Karissa D. Culbreath
What are your qualifications and experience for the position you seek? I am currently the City Councilor for Rio Rancho District 5. In my time on the Council I have been responsive to the concerns and communicated to the residents in my district. I know the issues facing the community and if elected to continue serving, I will be ready on day one.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI? No
If elected, what would you like to do or change in Rio Rancho, and how would you get money for those efforts? Rio Rancho is one of New Mexico’s best kept secrets, but it can’t stay that way. I would like to see the hospitality industry in Rio Rancho revitalized so that Rio Rancho can become a top destination in New Mexico. Investment in a “Visit Rio Rancho” campaign that would increase our local tourism would also attract hotels and entertainment that would increase our local revenue so that we can continue to reinvest in our city.
If elected, how will you address deteriorating strip malls in Rio Rancho? Strip malls are primarily occupied by small business owners who are the engine of our economy. We need to continue to invest in our local business owners through activities and events such as Shop Rio Rancho and collaborations with the Rio Rancho Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, we need to seek creative solutions for these strip malls to recruit recreation activities that may be able to bolster our economic base by drawing consumers to Rio Rancho.
What is your plan for addressing the condition of neighborhood roads and how would you fund that plan? Our roads remain one of the biggest challenges in the city. What some may not realize is that in addition to the outdated roads, there is outdated and deteriorating underlying infrastructure that leads to costly projects. If elected I will work to continue to expand the Neighborhood Streets Improvement Project in which I was able to approve nearly 2 miles of neighborhood roads throughout my district during my year in office. Continued support of our public infrastructure bond will provide funding for improvement of our roads without any tax increase. One of our strengths has been identifying federal and state funds to off-set the cost of road projects to allow our tax-payer dollars to stretch farther. I have already worked with legislative representatives to obtain a list of 25 federal infrastructure opportunities for which the city may apply.
How do you define economic development, and how would you address it? Healthy economic development is a diversified structure driven by new business recruitment, existing business growth and small business support. I will continue to leverage every tool available to encourage new businesses to make Rio Rancho their home as I did with the recruitment of NTx Bio to Rio Rancho. I will support local business growth as I did with the support of the $3.5 million Intel expansion. I will continue to support small business growth and development through collaborations with local business support models and small business development grants. Collaboration and support of RRPS and the newly developed Career Technical Education Center to ensure that we have the best local talent so our students will be able to find their dream job in Rio Rancho.
If elected, how will you address water and sewer rates? Our primary responsibility to the citizens of Rio Rancho is to ensure they have clean water for their families and a reliable sewer system. Other communities have tried to find shortcuts for this and have jeopardized the long-term health and safety of their community. That is simply not an option. I will ensure that we provide the highest levels of water safety, at the lowest cost possible, without compromising the health and safety of our community.
How do you propose to increase city revenue to meet growing needs? Rio Rancho is the fastest growing city in New Mexico and we are experiencing housing growth that we haven’t seen in years. To meet this growing need, we must diversify our business base and make other cities’ residents our top customers. From supporting expansion of Campus Park to supporting business opening and expansion, I have worked to do that.
What are your goals regarding public safety and the city’s police and fire departments? One of the things that makes Rio Rancho one of the best places to live is the strength of our police and fire departments. I have seen, first-hand, the incredible work our first responders do to keep our city safe. I have supported acquisition of new equipment, expanded training, creation of new positions and pandemic pay for our first responders. In addition, I will continue to be a supporter of policies for mental health support programs for our first responders and their families because they deserve to enjoy the highest quality of life while they protect our lives.
How can people reach you if they have more questions? I’d love for people to follow my Facebook or pages (Karissa Culbreath, Rio Rancho City Council) or email me at [email protected] I am here to serve you!
William Edward Dunn
What are your qualifications and experience for the position you seek? I am a local business owner with a desire to make the city the best it can be. I am a business owner with years of successful entrepreneurship and leadership skills. I know how to create jobs, and I know what business owners need to operate a successful business. In Rio Rancho, I will never prioritize big business over small business– they are all essential! I’ve lived in Rio Rancho for over 10 years, and I understand the needs of my neighbors.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony or DWI? No! I have never been convicted of ANY crime and I pledge to be tough on crime so that no street in Rio Rancho ever becomes a Central Avenue.
If elected, what would you like to do or change in Rio Rancho, and how would you get money for those efforts? Rio Rancho is the City of Vision. It needs visionaries that are willing to challenge the status quo. I want our city to grow in the ways the citizens want them to grow. My change doesn’t require money, it requires time to be invested; time spent listening to the people that matter, the residents! In fact, my job is to listen to you! My contact info is below, call me, text me, email me, message me, I am available for you!
If elected, how will you address deteriorating strip malls in Rio Rancho? I believe that we need to move from lineal based strip centers to more of a retail clustered system. Planning the areas using the most favorable traffic patterns will entice investors to revitalize many of the malls. We have to move away from the old way of doing things and design them to attract the customers that are currently driving down the hill to ABQ or across 550 to Bernalillo. We will rezone some areas to entice builders to move in areas that would be economically beneficial. Enforce section 91 of the municipal code, against out of state owners, to encourage them to revitalize their properties.
What is your plan for addressing the condition of neighborhood roads and how would you fund that plan? As I’ve been campaigning, it has become very clear to me that roads are one of the most important issues to Rio Rancho voters. It is significantly more expensive to maintain dirt roads. I would use some of the $10M surplus to jump start the project of putting in infrastructure needed for growth.
How do you define economic development, and how would you address it? Economic development has 2 fronts, residential development and commercial development. I would target commercial development to bring jobs to the area. We need to find ways for our citizens to shop in Rio Rancho, not Albuquerque or Bernalillo. I would target construction of single family homes that would continue to bring families into Rio Rancho.
If elected, how will you address water and sewer rates? First, not let anything threaten our water supply, the gas station planned on Westside and Unser should not be granted a special use permit. It is too close to our largest producing well, any environment loss from the gas station would decimate our largest water supply. Cost has a direct relationship to consumption. I would recommend providing rebates to offset the cost of water efficient equipment. If a resident purchases a water efficient washing machine, high efficiency toilets and/or smart water controllers, the city could offset those costs as a rebate given on the resident’s water bill. As an example, high efficient toilets can cut the water consumption from up to 5 gallons per flush to below 1.6 gallons per flush. Imagine the savings if even half of the citizens participated. The cost savings would be shown in two ways, first the citizens water bill would be reduced as a reduction of usage and second as a long term savings as water reserves will be more readily available, driving down cost.
How do you propose to increase city revenue to meet growing needs? Revenue’s largest source is from taxes generated by businesses. I will work with the city government to bring in new businesses that the citizens want to visit. In my opinion, we need more restaurants in the city. Our existing restaurants are fantastic; however, there always
seems to be a waitlist to find seating.
What are your goals regarding public safety and the city’s police and fire departments? We have some of the best and finest people working in our city’s police and fire departments. We don’t need to defund the police, we need to make sure they have the funding they need to do the job that is required of them. They need additional resources to ensure they can do their jobs the way the public needs them done. Our fire department is just as important to public safety and they should have all the advantages they need to ensure we are always prepared for the emergency that arises.
How can people reach you if they have more questions? Facebook, email: [email protected], phone: 505-209-9487 website: williamedwarddunn.com.