Voters’ Guide

Sandoval County

Seal of Sandoval County

Candidates for Sandoval County Offices

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL STATE, DISTRICT AND COUNTY CANDIDATES: A candidate must be a registered voter in New Mexico affiliated with the political party for which he/she is seeking office. A candidate for district office must reside in the district of voter registration. Additional requirements for each office are given on the following pages.



Candidates for
Sandoval County Commission

Four-year term. Must be at least 18 years old and must be a resident of the district from which elected. The person in this office, together with other members of the County Commission, represents the County and its interests in all cases not otherwise provided for by law, and appoints elections officials to fill vacancies. The commission is responsible for County government budget, County ordinances and resolutions, and zoning and business regulation in unincorporated areas, and sets policy for the operations of County government. Salary Maximum: $29,000 annually.

District 2

Jay C. Block

Jay C. Block

Republican

1. What qualifies you to be a County Commissioner? (75 words)

As a retired military officer with 21+ years of leadership experience culminating in policy development defining Air Force programs/ processes. My leadership opportunities led to key positions in foreign relations; managing/ executing multi-million dollar budgets; managing major acquisition programs and sustaining community infrastructure to include morale programs. My abilities are proven in fast pace, high stress combat environments. Lastly, I will utilize my private sector experience in business development to successfully market our communities to potential businesses.

2. If elected, what are your two highest priorities for your district and the county? What specific actions will you take to address them? (75 words)

My priorities are bringing in jobs and controlling spending. We must diversify our economy by continually investing in the Sandoval Economic Alliance to provide incentives for businesses to locate here providing well-paying jobs for our lower and middle income families. Government spending has increased thereby squeezing many family budgets. I will ensure our tax money is spent wisely and appropriately. Government must practice the concept of kitchen table economics like we are required to do.

3. How would you balance the demands for economic development and growth with concern for the environment and our limited resources? (75 words)

Our resources are not finite, we must pursue a dual track approach leveraging new technologies in industry promoting reusable energy while efficiently using natural resources. We have to be selective on what industries we attract to ensure they are a right fit for our community, conserving and preserving our water and air quality. Lastly, these are fiscally constrained times that need more economic development to bring in dollars to successfully fund education and support services.

4. How would you manage development to ensure that adequate infrastructure and services, including roads, transportation systems and public safety, are available? (75 words)

There has to be a shared cost with private industry. If developers decide to invest and build a subdivision then they must also build the roads. This significantly affects home values and the higher the home values, the more revenue that can be used for community infrastructure repair. The same applies to businesses. If large vehicles are causing wear and tear to our roads then they must also contribute to sustaining and maintaining those roads.

Nora M. Scherzinger

Nora M. Scherzinger

Democrat

1. What qualifies you to be a County Commissioner? (75 words)

I am the Sandoval County Commissioner for District 2. I know the County staff, I am familiar with its budget, and understand the policies that provide the framework for decision making. I have been a RRPS principal, a school Superintendent, and a Village Administrator. My doctorate is in management and supervision. I understand the varied demands of managing large organizations, have over seen multimillion dollar budgets, and serve on several County Boards.

2. If elected, what are your two highest priorities for your district and the county? What specific actions will you take to address them? (75 words)

Broadband access to all of Sandoval County should be a priority. Doing so is complex and complicated given the County’s size and geological diversity. Just as importantly is a focus on roads. They too are incredibly expensive. To succeed in such endeavors, we need several sources of revenue-federal, state, County and local participation. Grants, state capital, county monies and determination are needed to make communication and transportation priorities.

3. How would you balance the demands for economic development and growth with concern for the environment and our limited resources? (75 words)

Coordination and collaboration are key to thoughtful planning. Research and knowledge are critical to successful economic development and growth, which considers concerns for our environment. Each District is represented on the County Planning & Zoning Board. The Board has short term goals and long range plans, both of which are critical to addressing growth/the environment. Progress is not possible without partnering with the 5 municipalities, the Native American communities and the unincorporated areas.

4. How would you manage development to ensure that adequate infrastructure and services, including roads, transportation systems and public safety, are available? (75 words)

As Commissioners, we do not “manage”, per se. We do approve the County budget. Making sure the budget targets services and projects “that ensure public safety and development” is paramount to improving quality of life. This takes asking good questions, discussion, communication, and at times compromise. It means setting priorities and directing the County Manager to implement our wishes. It means listening to our constituents and negotiating the best possible outcome.



District 4

David J. Heil

David J. Heil

Republican

1. What qualifies you to be a County Commissioner? (75 words)

I’ve proven leadership in business, community service and government. Was a manager in logistics and sales disciplines for major corporations, also minority and women owned businesses with responsibility for planning, budgeting and effective use of resources. President of Kiwanis Club and past president of community service organizations including the Boys and Girls Club. Experienced chairman of the Rio Rancho Planning and Zoning board and Charter Committees; and vice chair of Sandoval County P&Z Board. www.DaveHeilforSandoval.com

2. If elected, what are your two highest priorities for your district and the county? What specific actions will you take to address them? (75 words)

Highest priorities include economic development and job growth and efficient use of resources to optimize services to those in need especially the elderly and our youth. Support the Sandoval Economic Alliance mission to increase new economic based jobs and Sandoval Health Collaboration to leverage our medical and education organizations to make Sandoval County the hub of medical jobs and services in northern New Mexico. Discourage taxes and regulations that kill economic development and jobs.

3. How would you balance the demands for economic development and growth with concern for the environment and our limited resources? (75 words)

As an officer of a property owners’ organization I worked with Albuquerque to plan development of residential neighborhoods that recognized the rights of owners while protecting the natural amenities including Petroglyph National Monument. I would use the same approach to encourage citizen input regarding the environment and guide business to respect natural amenities in development plans. I believe we have a wealth of resources that can be maximized with effective management.

4. How would you manage development to ensure that adequate infrastructure and services, including roads, transportation systems and public safety, are available? (75 words)

My first approach is to encourage development that is in close proximity to existing development. This will minimize the logistics of serving the additions. Secondly I would encourage utilization of financing tools such as Infrastructure Development Zones that allow many owners of small properties to work together to afford the roads and utilities necessary for a thriving community. Communities balanced with residential and commercial properties will fund public safety and other quality of life amenities.

Alexis Jimenez

Alexis Jimenez

Democrat

1. What qualifies you to be a County Commissioner? (75 words)

I have lived in Sandoval County for 34 years, 29 in District 4 of Rio Rancho. I have raised my family here. I’ve spent my professional life working around our county in schools from Bernalillo to Kewa to Zia, and now volunteer in my grandsons’ school in Rio Rancho. I have personal and professional experience with children and families in our county, which has given me an understanding of the needs of our citizens.

2. If elected, what are your two highest priorities for your district and the county? What specific actions will you take to address them? (75 words)

Economic development and the environment are my highest priorities. Continued support of our hospitals will allow them to offer even more services, and associated professional buildings, dining options, and maybe even hotels will follow. We are already witnessing this type of job growth around Rust Presbyterian. These sorts of businesses are relatively clean businesses, they bring good jobs and without harming our environment.

3. How would you balance the demands for economic development and growth with concern for the environment and our limited resources? (75 words)

Economic development should be controlled, weighing the number and quality of jobs proposed against the burden put on the taxpayers and the environment. We should entice innovative and clean companies to our community, possibly with the use of Industrial Revenue Bonds. We should encourage the development of innovative STEM programs in our public schools and at UNM West and CNM to invent new, clean industries that save water.

4. How would you manage development to ensure that adequate infrastructure and services, including roads, transportation systems and public safety, are available? (75 words)

Adequate infrastructure to support development is necessary for a strong economy and that cost has to be fairly allotted between those who directly benefit and the taxpayers. We can use Industrial Revenue Bonds but we need to have clawbacks that ensure that those that receive tax breaks from the IRBs deliver on their promises.



District 5


F. Kenneth Eichwald

Democrat

Unopposed



Candidates for
Sandoval County Clerk

Four year term. Must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the county from which elected. The Clerk is the ex-officio recorder of Sandoval County and may legally record any document that is certified. The office also issues marriage and occupational licenses. The County Clerk’s Bureau of Elections administers all elections in the county. Salary: $32,750.

Donald B. Lemm

Donald B. Lemm

Republican

1. What qualifies you to be a County Clerk? (65 words)

I have over 25 years in Records Management. I owned a business (Lemm’s Microfilm Services) for 13 years. I Microfilmed and Scanned documents for many Counties and Businesses including Sandoval County. I was a Records Officer in the New Mexico State Defense Force for 13 1/2 years. I retired as a Colonel.

2. What changes or actions, if any, would you recommend to improve public access to county public information and records? (65 words)

There has been talk of starting “On Line” access for 12 years. I will make it happen. Quality of images on Plats is unreadable. Having been in the Microfilm business, I will fix this problem. Certain people have been banned from the Clerk’s Office. This is a public office and this practice can’t be tolerated. All communities within Sandoval County MUST have polling places. The . . . .

3. What specific actions would you take to ensure that voter registration is efficient and accurate and that the voter rolls are current and correct? (65 words)

The voter’s rolls and their updating come under the regulation of the State. I have been told (don’t know if true) that the Sandoval County Clerk’s office is under the watchful eye of the Department of Justice. I will work diligently to see about removing the office from under the DOJ scrutiny.

4. What will you do to ensure that all eligible voters can vote without undue obstruction, hardship and expense? (65 words)

The Bureau of Elections falls under the Clerk’s office. I will make sure that all communities within Sandoval County have a polling place. I will also ask for Volunteers to transport stranded voters to the polls or make sure they have Absentee Ballots for early voting.

Eileen [Moreno] Garbagni

Eileen [Moreno] Garbagni

Democrat

1. What qualifies you to be a County Clerk? (65 words)

I qualify for County Clerk because of my 30+ years of service in the County Clerks office. I have served as your County Clerk now for 3 1/2 years.

2. What changes or actions, if any, would you recommend to improve public access to county public information and records? (65 words)

When I came into the County Clerks office as the Clerk I set a goal to update and upgrade may office systems and processes. I brought in electronic recording of all records in the Real Estate department, I also established a system for citizens to pay with credit or debit cards for any type of recording. I will be bringing in a website for searching ...

3. What specific actions would you take to ensure that voter registration is efficient and accurate and that the voter rolls are current and correct? (65 words)

I have worked with the Secretary of State and the 32 County Clerks to bring in Electronic Registration information center, also called ERIC to create and input voter rolls in accurately to insure that every voter is current and correct. ERIC also gives reports insuring that every voter is on the rolls for all elections. I have also brought in a new vendor for our ...

4. What will you do to ensure that all eligible voters can vote without undue obstruction, hardship and expense? (65 words)

Again with this new Vendor we have now it does ensure that all voters will be able to vote within minutes with the new ballot on demand equipment that we are presently using. Also adding more Voting Convenient Centers throughout the County, collaborating with the Secretary of State ensuring we have the resources which makes the election process faster and convenient for all voters.




Candidates for
Sandoval County Treasurer

Four year term. Must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the county from which elected. The Treasurer is responsible for collecting property taxes in Sandoval County and for the supervision and investment of funds. The Treasurer’s office collects and distributes property taxes to different government agencies. Salary: $32,750

Leroy Joseph Lovato

Leroy Joseph Lovato

Republican

1. What qualifies you to be a County Treasurer? (65 words)

I have 18 years of experience in County processes. I have always been respectful of people and am a good communicator, and thrive on solving problems to everyone’s satisfaction. I find helping taxpayers enjoyable and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I believe in the staff; they can bring amazing qualities to the table. My strong community ties across the entire county makes me inherently accountable.

2. If elected, what are your two highest priorities? What specific actions will you take to address them? (65 words)

Diversify portfolio investments for maximum return, giving taxpayers the biggest bang for their buck on their hard earned dollars. I’ll employ the services of our under-utilized financial adviser and investment portfolio manager. Restore relationships with all entities interacting with the office. I will reach out to them, listen more than speak, gaining a clear understanding of their needs, and provide timely, complete documentation.

3. Are improvements needed at the County Treasurer's office? If so, how would you address these needs if elected Treasurer? (65 words)

Yes: Staff and taxpayer morale are at an all-time low. I will recognize staff talent, encouraging their professional skillsets to let each one shine in their job. I will honor taxpayers. Relationships with every connecting entity have deteriorated. I’ll reach out to these entities, listen more than speak, to gain a healthy, rounded insight to their needs and provide the assistance they require.

Laura M. Montoya

Laura M. Montoya

Democrat

1. What qualifies you to be a County Treasurer? (65 words)

My education includes: BA Political Science/Psychology; MA Public Affairs (NMHU); Certified Treasury Official; and Certified Public Official. I manage approximately $50 million in non-property tax revenue; collect over $1Billion with a 99.22% collection rate; and have invested more than $20 million. Committees include: the NM Tax Policy; NM Treasurers Affiliate Legislative Chair; National Fiscal Policy and Intergovernmental affairs (VC); and NextGen Young Elected Officials Chairwoman.

2. If elected, what are your two highest priorities? What specific actions will you take to address them? (65 words)

1. I will continue to work on behalf of the taxpayers that we represent. We will continue to provide quality customer service, invest in permissible investments, and be transparent and efficient. Everyone will be treated fairly and according to the law. 2. We will continue to provide community outreach throughout the county and efficient methods of payment in the technological environment we live in.

3. Are improvements needed at the County Treasurer's office? If so, how would you address these needs if elected Treasurer? (65 words)

I believe there is always room for growth, understanding, communication and improvement. I believe it’s important to educate our taxpayers of what their office does for them. We will also continue to work with staff to develop our team spirit and goals of providing quality customer service and best accounting standards, practices and internal procedures to safeguard taxpayer dollars.




Candidates for
Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority
(SSCAFCA)

SSCAFCA was established by the legislature in 1990 and generally covers Sandoval County west of the Rio Grande to the Rio Puerco, north to US 550 and south to the Bernalillo County line. www.sscafca.com/. Five at-large directors are elected for staggered six-year terms. Two directors’ positions are up for election. The two candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be elected. No salary, but directors may choose to accept a per diem of $95 a day when conducting SSCAFCA business.

David L. Stoliker

David L. Stoliker

1. Why are you running for the office of SSCAFCA Board of Directors and what qualifies you to be a SSCAFCA director? (65 words)

am running to “give back” to the community that I have lived in for the last 25 years. I am a registered professional civil engineer and I have spent my career (40+ years) planning, designing and constructing all types of public works projects, including dams and other flood control projects. I desire to use this expertise to serve the public’s interest.

2. What are the two most important issues that fall within SSCAFCA’s jurisdiction? As a board member, how would you address these issues? (65 words)

Issue #1. SSCAFCA is the lead agency in providing flood control/protection within our community. I am offering to oversee/guide their efforts using the knowledge gained in my career. Issue #2. Protect the public’s funds. I have an MBA from UNM and I am very familiar with budgeting and overseeing project budgets. I will work to insure that the public’s money is properly spent.

3. Please discuss how communication between SSCAFCA and the public can be improved? (65 words)

Open communication and transparency are keys to public service. I have found that when I treat others with respect and honest communication, they have reciprocated. I will work to develop an open line of communication and be receptive to the public’s input.

4. How do you think SSCAFCA affects the quality of life of district residents? (65 words)

SSCAFCA is a positive force for improving the quality of life within our district. Haynes Park would not be the wonderful facility it is today without SSCAFCA. Unfortunately, storms are a destructive force adversely affecting us. I want to help turn this destructive force into something that will improve our quality of life as well as protect us.

Steve M. House

Steve M. House

1. Why are you running for the office of SSCAFCA Board of Directors and what qualifies you to be a SSCAFCA director? (65 words)

Longtime resident striving for public health and safety through proactive and quality storm water management. NM registered professional civil engineer with 29 years of experience. Extensive experience with local and national engineering community providing SSCAFCA insight into engineering costs, design alternatives and operations/maintenance options. Working knowledge of all public entities located within SSCAFCA enabling efficient communication between SSCAFCA, those governing bodies

2. What are the two most important issues that fall within SSCAFCA’s jurisdiction? As a board member, how would you address these issues? (65 words)

Protecting citizens and property from storm water runoff (Continue education efforts with the public related to storm water flood hazards, administer public funds prudently inviting public input at our board meetings, continue to procure federal funding helping local dollars to go further, continue to facilitate the coordination of flood control with other entities for the common good of the public).

3. Please discuss how communication between SSCAFCA and the public can be improved? (65 words)

Some of SSCAFCAs best education/ communication efforts have been through our elementary schools and public event participation. Our increased focus on out-reach to those specific locations/events and the public in general continues to increase such that, over the past 5 years one of our staff members’ duties within their job description is Educational Outreach Director. We also encourage public input into all our activities.

4. How do you think SSCAFCA affects the quality of life of district residents? (65 words)

SSCAFCA has a Quality of Life Master Plan Quality_of_Life_MP.pdf that provides an overarching approach to all that we do. It’s a living document that addresses the entire SSCAFCA service region with its varying environmental conditions, land use and jurisdictional policies. Examples: Multi-Use Facilities, Sport Fields, Public Parks, Play Grounds, Open Space

James F. Fahey, Jr.

James F. Fahey, Jr.

1. Why are you running for the office of SSCAFCA Board of Directors and what qualifies you to be a SSCAFCA director? (65 words)

As a village councilor in Corrales I was very concerned in 2006 about the impact the storms that summer had on my community. Beginning then I spent time learning about the problems and ways to address them. I was elected in 2011 to the board and am now the chairman. In the last few years many projects benefitting SSCAFCA’s jurisdiction have been completed.

2. What are the two most important issues that fall within SSCAFCA’s jurisdiction? As a board member, how would you address these issues? (65 words)

Storm water management which includes flood control would be primary, but protecting our environment and the quality of life for our citizens would be a close second. Our projects usually include a multi use approach: walking trails, bike paths, and maintaining the natural appearance of the environment in addition to flood control.

3. Please discuss how communication between SSCAFCA and the public can be improved? (65 words)

We have a department within SSCAFCA involved in public outreach and education. Schools are visited and students are informed about the problems that confront us in this environment and what they can do. SSCAFCA has become a leader in the area regarding eliminating pollution from our arroyos and river as a result of this education. More is planned to spread the message throughout the jurisdiction.

4. How do you think SSCAFCA affects the quality of life of district residents? (65 words)

As a regional flood control agency SSCAFCA protects property and focuses on providing safety for our citizens. The secondary benefit of our projects is the recreation that is available and the protection of the environment.


Candidates for
Eastern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority
(ESCAFCA)

ESCAFCA was established by the legislature in 2007 and covers Sandoval County east of the Rio Grande, including Bernalillo and Algodones. www.escafca.com/. One position is up for election. No salary, but Directors may choose to accept a per diem of $95 per day when conducting ESCAFCA business.

District 3


Jack S. Torres

Unopposed