Gregg Hull has just won a third term as mayor, the first person in the history of the city to do so, according to unofficial results.
What are his first priorities?
His top priorities haven’t changed, he said. They’re still public safety, recruiting businesses and jobs, and improving water lines and streets.
Roads were top of mind when he spoke to the Observer Tuesday night. He said he’d worked hard to repair a number of city streets and would continue to make it a priority.
Hull said the roads had previously been neglected for 30 years.
“It’s going to take some time to get it all fixed,” he said.
He added that he knows Rio Ranchoans want residential roads repaired.
“We’re going to work on that at every opportunity,” Hull said.
Voters approved establishment of a permanent fund with $10 million, 62 percent to 38 percent, according to unofficial results. City staff members first brought up the idea, and Hull said he championed it.
“The voters supported our vision of putting something aside for future generations,” Hull said, adding that the permanent fund would leave a legacy and pay for city needs. “I’m very proud that the citizens of Rio Rancho stood with me in this visionary step forward.”
He expects the city to immediately develop a citizen oversight board for guidance and input.
He’d like to put all of the fund’s first-year investment earnings back into the principal to grow it, but said that would be up to the Rio Rancho Governing Body during budget approval. If first-year earnings go into the general fund to pay for services, Hull would like to put them toward fixing roads to meet residents’ expectations, he said.
Hull said he didn’t have specific public-safety initiatives but planned to “continue to make sure our first responders have the equipment and facilities they need to respond to citizens’ emergencies.” That includes police and fire/emergency medical services, he said.
The Public Safety General Obligation Bond received “resounding approval” from voters, Hull said.
Other charter amendments
In addition to the permanent-fund question, the ballot featured five other charter amendments. Voters approved four and rejected one, which would have changed the mandatory charter review period from six years to eight.
“I think the people looked at those and approved what they thought was necessary for the charter,” Hull said.
He said he agreed with the voters on keeping the review period at six years. The charter can also be reviewed more frequently.
“Tomorrow is a bit of a day of reflection and rest,” Hull said Tuesday night, adding that he also planned to thank his supporters. “And then I think it’s really business as usual on Thursday and Friday.”
Canvassing and swearing in
The Rio Rancho city clerk is scheduled to present the unofficial election results to the Sandoval County canvassing board at 1:30 p.m. March 11, according to city information. Once the canvassing board grants approval, results become official.
Hull and the other candidates who won their elections – Municipal Judge G. Robert Cook, District 5 City Councilor Karissa Culbreath and District 2 City Councilor Jeremy Lenentine, who ran unopposed – are scheduled to be sworn in April 1.
The District 3 city council race will go to a runoff between incumbent Bob Tyler and challenger Joshua Antonio Jones on April 12 because no candidate in the three-way race received more than 50 percent of the vote Tuesday.