The Observer asked primary elections candidates running for county offices or legislative seats representing some part of Sandoval County to fill out questionnaires sharing their views.

Responses were not edited for anything except word count.

County commission, state representative, sheriff and magistrate judge candidates were limited to 800 words, while probate judge and assessor candidates were limited to 500 words due to having fewer questions to answer.

If candidates went over the limit, their responses were cut from the bottom until they exactly met the word limit.

Katherine Bruch. Courtesy photo.


Democrat: Katherine A. Bruch

Community of residence: Placitas

What are your qualifications for this position?

I am completing my first term as County Commissioner. Listening and responding to the voices of my constituents has been a hallmark of my first term.

Have you ever been convicted of, or do you have any pending charges of a felony, DWI, or domestic violence? No

If elected, what would your short- and long-term goals be?

My long-term goal remains developing a strategic plan for the County that would identify our internal growth needs and outline community growth desires while protecting natural resources.

Water is an issue State-wide, but we have to plan based upon our water supply.

Short term goals include establishing a permanent animal shelter; continually upgrading resources and training for Fire and Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office; and ensuring a sufficient wage structure so that we do not continue to lose employees to other entities. We will need to address the Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse resources gap in our county more aggressively.

How can people reach you if they have more questions?

For campaign questions: [email protected]

In my current role as County Commissioner District 1, please contact me with any questions or concerns through my Sandoval County contact information found at sandovalcountynm.gov

What types of industries or businesses should the county consider recruiting? How would you go about the recruitment process?

First – businesses that provide a living wage. As Commissioner, I have supported economic development loans to small businesses in the County that were either expanding or relocating here. Small businesses drive the County’s economy. We need to provide better broadband (in conjunction with Federal and State help) and maintain our roads to continue to attract these businesses.

How can Sandoval County continue to support tourism? 

Covid has hurt tourism world-wide. The County has provided Federal funding to many of the businesses that were hurt. I have supported our Tourism Alliance and believe we have created a wonderful Website with See Sandoval. El Zocalo has provided the ideal spot to stop in for information and get a feel for the many tourist opportunities across our county

Would you like the county to lower, maintain or increase its staffing levels? How would you make that happen?

Sandoval County is understaffed. There are a number of positions that urgently need to be filled. It is a great place to work and so convenient. We will be moving forward with salary survey efforts in the coming year since it is vital that we are as competitive as possible with other governments in the region and with private industry.

What challenges is Sandoval County facing that you would address?

The County is experiencing a population growth that must be accommodated with affordable housing, clean and sufficient drinking water, and safe modern infrastructure. Infrastructure costs are high, and we need our development partners to work with the County to ensure that proper roads are constructed and maintained, stormwater and wastewater is managed, and that health and safety services are provided to our residents.

Jeanette Clark. Courtesy photo.

 

Republican: Jeanette Clark

Community of residence: Sandoval County

What are your qualifications for this position?

For 40 years I have developed a diverse array of accomplished skills, abilities and experience which would serve Sandoval County well as Commissioner. Since 1998, I have carried out the role as Vice President of our family company, in which I co-manage the general operations and administration, serve as the sales & marketing director and accounts payable, utilize my experience as a web and graphic art designer and manager, and carry out other duties such as long-range planning and budgeting, employee management, showroom sales manager, and telephone reception. I am service-minded and spend a lot of time with people on a daily basis assessing their needs to formulate solutions they can agree upon.

Before my tenure as a family business owner, I was Director of Programs for several non-profit organizations, one of which was the Girls Clubs of Denver, where I wrote, facilitated and implemented programs mainly for disadvantaged youth, some of which won national awards. In addition, as Program Director of the YMCA in Santa Fe, I developed after-school, holiday and summer camp programs for children whose parents had limited funds, for which I was able to obtain state licensing.

I believe in servant leadership and celebrating small successes which lead to greater victories. I am an energetic, optimistic, and sensible common-sense conservative. I am a mother of two, stepmother of three, grandmother of 5 (with one more on the way!), and I have lived in Placitas for 24 years, and New Mexico for 34 years. I possess vital personal and professional traits for volunteer service as County Commissioner, and will serve with an open mind, a vision of where county government should go, and could go, and the adeptness to negotiate and delegate.

I believe I am an effective communicator and listener, making every attempt to keep operations and communication running smoothly. I am goal oriented and passionate about my county and I genuinely care about the citizens. I would be honored to represent my county district with hard work, progress and compassion.

Have you ever been convicted of or do you have any pending charges of a felony, DWI or domestic violence? No

If elected, what would your short- and long-term goals be?

Mainly, it would depend on the priorities of Sandoval County, and the priorities of the people within the county. As issues evolve, priorities change. We must listen and be open-minded to what is construed as important at the time. Whatever is of priority to the people and the county is my priority.

Both short and long-term goals should include working diligently to ensure that citizen and county concerns are listened to and thoughtfully addressed, including, but not limited to, new and current business growth, jobs & job training, economic growth, reasonable taxation, improved infrastructure, safety for all citizens, crime prevention, and support for education with appropriate resources.

How can people reach you if they have more questions?

People can reach me at the following email: [email protected], or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JeanetteClark4SCC

What types of industries or businesses should the county consider recruiting? How would you go about the recruitment process?

I would encourage industries and businesses of all types that will benefit the economy of Sandoval County. Some examples are technology, commercial aircraft, manufacturing, and innovative concepts providing for hands-on and sustainable technology, and a variety of businesses that would provide higher paying jobs, especially for our youth, so they will not be tempted to leave our county or state for others. There is also a need to be conscientious, responsible, and careful in planning projects to improve our county safely and effectively, employing a pragmatic approach to this growth.

How can Sandoval County continue to support tourism?

Improving our infrastructure, ensuring public safety and crime prevention, and stimulate economic development by incentivizing new businesses that appeal to tourists and benefit our county; and securing many types of events for the Rio Rancho Events Center.

Would you like the county to lower, maintain or increase its staffing levels? How would you make that happen?

The level of staffing should be determined by the growth the county and the tax base which accompanies the growth. A sensible approach would be to increase carefully based on the growth of the county and tax base as deemed.

What challenges is Sandoval County facing that you would address?

Challenges develop and change with time. Challenges are relative to the current conditions of our economy, along with other important factors. Currently, those challenges are public safety, infrastructure, and economic development. If we begin addressing those challenges, we will be prepared to face others as the arise.