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San Miguel County Commissioner District 2

Together with other members of the County Commission, represents the County and its interests in all case not otherwise provided for by law. Appoints elections officials to fill vacancies. The Commission is responsible for the County budget, County ordinances and resolutions, and zoning and business regulation in unincorporated areas, and sets policy for the operations of County government. Must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of district from which elected. Four-year term, no more than two terms in succession.Note: The district map we have available for this race is inexact. You may wish to view your sample ballot at NMVote.org to verify whether or not this race will be on your ballot.

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  • Candidate picture

    Bernadette C Baca
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Walter W Borton
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Louis G Gallegos
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

1. How have your experience and education prepared you for this office?

2. What are the biggest challenges facing the county?

3. How would you address them?

4. What should the county do to support economic development?

5. How would you propose to balance growth with water scarcity in an increasingly arid state?

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Campaign Mailing Address PO Box 57
Villanueva, NM 87583
Campaign Phone 505-577-0301
Campaign Email walt@waltforsanmiguel.com
Campaign Website http://waltforsanmiguel.com
Occupation Marketing and Public Relations Consultant
As a college administrator, corporate exec and consultant to public officials, corporations and non-profit agencies over 5 decades, I've had extensive experience in public policy, finance, and the communications techniques essential to effective management of organizations. Working as a consultant to a variety of organizations and enterprises in New Mexico since 1996, and both paid and pro bono work on public policy issues over that time, has provided a deep understanding of the complex cultural and economic issues that influence our governmental and political life here. The single, most important lesson from all of this experience, is that our representatives and leaders must seek out and listen to our citizens problems and opinions.
San Miguel County, while rich in its culture, in the goodness of its citizens and in its natural beauty, still struggles with: low wages; not-enough-jobs; too few opportunities for our youth; crumbling roads; health care often difficult to access; and financing our school systems from a weak tax base. Like all New Mexico, protecting and husbanding our water resources remains an ongoing struggle. Devastated by the fires, we, and our Mora County neighbors, now face further challenges to be sure our citizens obtain full compensation by the Government. We must also optimize the funds now available to our local governments to stabilize and repair infrastructure and re-energize the economic development initiatives underway before the fires.
Good managers and effective leaders ask questions of all involved in an issue and listen openly to the responses. Any one of us can generalize about problems, issues, challenges. But gathering accurate data and understanding the attitudes and opinions of as many stakeholders as possible is the only way we can create working and workable responses. My approach will be to frequently visit all neighborhoods in the district, attend events, hold coffees to listen to constituents and be accessible by phone/email/IM/text to anyone. Neither centuries old responses that still don't work, nor solutions that worked someplace else will ever succeed for us. We need to examine our challenges, understand our unique needs and plan our solutions together.
First, we must make sure the Federal response to the wildfires addresses its economic impact on our businesses and people. Second, we must collaborate with the counties around us to make our region more attractive to socially and environmentally responsible job/income generating investment. Third, an old friend, Cathy Zacher, who spent her childhood summers in the Gallinas Valley, pioneered an economic development philosophy she called "economic gardening." Young independent businesses are nurtured and established ones encouraged with funds and expertise to assure they thrive, create jobs and foster a community attractive to investment. Let's make San Miguel County an attractive destination to shop, recreate, dine, return to and invest.
There is no magic bullet. Restricting growth and managing development demand difficult choices that must be based on predictions of the future, rather than exploitation of the present. The tools are planning, permitting and zoning. To be used wisely, there must be general agreement across governmental units on intended objectives. There must also be serious and rigorously enforced consequences for violations. But our true asset is that water and its protection and use have always been at the heart of our best public policies. New Mexicans know how to protect and preserve water and why.
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