Editor’s note: All responses from candidates are printed as received, with no editing.
Joshua Antonio Jones
What are your qualifications and experience for the position you seek? As a Veteran, former law enforcement officer, and current small business owner, I am ready to take my experience to City Hall. I was selected as the Wounded Warrior Fellow for Congresswoman Deb Haaland. While serving in that position I was responsible for maintaining, creating, and furthering relationships with constituents across 10 different issue areas. Additional responsibilities included, acting as a liaison between federal, state, and local agencies for the Representative and constituents.
I worked with stakeholders in the community and worked across the aisle to find solutions. I believe that Rio Rancho’s best days are right in front of us, we just need to be up for the challenge.
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? I will work with landowners, landlords, and investors to create a coalition of common interest to build readymade/shovel ready development sites and spec buildings for businesses to enter Rio rancho. There are federal grants that the city can take advantage of. Neighboring cities are applying for and have been awarded funds from federal government for infrastructure, and Rio Rancho cannot miss out on these opportunities. We can get up to $100M of funding that would create a tremendous advantage and make Rio Rancho enticing for economic development.
If elected, how will you address deteriorating strip malls in Rio Rancho? The first action item would be to get businesses into vacant buildings. The second initiative is to have code enforcement to come and visit the properties. Although we appreciate out of state investors and landowners that bring opportunity to Rio Rancho, we also have a standard that we must maintain. Rio Rancho is vibrant and beautiful, and we want to maintain that standard. We want the residents to enjoy spending time at our local businesses and make certain that they feel safe.
What is your plan for addressing the condition of neighborhood roads and how would you fund that plan? We have a unique opportunity where the federal government is giving each state money to fix, repair and add infrastructure for its communities. New Mexico is set to receive $2.5B for federal aid highway apportion programs which could be used to build and develop around Paseo Del Vulcan. Additionally, another $225M for bridge, road replacement, and repairs over the next five years. We need someone who is willing to go and fight for funding for Rio Rancho.
With funding from infrastructure bill the idea is to build roads right the first time. I am ready to get to work with colleagues in the City as well as in the State Legislature and Federal Government to fund these initiatives.
How do you define economic development, and how would you address it? Economic development mobilizes businesses and assets to create wealth and opportunities for a community. We must develop a new economy in Rio Rancho by investing is small businesses and our people. We shouldn’t have to drive to Albuquerque or Santa Fe for work. We have all that we need right here in Rio Rancho if we support small businesses by incentivizing them to build, grow and expand right here. We must properly build our economy post-covid by diligently using funds from the American Reuse Plan Recruit and retain well-trained workforce and workers by investing in key labor union initiatives including apprentice and pre-apprenticeship programs. Additionally, we must direct pathways for local people to fill local jobs.
If elected, how will you address water and sewer rates? Ensuring water security is critical. The challenge is that solutions for water preservation, management, and restoration are often expensive and harmful to the environment. There is a company called ECOVAP that has cutting edge technology that restores wastewater and transform it into fresh water. We can lower the cost to the city and pass the savings to the people reducing the cost of water to the residents of Rio Rancho while protecting the environment.
How do you propose to increase city revenue to meet growing needs? It always comes back to investments in businesses and economic development to increase our tax base. There are always ways to think outside the box. An initiative for me would be to look for an off green project that could produce additional revenue. For example, there are a few companies that are selling their green technology to local municipalities to increase their liquidity to scale at a national level. There is a onetime $1M dollar investment that would have a ROI within three years.
What are your goals regarding public safety and the city’s police and fire departments? With my Law enforcement background, I will proactively work on initiatives to fight crime by working with officers by investing in community policing to continue build and establish trust between officers and residents. As Rio Rancho grows, so should our police force and first responders. By making public safety a focal point within our plan, we can pay our police force, rank-and-file officers, and first responders top rates to stay here in Rio Rancho.
How can people reach you if they have more questions?
What are your qualifications and experience for the position you seek? I have served on the city council for the last four years and also served on planning and zoning before that for 3 ½ years. Additionally, my background in law enforcement, business administration and my continued work with the Rio Rancho Public School System have provided me well-rounded insight into the critical sectors of our community and the need for measured, smart growth. I also serve on numerous boards to represent the voices and interests of my constituents and the City of Rio Rancho.
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? I would like to see continued improvements to our roads and infrastructure. These efforts can be funded through bonds, capital improvement money through the state and additional revenue from increased gross receipts tax money. We can also partner with developers to ensure all future building projects include the best infrastructure possible.
If elected, how will you address deteriorating strip malls in Rio Rancho? We are currently working on several projects to better utilize empty space. Additionally, the city can work with small businesses that would be well suited for spaces that are currently available. Partnering with the Rio Rancho Chamber is another strategy.
What is your plan for addressing the condition of neighborhood roads and how would you fund that plan? The current Crack, Patch and Seal Program is what is used for this issue. The funding available under this program is limited. I would like to see the Permanent Fund approved and eventually we can use some of this money to contribute to the program.
How do you define economic development, and how would you address it? Economic Development includes both economic and social development for our city. I address it by networking with various stakeholders to increase jobs, investments in our community, and a safe city that attracts companies and families to continue our city’s growth.
If elected, how will you address water and sewer rates? This is an extremely delicate issue as we have minimal resources and are forced to negotiate for all of our resources. This makes it more difficult to have lower rates. We are using a water re-injection program to make the aquifer more sustainable over time.
How do you propose to increase city revenue to meet growing needs? This is achieved through economic development and creating more opportunity for GRT here in our city.
What are your goals regarding public safety and the city’s police and fire departments? Crime is not going away and being that we are up the hill from one of the most violent cities in the nation it will continue to have a direct impact on our police and fire departments and our citizens. We need to develop a long-term solution to public safety to recruit and retain police and fire members. Families move to Rio Rancho for our schools and our safe city. To keep our citizens safe, we will continue to work with the departments on updating equipment, pay, staffing, and updating technology.
How can people reach you if they have more questions? They can message me on Facebook at BobTylerforRioRancho
Clyde A. Ward
Clyde A. Ward
What are your qualifications and experience for the position you seek? Served 10 years in the USAF, Licensed realtor, associate broker 9 years, Deputy Assessor 8 years and Assessor 5 years, San Juan County. Legislative chair, vice chair and chairman Assessor’s affiliate, President Elect, NM Association Counties. Assistant Land Commissioner 4 years. Currently Deputy Assessor Bernalillo County. With my experience, I will move the city in a direction the people desire and take the time and consideration to evaluate each and every step.
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? City government is closest and most responsive to the citizens, providing roads, utilities, police, fire, recreation and opportunity. City government must engage with the citizens it serves. Public trust is very low if not distrustful and citizens feel disconnected and disenchanted from government. Working together with community organizations, committees, businesses and the individual citizen is mandatory. I will work diligently to engage with the citizens of my district and encourage the same from them.
If elected, how will you address deteriorating strip malls in Rio Rancho? Blighted areas are a concern for all cities. Rio Rancho has code enforcement rules that address the acceptable condition of properties and property owners should adhere to those rules. Opportunities for revitalization and repurposing should be encouraged but not at the expense of the surrounding residents, dramatically changing what they bought into, and invested with their homes. These areas are opportunities for Sandoval Economic Alliance and other similarly aligned entities working on economic development. A portfolio of these properties should be available for economic growth questions and historical information on compliance.
What is your plan for addressing the condition of neighborhood roads and how would you fund that plan? With such need in our community, road bonds should also be dedicated to residential. It’s possible for great arterial and residential roads. The current Neighborhood Streets Improvement Project only provides crack repair and seal. No plan, for the foreseeable future, provides slurry or even re-paving for residential roads. I will ensure that a residential road maintenance plan is developed, and the city held accountable to that plan. We can no longer ignore legacy communities, families and neighborhoods that built this great city. The vision for Rio Rancho cannot turn a blind eye to its current citizens while welcoming the future.
How do you define economic development, and how would you address it? Community development is making a community a better place to live and work. Economic development is the creation of opportunity where community benefits are created. This is done by business retention and expansion, attracting new businesses and business creation. It’s a process of deliberate intervention in the normal economic growth by making it easier or more attractive to establish a connection with developers and bringing in services that complement the quality of life. We must collaborate and support the Sandoval Economic Alliance and the Chamber of Commerce. Recruit businesses like Costco, Trader Joes, Sawmill Markets. Consult with colleagues in other counties, cities, states and pueblos that have had success and learn from them.
If elected, how will you address water and sewer rates? We must locate new water sources and develop sustainable water practices and water supply plans that protect current water resources and prepare for future needs. I will ensure all opportunities are explored, and the city isn’t cashing in on a basic resource. Professional studies should be conducted to address the issues in Rio Rancho. Steps must done to ensure new development and rate structuring doesn’t negatively impact current residents. Future planning, to cover known and upcoming costs must not fall directly on the citizens. Grants and funding opportunities are limited so other potential resources, partnerships and non-traditional funding possibilities could create needed capital. Rate increases cannot be the only answer.
How do you propose to increase city revenue to meet growing needs? Inherently, growth provides some increase in property tax and gross receipts tax (GRT) revenue. GRT starts immediately but property tax takes about a year to realize the increase. Ensure that growth is positive and projects that create jobs, without relentlessly depleting our resources, and provide a complimentary quality of life function, are encouraged. We need positive and augmenting growth in our community. We cannot simply grow, just to grow. All details should be considered when analyzing growth.
What are your goals regarding public safety and the city’s police and fire departments? Thank you to Rio Rancho’s finest and brightest first responders, for your outstanding service and sacrifice for our community. Wages and salaries should reflect their exemplary safety marks and dedication. Instead of a permanent fund, these dollars could benefit the city by rewarding these valiant first responders before we lose them to higher pay from our neighbors down the hill. We should also open the fire station in Mariposa. We must increase and retain our police officers, fire fighters and other first responders to protect recently added developments and those on track for the next several years.
How can people reach you if they have more questions? email@example.com, 505-320-1423, 4705 Franzen Hills Ct NE