Candidate Q&As: District 2 commission seat

Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, left, and John D. Jones

Editor’s note: The following candidates are running for the four-year term of city commissioner for District 2. The candidates for the open seat are John D. Jones and Sandra Taylor-Sawyer.

Candidates were asked the same questions and asked to keep their responses to 100 words or less.

The municipal election is March 6. Tuesday is the first day for absentee voting. Feb. 15 is the first day for early voting.

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Name: John D. Jones

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired

Please list previous or current elected offices or other organizations you feel prepare you for a commission seat: Board of directors for New Mexico Mounted Patrol, currently serving as the deputy chief.

Q: What are your goals if you are elected and how do you plan to implement them?

A: First, implement a phone system to be used for non-emergency situations or information. This number would not replace the 911 system. It would entail setting up a separate phone line devoted to non-emergency problems and requests for information. Second, do away with storm water ponds. This could be done by having a better storm drainage system throughout the city.

Q: What is something the city commission has done well over the last four years?

A: First, progressed with the Ute Water pipeline project. Second, put in more stop signs on unmarked intersections across the city.

Q: What is something the city commission has not done well? How do you intend to correct that if elected?

A: Failed to communicate to citizens of Clovis the need for affordable housing.

Q: What do you feel the city needs to focus on as a whole?

A: Have affordable housing for the young married airman.

Q: What do you feel the city needs to focus on in your district?

A: First, children’s safety to and from school. Second, improving safety for homeowners and businesses with more street lights..

Q: Last question: 150 words, whatever else you want to say.

A: Thank you for taking your time to read this. If elected, I will serve you to the best of my ability. Your vote is greatly appreciated.

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Name: Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, Ed.D

Age: 50

Occupation: Business Owner and Center Director

Please list previous or current elected offices or other organizations you feel prepare you for a commission seat: Currently serving: Plains Regional Medical Center Board Trustee-Vice Chair; Presbyterian HealthCare Services Board Member, Governance Committee Chair and Finance Committee Member; Clovis Chamber Board of Directors; and Roosevelt County Board of Directors. Past: Clovis Municipal School Board of Education, Rotary Club of Clovis President, Rotary Club District 5520 Assistant Governor, served on Simplified Grant Committee and By-laws Committee, United Way of Curry County President and Campaign Chair, and First Church of God In Christ Consulting Accountant.

Q: What are your goals if you are elected and how do you plan to implement them?

A: My main goal is to gather all the facts I can on an issue, listen to different views, pray on it, and then make a decision that is beneficial to the citizens of Clovis. Our community is important for countless people; it is where we live, work, play, and fellowship. My goals are to build upon our quality of life, and create and retain jobs and encourage business opportunities for our citizens. However, I intend to visit with as many citizens as possible to really understand and know what their needs are.

Q: What is something the city commission has done well over the last four years?

A: The actions of the city Commission have served to maintain growth while many areas of the country have seen declining tax receipts, property values, population, and employment. Three great things are the parks and recreation master plan, the addition of a new industry — Beauty Health and Science Innovations — and the Tres Amigas Project. Further growth at Cannon will test the city’s ability to cope with growth, and I have confidence that the groundwork has been laid by our commission to handle it.

Q: What is something the city commission has not done well? How do you intend to correct that if elected?

A: Portions of the city’s infrastructure create an issue. As a commissioner I will research and work with my fellow colleagues, community, state and national policymakers and city administration to address important issues. Mainly, I’m speaking of the condition of many of our streets. They are deteriorating faster than our current maintenance and replacement plans can keep up with them.

Q: What do you feel the city needs to focus on as a whole?

A: With so many issues the focus is more of a theme; which is “Grow Clovis.” This is not necessarily population growth, but ensuring we have adequate resources to pay attention to our growth and safety concerns. I feel the city needs to focus on its five main purposes: Police, fire, emergency preparedness, public works, and building safety (planning & zoning). Clovis already sets a high standard in all these areas and is sending a strong message that it is a great place to live, do business, and raise a family. By taking care of the “must haves,” the “nice to haves” will be within our reach.

Q: What do you feel the city needs to focus on in your district?

A: To make sure our neighborhoods are safe when we walk (sidewalk vs. street), when our children are playing, and consideration of our neighbors. I know residents of District 2 have other concerns and I look forward to having a dialogue about their needs.

Q: Last question: 150 words, whatever else you want to say.

A: My goal in life is to help others succeed and grow as demonstrated by my directorship position, and my Legal Shield and mediation business. It is my endeavor to have an open dialogue about the direction of Clovis. It is critical to understand the needs of the community and match the available resources. The best schools, great quality of life, awesome healthcare, and a strong economic base are paramount to a successful city.

With my background and experiences as a child of God, friend of Jesus Christ, wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, business owner, employee, and native of Clovis, New Mexico, I am well equipped to be a positive participant of the city Commission and serve the citizens of District 2. If I have not personally asked for your vote I do so now. Visit electsandra.com. Thank you for your prayers, encouraging words and blessings. God bless.

— Compiled by CNJ Staff Writer Kevin Wilson