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.
David L. Bency questionnaire
Background: Retired CNM Accounting Professor, C.P.A.
Years residing in Rio Rancho: 34
1. What makes you the most qualified person to hold this seat? Experience. Elected 3 times Councilor and 2 times County Commissioner.
2. If elected, what will your top priorities be and how will you accomplish them? Continue bond cycle to reconstruct streets and continue repairing cracks in residential streets. Finish sports complex north, Cibola LL.
3. What do you think should be done about road construction and repairs in Rio Rancho, and how will you accomplish it? Continue bond cycle and as city grows so will assessed value giving city more to bond without a tax increase. Increase general fund spending on street repair each year per district with growth in internet sales taxes.
4. What will be your priorities, if any, for public safety if you’re elected? Public safety is always the #1 priority. As sales tax bonds get paid off and loans from the state, add necessary fire fighters and police as needed. Continue bond cycle for public safety that reduces general fund that can be shifted to personnel.
5. If elected, what will you do to encourage economic development in Rio Rancho? Yes, I sponsored GRIP, gross receipts investment program, that has brought Lowes, Premiere Cinema, Petroglyph Medical Center, and Plaza at Enchanted Hills. Sponsoring amendment, R.R. 505, for small retail infill projects. Fund Sandoval Economic Alliance for large job creators.
6. What is your stance on the water and wastewater system and rates? Our system is going on 40 years of age and we are going through constant repairs. Repairs and replacements are a must, but our utility debt is now below $100 million and in five years approximately half will be paid off. Remaining debt needs to be refinanced through NM finance authority at that time and bond cycle needs to include some utility capital as assessed value increases due to new homes and growth. These measures will decrease pressure on rate structure. Grants from state and bureau of reclamations for reinjection program are a must.
7. What is your stance on governmental transparency with the public, and what actions would you take based on that stance if elected? Transparency is important as we have added a full-time employee to the clerk’s office to handle volume of information requests. Must defer to city attorney about information concerning potential litigation and juvenile records to not get sued and lose money from general fund as previous council has done.
8. What is Rio Rancho’s greatest asset, and what will you do to preserve and enhance it if elected? Water aquifer is finite, and the city does not have access to Rio Grande water as Albuquerque does. Sponsored water reuse and re-injection programs, the latter of which has won a national award. To date over 100 million gallons have been reinjected back into our aquifer of pure clean drinkable water. Fund the proposed second re-injection well which will allow the city to double amount re-injected. Albuquerque has followed our program. Also sponsored Utility rebate program for conversion to low water and high efficiency toilets and washers. Since 1/1/05 7,258 have been replaced saving an estimated 58 million gallons of water.