Valencia County Commission Dist. 1

Republican

Gerard Saiz (I)

Gerard Saiz

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired

Education: High school and some college

Previous elected political offices: Councilor village of Los Lunas; Valencia County Commission District 1

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

  1. What in your experience, education, etc., makes you qualified to represent this Valencia County Commission district?

“I served 19 years as councilor with the village of Los Lunas, I am in my fourth year as a Valencia County Commissioner and second year as chairman.”

  1. How can Valencia County offer services beyond basic public safety to outlying communities, such as Meadow Lake and Highland Meadows?

“The last three years, I have focused my efforts in Highland Meadows. The county plans to use some of our American Rescue Plan Act funds to construct a park and we are also seeking legislative appropriations to build a community center which would allow the county to expand the Older American Program to that area.”

  1. How would you restructure the county’s budget to best support your specific priorities?

“As we work to identify additional revenues my priorities are as follows, public safety to include law enforcement, fire and detention; youth programs, such as recreation; expanding the Older American Program to under-served areas.”


Valencia County Commission Dist. 3

Democrat

Sabrina Sweeney

Sabrina Sweeney

Age: 36

Occupation: Mom, cosmetologist, small business manager

Education: Belen High School, UNM, DeWolf Beauty College

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “No.”

1 What in your experience, education, etc., makes you qualified to represent this Valencia County Commission district?

“I lead an education-focused nonprofit; volunteered for organizations, including H2 Academic Solutions, St. Mary’s School, MLK Jr. Commission, and St. Vincent De Paul; help my parents manage our family business, Hair Innovations; and developed and contributed to community events. These experiences taught me to solve challenges and network effectively.”

  1. How can Valencia County offer services beyond basic public safety to outlying communities, such as Meadow Lake and Highland Meadows?

“Beyond basic public safety, the focus for outlying communities should be (1) advocating for high-speed internet to enable access to services such as virtual doctor visits and school resources, (2) code enforcement, especially litter control, so that property values are maintained, and (3) investment in and maintenance of rural roads.”

  1. How would you restructure the county’s budget to best support your specific priorities?

“The county budget should prioritize public safety, access to mental health and programs for our county’s youth. This will provide long-term solutions to many of our county’s challenges. Next, provide funding for functional public spaces with ADA-accessible accommodations so residents of all abilities can enjoy our river trails and parks.”

 

Republicans

Pablito H. Herrera

Pablito Herrera

Age: 43

Occupation:  Television producer/senior advocate

Education: Diploma

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? “Never.”

  1. What in your experience, education, etc., makes you qualified to represent this Valencia County Commission district?

“Twenty years in television and film, directing film crews for MTV, HBO and National Geographic. Life experience is my strength. I have saved lives and I’ve also been saved! I have failed more than succeeded. I don’t have all the answers but I will work hard for solutions.”

  1. How can Valencia County offer services beyond basic public safety to outlying communities, such as Meadow Lake and Highland Meadows?

“Besides lobbing, asking for capital outlay, reaching out to our state representatives and senate, we need to zone commercially in super low tax areas to draw in more taxes from business, and expansion of utilities, infrastructure. It’s not easy, but it can be done; we just need creative minds to come together.”

  1. How would you restructure the county’s budget to best support your specific priorities?

“I would ensure our resources are aligned with strategic planning. Meet our goals to work hard to create additional commercial opportunities within the county.”

 

Morris R. Sparkman

Morris Sparkman

Age: 27

Occupation: Mechanical engineer

Education: Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering

Previous elected political offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony in New Mexico or in another state? No

  1. What in your experience, education, etc., makes you qualified to represent this Valencia County Commission district?

“Since running for commissioner in 2018, I’ve worked with members of the commission to learn the details of county operations and the duties of being a county commissioner. By using the last four years to reduce the learning curve, I’m ready to hit the ground running on day one.”

  1. How can Valencia County offer services beyond basic public safety to outlying communities, such as Meadow Lake and Highland Meadows?

“Our outlying communities have many needs that often go unnoticed. As commissioner, I’ll make sure these communities aren’t forgotten by being in those areas and talking with the residents to ensure that services that benefit our more populated areas and functional and can be implemented in our rural areas.”

  1. How would you restructure the county’s budget to best support your specific priorities?

“By working with my fellow county commissioners, I’d restructure the county’s budget by prioritizing common needs county-wide and by aggressively looking for alternative revenue sources such as grants to increase our budget while not increasing taxes.”

man's hand placing ballot into box voting

Click the image for more information about voting in the 2022 primary election.

 

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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.