While the vacant seat on the Valencia County Commission hasn’t been filled yet after the sudden resignation of David Carlberg last month, there are nine District 2 residents interested in the position.
Through an Inspection of Public Records Act request, the Valencia County News-Bulletin has obtained the resumes and letters of interest submitted to the governor’s office for consideration.
The deadline to apply was Monday, Jan. 13, but so far, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has not yet selected anyone to fill the vacancy.
The governor’s appointee will serve the remainder of Carlberg’s term, which expires in 2020. The press release from the governor’s office stipulated that Lujan Grisham will appoint someone who will not seek the seat in the 2020 election, to allow the voters of the district to choose their commissioner at that point.
The applicants are Beatrice Bell, Justin Carmona, Leyda Martinez Hahn, Torres G. Leyba, Alyssa Marlar, Ralph Miramontes, Tom “Neckbone” Mraz, Paul Padilla and Mark E. Sisneros.
Bell, a Meadow Lake resident for more than 50 years, has been a code enforcement officer for Valencia County since 2016. Prior to that, she was a program technician for the USDA Farm Services Administration in Socorro and Catron counties.
Bell, a Belen High School graduate, spent 20 years with the New Mexico Livestock Board, serving much of her time there as a certified livestock inspector, after completing the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy.
Carmona has interned for New Mexico Sen. Sander Rue and U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich.
A Tomé resident, Carmona is finishing his bachelor’s degrees in sociology and political science at The University of New Mexico this May, and will have a master’s degree in business administration in December, also from UNM.
He served as student body president while he was at Canon Christian Academy, where he graduated from in 2016. According to his resume, Carmona has been a campaign worker for various candidates since 2005, where he managed phone banks, gathered petition signatures and organized rallies.
He closed his letter by agreeing to not seek reelection to the seat this year.
Hahn, a Rio Communities resident, has been an escrow officer for New Mexico Land & Title Company since October. She was a realtor in Miami, Fla., for 11 years prior to moving to Valencia County.
Leyba, a Meadow Lake resident, is a Los Lunas High School graduate and earned an associate degree in general studies from The University of New Mexico-Valencia campus.
He has served as an election clerk for Valencia County from 1994 to 2008, was elected president of the Meadow Lake Community Association 1995-97, served as the chairman of the Democratic Party of Valencia County precinct 28 for Meadow Lake form 1995 to 2003, was the chairman of the Democratic Party of Valencia County Young Democrats from 1995-97 and 2003-05, and was a delegate for Valencia County at the DPVC pre-primary convention in 2000 and 2002.
Leyba currently represents Congressional District I as a member of the State Central Committee for the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
He also stated he would not pursue reelection to the position.
Marlar, of Los Lunas, served in the U.S. Army for 11 years as an intelligence analyst, applying research methodologies to complex military operational issues.
She led analytical focal groups, created detailed mission analysis and provided insight to sensitive intelligence efforts. Marlar was deployed to Iraq and South Korea during her time in the service, and obtained a top secret clearance with sensitive compartmented information access.
From 2010 to 2013, she was a Bolivia country intelligence analyst and a Colombia counter terrorism intelligence analyst in 2010 for the U.S. Souther Command
After leaving the Army, Marlar earned an associate degree in science in business management in 2015 and a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 2017, both from Brown Mackie College.
Five years ago, she, along with three business partners, started a hops farm in Belen, which has expanded into livestock care.
Miramontes, an El Cerro resident since 1986, has worked for Los Lunas Schools, UNM-Valencia and, since 2002, has been a prosecution assistant fro the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s office.
In his letter to the governor, Miramontes says he intends to run for the District 2 seat this year. He ran in 2008, in an uncontested primary, but lost to Georgia Otero-Kirkham in the general election. In 2012, he lost the primary election to Alicia Aguilar.
Mraz, a resident of Meadow Lake for 14 years, started the Meadow Lake Kids Club in 2015, has been a board member of the Meadow Lake Park Area Association for the last four years and has been an executive board member of the Valencia County Juvenile Justice Board since 2016.
Mraz was a member of the county’s trash task force that worked on community-based efforts to tackle the illegal dumping in the county.
He has been the vice president of the Valencia Community Action Network, a nonprofit he helped create, that helps mobilize the Meadow Lake community and create community action since 2017.
Padilla, of El Cerro, was a member of the U.S. Army reserves for six years. He is now an independent contractor helping families and individuals with special needs get their developmentally disabled/Mi Via waivers from the state of New Mexico Department of Health.
Padilla was a bus driver for the Albuquerque Public Transit system from 1992 to 2017.
Sisneros was born and raised in Tomé and now lives there with his wife and two children.
A graduate of Los Lunas High School, Sisneros has worked for Sandia National Laboratory as a facilities technologies planner for four years. Prior to that, he worked for various contractors at Kirtland Air Force Base for 20 years. He is also a youth sports volunteer coach.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.