Editor’s note: The City of Rio Rancho is holding a city council and bond election on March 3, with early voting underway.

City council seats representing districts 1, 4 and 6 are on the ballot, with two candidates running for the four-year term for each seat. Voters must reside in the city council districts in question to vote in those races. As per law, municipal elections are non-partisan.

For information on polling places, visit rrnm.gov/4405/Voting-Information.

In order to help our readers make informed decisions, the Observer gave each candidate a questionnaire to complete. Responses were edited for format as necessary, but not for grammar, spelling, punctuation or accuracy.

Daniel J. Stoddard

 Daniel J. Stoddard questionnaire

Background: Christian, Veteran, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Business Owner (Retired). Served as Curry County Commissioner, Clovis City Commissioner, State Commissions, NM Municipal League Board, NM Assoc. of County’s Board, Leadership New Mexico/Local Govt. Leadership Program, Eastern NM Area Workforce Development Board, Clovis Chamber of Commerce Executive Board VP Govt. Affairs, Commissioner Sandoval County P&Z, Sandoval County Ordinance Committee

Years residing in Rio Rancho: Rio Rancho Resident 7.5 years, resident of NM over 30 years.

Contact information: (Cell) 505-672-8344; danstoddard.com

1. What makes you the most qualified person to hold this seat? As I walk through my district, listening to needs, (and they are many and diverse) citizens don’t feel as if District 6 has been well represented. Many have shared that they don’t know the current Councilor nor do they feel they have a connection to him/her. As listed in my background above, I have held positions at the local, county, and state levels of government. I believe Rio Rancho is positioned to be the leader in economic development in our state. Along with my diverse governmental roles and my private business experience, I bring a practical point of view and a fresh set of eyes.

2. If elected, what will your top priorities be and how will you accomplish them? I would promote the positive aspects of Rio Rancho by working with the City of Rio Rancho Economic Development and SEA teams in an ongoing effort to promote economic growth. The POV project must remain a priority to ensure continued economic opportunities. The Council must have a sense of urgency and actively seek a way to make it a reality.

3. What do you think should be done about road construction and repairs in Rio Rancho, and how will you accomplish it? This decades old issue is top of mind and first priority. I feel we should continue to support the Road Bond. When elected to the Council, I would first identify the worst roads in my district and fight to make them a priority. Communities like Vista Hills and Unit 17 have been flatly ignored. I will also be as aggressive as possible with road construction and repairs, finding long term solutions to this ongoing situation.

4. What will be your priorities, if any, for public safety if you’re elected? Having served in the military, I know first-hand what it means to serve. I support our first responders and as Councilor for District 6, I will work hard to make sure that our first responders have the resources and tools available to care for their families and ours. I will also fight to assure that first responders are compensated, assuring our finest don’t seek employment elsewhere.

5. If elected, what will you do to encourage economic development in Rio Rancho? I will engage with private partners to develop viable opportunities for sustainable projects. Working with all the available tools (TIDDs, GRIP, IRBs and PIDs) for economic growth. I will draw on my experiences with similar Public/Private/Partnerships to develop growth projects.

6. What is your stance on the water and wastewater system and rates? Water rates are a contentious issue. From day 1, I will work with the administration to stabilize rates and more importantly work to secure Rio Rancho’s long-term water needs for future generations.

7. What is your stance on governmental transparency with the public, and what actions would you take based on that stance if elected? Transparency in government is the only way to earn the citizens trust. While laws currently dictate transparency requirements, I will fight to ensure maximum transparency at all times.

8. What is Rio Rancho’s greatest asset, and what will you do to preserve and enhance it if elected? Rio Rancho’s greatest asset is its youth. They are our future and we must focus on creating opportunities to keep them here. Additionally, great assets include amenities such as affordable housing, public parks, aquatic center, top ranking public schools and libraries. Along with the finest police, firefighters, and city employees. I will fight for continued investment in each of these to preserve the great quality of life here in Rio Rancho.