Sandoval: Wow, these four years have really gone by fast. Thank you so much for allowing me to represent you as your city commissioner during these last four years. There have been many changes that have occurred since I was elected to the city commission, mostly good, some bad (the tornado). I have been very proud to serve you and I hope that you continue to allow me to do so.
I am probably a little different from the rest of the commissioners in the fact that, while I know that the decisions that we make at meetings are very important, I also feel that it’s just as important to listen to your needs and to your ideas and to help on a personal level if at all possible.
I feel that I can be effective as a city commissioner in making decisions that affect the entire city and still stand behind the constituents in my district (as evidenced in my stand on the location of the proposed ethanol plant).
I have tried to be a good steward of the city’s finances. I know that this is not my money, but yours, and I understand the awesome responsibility that you have placed on me to manage it for you.
I hope that you are happy with the way that I have served you in the last four years and that you will allow me to serve you for four more years.

• • •

District 4

Chris Bryant
Age: 57
Occupation: Restaurant owner.
Prior elected office: None

Bryant: I have lived In Clovis for the past 57 years. My wife Lola and I have five children who all reside in Clovis, except for one at Texas Tech.
I am running for the city commission because of my love for this city. I feel I am the most qualified and I have the time in which to serve my community.
I currently serve on the Water Advisory Board and I am chairman of the 400 Mitchell Street Committee, which will be the future emergency operations center and city administration building. I have also served on the public safety committee. I have been a past president and current director for the New Mexico Restaurant Association.
The issues I am most concerned with is the wastewater treatment plant, our city streets, competitive salaries for our city departments and the Ute Water Project. And I am also concerned about activities for our children.
I believe that we can take care of these issues by working together and acquiring the funding that we need to provide a safe and growing community. I believe as your city commissioner in District 4, that I can listen to the citizens of Clovis regarding there needs and issues for our community.
I would appreciate your vote. Thank you.

David Briseno
Age: 51
Occupation: Educator.
Prior elected office: None

Briseno: My name is David Briseno and I would like to serve you as your city commissioner.
I’ve lived in Clovis for 18 years and have raised my family here. Clovis has been good to my family, and it’s my turn to give back to this great community.
My pledge to you is to:
• Be open and honest with you
• Actively solicit your input on those issues that impact us all
• Make decisions based on what is in the best interest of all who live in our community.
I will work to:
• Improve the salaries of those who keep us safe and keep the city running
• Maintain and improve our city’s infrastructure
• Use my leadership to work with others in improving the quality of life for all who reside in our community, but especially for our young people and for those who have retired after years of productive service to our society and now require our assistance
• Work with others toward the completion of the Ute Pipeline and other projects that will help to conserve our precious water supply.
Please vote for me on March 4.