LOS LUNAS VILLAGE COUNCIL

DISTRICT 1

Christopher Ortiz (I)

Age: 42

Christopher Ortiz

Current occupation: Insurance specialist for the Los Lunas Public Schools

Highest level of education: Los Lunas High School graduate

Previously held public office: Village of Los Lunas Council District 1

Have you ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor, or any felony offenses in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain. “No.”

What qualifications/experience do you feel you possess that will enable you to fulfill the responsibilities of the elected office you are seeking?

“I have served on the village council for the last 5 1/2 years. I have learned much of how local government and our departments are ran as far as budgeting, policies, ordinances, development and infrastructure to name a few. I will continue to research and educate myself to make sure the best practices/decisions are being made for the village and our constituents.”

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

“I would still like to continue improving the quality of life. We have made efforts to improve our parks, like adding a splash pad, constructing turf fields, tennis courts, cleaning up the river park, created after-school sports/programs for kids. I would also like to work on decreasing major concerns, like speeding, car theft/break-ins and homelessness.”

What are the most important challenges facing the community, and how do you propose to address them?

“With only one way into the village, traffic has always been our biggest challenge to face. With the I-25 corridor now being a reality, the second exit should solve this problem. However, the village will continue to work on ways to alleviate traffic by adding decel lanes and through roads to keep traffic moving as well as looking at frontage roads to avoid traffic build up in case of emergencies.”

Is the current infrastructure in the village adequate for continued growth? If not, what should be the plan for improvements?

“Current as well as past council and staff have always looked into the future to make sure village infrastructure is planned and ready for growth. We have ICIP and master plans designed for many years down the road, so we are able to keep up with old, current and future infrastructure as well as keeping up to date with advancement of our systems.”

 

DISTRICT 3

Cruz Muñoz (I)

Age: 74

Cruz Munoz

Current occupation (If retired, from what field): Financial marketing

Highest level of education: College, BSMB

Previously held public office: Village of Los Lunas Planning and Zoning Commission, Los Lunas Village Council

Have you ever been arrested, charged with or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony offenses in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain. “No.”

What qualifications/experience do you feel you possess that will enable you to fulfill the responsibilities of the elected office you are seeking?

“Resident of Los Lunas for life; career in finance and marketing for 50 years.”

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

“1. I-25 Interchange ($125 million); 2. Central Rail Park utility extension ($6.4 million); 3. Carson Park phase II infrastructure improvements such as as roads, sewer and water ($7.5 million); 4. VRECC radio upgrades ($3.2 million); 5. Castillo Street road improvements ($1.3 million); 6. River Park improvements ($200,000); 7. Daniel Fernandez Park ($5 million).”

What are the most important challenges facing the community, and how do you propose to address them?

“1. Issues of fast growth; 2. Commercial developments; 3. Developing agreements with property owners and developers.”

Is the current infrastructure in the village adequate for continued growth? If not, what should be the plan for improvements?

“The infrastructure today is adequate, but with our fast growth, we need to continuously keep upgrading our sewer and water systems.”

 

DISTRICT 4

Phillip Jaramillo (I)

Age: 65

Phillip Jaramillo

 

Current occupation (If retired, from what field): Retired after 26 years as the Village of Los Lunas administrator

Highest level of education: BA in mathematics

Previously held public office: Current District 4 councilman in Los Lunas

Have you ever been arrested, charged with or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony offenses in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain. “No.”

What qualifications/experience do you feel you possess that will enable you to fulfill the responsibilities of the elected office you are seeking?

“I have been in public service for over 35 years. Worked for the federal government for seven years in Washington, D.C., four years in Las Vegas as community development director and 26 years as the village of Los Lunas administrator. Was president of the chamber of commerce for many years.”

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

“Continue to work on traffic congestion projects such as the I-25 interchange coming soon. The Edeal Road traffic light is also being designed and will be built within the next 12 months. I will work hard to fully fund replacement of water, sewer lines, improve drainage and replace pavement and sidewalks on Carson Drive. Continue our efforts to build a swimming pool connected to the new gym being built in the next year.”

What are the most important challenges facing the community, and how do you propose to address them?

“Our growth is always a challenge but great planning and forward thinking by the village council and staff will allow the village to grow in an orderly manner. Quality-of-life projects, such as a swimming pool, will continue to be a challenge finding the resources to build these projects will be my highest priority.”

Is the current infrastructure in the village adequate for continued growth? If not, what should be the plan for improvements?

“Yes, the village council and staff have developed infrastructure master plans that keep the village ahead of our growth needs, for instance the next water well is already being built and should come on line soon. The wastewater treatment plant has already been upgraded to meet our growth demands.”

 

Helen Jaramillo

Age: 60

Helen Jaramillo

Current occupation (If retired, from what field):  Retired from State of New Mexico Department of Health.

Highest level of education: Graduated from Albuquerque High School, College of Santa Fe, and UNM-VC.

Previously held office: This will be my first time as a candidate.

Have you ever been arrested, charged with or convicted of drunk driving, misdemeanor or any felony offenses in New Mexico or any other state: If so, explain: “No.”

What qualifications/experience do you feel you possess that will enable you to fulfill the responsibilities of the elected office you are seeking?

“As a longtime resident of Los Lunas, I’ve worked directly with many in the community to build healthy relationships and feel my experience in the public health sector would be an asset to the Los Lunas Village Council. I also believe that Los Lunas needs a proactive, hard-working woman to represent our community.”

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

“I will continue to be an advocate for the youth of our community. I feel that many young families are not represented well and I would like to focus on more affordable activities such as an aquatic center and a series of fun activities during the summer months. This would also incorporate our teen community with opportunities for part-time jobs. Los Lunas really doesn’t have enough activities for our youth.”

  What are the most important challenges facing the community, how do you propose to address them?

“Los Lunas continues to grow. That’s a blessing and a curse! Although the construction for our new exit has been approved and is underway, we still have a traffic problem on Main Street. While growth offers opportunities for new business, we should continue supporting our long-lasting businesses, many of which sustained economic hardships during the pandemic. We can’t forget those businesses that continue to serve our community.”

Is the current infrastructure in the village adequate for continued growth? If not what should be the plan for improvements?

“For the time being, our infrastructure is adequate, but there’s always room for improvement. I’d like to take a proactive approach on transportation as we continue to grow. I’d like to see more communication and transparency with the community when new projects are being discussed and ways to improve our quality of life.”

 

Dr. James T. Runyon

Age: 53

James Runyon

Current occupation (If retired, from what field): Pastor/professor

Highest level of education: Doctorate

Previously held public office: None

Have you ever been arrested, charged with or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony offenses in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain. “No.”

What qualifications/experience do you feel you possess that will enable you to fulfill the responsibilities of the elected office you are seeking?

“As a pastor, I work daily to unify people toward a larger goal. I manage church employees as well as oversee ministries like the food bank (serving hundreds of families monthly) and The Branch Coffee Shop (our community outreach next to Albertsons). Throughout the pandemic, both the church and The Branch thrived in spite of the many restrictions and burdens placed on us. I believe I can be a unifying force in our community.”

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

“As a village councilman, I plan to listen to small businesses and the people of our community, so all are equally represented. Over the last several years, small businesses have been sanctioned, highly regulated until many closed down. Meanwhile, large chain stores had freedom to grow. I hope to give the people of Los Lunas better access to city services and opportunities, so they can prosper without the weight of regulations and increasing taxes.”

What are the most important challenges facing the community, and how do you propose to address them?

“Catching up to the growth here has become vital. The village of Los Lunas should be a haven for anyone wanting to start a family or grow a business. I plan to work with the city planning commission for a tighter transition toward future growth. Meanwhile, we still need better streets, parks (another dog park) and a local pool. I plan to move the council from reacting to problems to planning ahead.”

Is the current infrastructure in the village adequate for continued growth? If not, what should be the plan for improvements?

“Unanticipated growth has come too quickly with no apparent plan to add ease-of-access through the village. The introduction of large companies has brought early deterioration leading to more construction and standstill traffic. Thankfully, we have another I-25 exit on the way but still need more east/west roads. Present roads need to be widened and places of growth identified, so we can get infrastructure in place before another wave of incoming residents and businesses move in.”

 

 

 

VOTING INFORMATION: Absentee by mail

Monday through Friday, through Thursday, Oct. 28

  • Valencia County Clerk’s Office

444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

Request an absentee ballot by calling the Valencia County Bureau of Elections, 866-2080 or visit the Secretary of State’s website, sos.state.nm.us. Ballots must be returned by 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Absentee ballot secure drop box locations

  • Valencia County Administrative Building

444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

  • Bosque Farms Public Library

1455 W. Bosque Loop, Bosque Farms

VOTING INFORMATION: Early in-person

8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 5-29 (Monday through Friday)

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 30

•County Clerk’s Office (Bureau of Elections)

444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

VOTING INFORMATION: Early voting

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Oct. 16-30 (Monday through Saturday)

•Belen Community Center

305 Eagle Lane, Belen

•Village of Los Lunas Village Hall

660 Main St., Los Lunas

•Town of Peralta Town Hall

90-A Molina Rd., Peralta

•City of Rio Communities City Hall

360 Rio Communities Blvd., Rio Communities

VOTING INFORMATION: Election Day Voting Convenience Centers

(Any registered Valencia County voter can cast a ballot at any center.)

7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 2

  • Belen Community Center

305 Eagle Ln., Belen

  • Belen Consolidated Schools Administration Building

520 N. Main St., Belen

  • City of Rio Communities City Hall

360 Rio Communities Blvd., Rio Communities

  • Don Jose Dolores Cordova Cultural Center

426 Jarales Rd., Jarales

  • El Cerro Community Center

309 El Cerro Mission Blvd., Los Lunas

  • Los Lunas Schools Administration Building

119 Luna St., Los Lunas

  • Tomé Dominguez de Mendoza Community Center

2933 N.M. 47, Tomé

  • Town of Peralta Town Hall

90-A Molina Rd., Peralta

  • Village of Los Lunas Village Hall

660 Main St., Los Lunas

(Editor’s Note: The village of Bosque Farms opted out of the consolidated local elections in November. The village holds its election in March of even numbered years.)

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.