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.

Ryan Parra

 Ryan Parra questionnaire

Background: A lifelong resident and graduate of RRPS. Ryan received his education in fields such as: Political Science, Communication, Sociology, Criminology, and Pre-law. An RRPS board member from 2015-2020. He created the RRPS Career Technical committee and supported initiatives such as armed guards and mental health programs.

Years residing in Rio Rancho: 28 years

Contact information: (505)-206-6129 or [email protected]

1. What makes you the most qualified person to hold this seat? Citizens need a leader who can bring new ideas, passion, and the ability to dedicate themselves to representing the interests of the people. Between my education and years of experience at the local and state level, I believe I’m the most qualified candidate.

2. If elected, what will your top priorities be and how will you accomplish them? My priorities will be to promote ideas on increasing city employee salaries, road repairs and ideas for economic growth. To accomplish these ideas, I will advocate for community collaboration, revising business policies that stifle growth and incorporating technologies to reduce costs.

3. What do you think should be done about road construction and repairs in Rio Rancho, and how will you accomplish it? I would propose new ideas to repave roads throughout the community. I would propose incorporating green technology to reduce city costs and providing additional revenue to help finance road work. Private companies can add small wind turbines to road medians and water turbines to city water lines. This would generate power, create sustainable jobs and provide a revenue stream to fund projects.

4. What will be your priorities, if any, for public safety if you’re elected? By creating partnerships with local government institutions, we can increase salaries. One example is the Public Schools need drivers. We trust our first responders with our lives why not our children? By driving part-time it would help the schools by providing drivers, first responders can gain additional income and benefits without impacting the city’s budget.

5. If elected, what will you do to encourage economic development in Rio Rancho? The city needs to review business policies that prevent growth. On the school board we reviewed all of our policies annually. I would propose the governing body commit to doing the same by removing outdated policies that stifle business and strengthening others such as low flow water systems and better energy efficient products.

6. What is your stance on the water and wastewater system and rates? Water rates on citizens are too high. The city’s issue is that a majority of the costs come from pumping water from the aquifer and wastewater treatment. As a councilor, I would advocate for more public-private partnerships similar to what the city has done at some wastewater treatment sites. These programs are successful and have helped the city save money. I would like to promote increasing these partnerships with private companies to produce green power. These partnerships would create jobs, generate power, and hopefully help to lower the water cost for taxpayers.

7. What is your stance on governmental transparency with the public, and what actions would you take based on that stance if elected? Citizens deserve leaders who are active within community events, able to answer emails, phone calls, and who are willing to put themselves out in difficult positions to represent them. I have a track record of being highly accessible to my constituents.

8. What is Rio Rancho’s greatest asset, and what will you do to preserve and enhance it if elected? The city’s greatest asset is its citizens. It’s the citizens of Rio Rancho that make our city truly stand out. As a councilor I would promote Rio Rancho as a safe place to live, work and play. I would advocate for new monthly events such as community gatherings, additional parades, and seasonal events. These would increase the attractiveness of Rio Rancho and provide more entertainment and tourism opportunities. We should seek to expand our parks with additional elements like new equipment, creating drone/technology areas for enthusiasts, providing nature trials, and more outdoor recreation to promote active living throughout the community.