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.

Jim Owen

 Jim Owen questionnaire

Background: Jim and his wife Rosemary have lived in Rio Rancho over 28 years. They have 6 grown children and eight granddaughters.

Professional: Extensive experience in public office, Economic Development; leadership roles with the Governing Body of Rio Rancho; the creation of the Rio Rancho School District and Board member and interim Director of The Rio Rancho Chamber of Commerce. Former Intel Site Manager, and over twenty-six years of professional business ownership of Owen Graphics.

Education: B.S. Degree ASU – 1973

Veteran: USAF

Years residing in Rio Rancho: 28

Contact information: 876 Thunder Road SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124; (505) 379-9476

1. What makes you the most qualified person to hold this seat? Experience and measurable accomplishments in both the public and private sector.

2. If elected, what will your top priorities be and how will you accomplish them?

3. What do you think should be done about road construction and repairs in Rio Rancho, and how will you accomplish it?

4. What will be your priorities, if any, for public safety if you’re elected?

Answers for 2-4: Top priorities: Continued road maintenance and commitment to ensure our first responders are retained and appreciated. This will be accomplished through proven fact based budgeting, and effective, transparent use of voter approved bond funds.

5. If elected, what will you do to encourage economic development in Rio Rancho? Pursue additional incentive policies that let the business community know Rio Rancho is open for businesses that complement our community.

6. What is your stance on the water and wastewater system and rates? Our water and wastewater rates are tied to our unfortunate state mandated requirements. I have always voted to keep any rate increase as low as possible while staying within state guidelines. Reinjection of water to the aquifer holds the promise of securing our future water needs.

7. What is your stance on governmental transparency with the public, and what actions would you take based on that stance if elected? Maintaining a reputation for governmental transparency is extremely important. I never want anyone to believe they are being denied access to any information that will undermine their trust in their own government.

8. What is Rio Rancho’s greatest asset, and what will you do to preserve and enhance it if elected? I believe Rio Rancho’s greatest asset is the positive attitude of its citizens. They freely volunteer and pick up the slack when the city doesn’t have the financial resources to provide services. They believe in the outstanding school system. They trust and encourage our police and firefighters. They buy Rio Rancho.