Q&A Bernalillo County Commissioner District 2 Candidate Frank Baca
- NAME: Frank Baca
POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat
- PLACE OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
EDUCATION: Juris doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, 1981; Bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University, 1977; Rio Grande High School, 1973
- OCCUPATION: Retired since 2019; previously Crimes against Children prosecutor and Deputy in Charge, 13th Judicial District Attorney’s office, 2015-2019; New Mexico Gaming Control Board, General Counsel and Executive Director, 2003-2015
FAMILY: Three adult children, eight grandchildren
POLITICAL/GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: Previous candidate for County Commission, 1980’s
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.votefrankbaca.com
1.) What is the top priority in your District and how would you address it as a county commissioner? Accessibility and Accountability. A commissioner needs to be available to attend public meetings, answer constituent phone calls and generally be involved in the community and supportive of existing and new projects and initiatives. A commissioner must be accountable for addressing the needs of the community. Having retired, I have the time to attend to the responsibilities.
2.) Under what circumstances, if any, would you support a tax increase? And what types, if any, would you support? Tax increases should be the last resort and should be based on public referendum.
3.) Where specifically should the county look to cut its budget if the COVID-19-related economic shutdown creates a significant revenue shortfall? The County must prioritize projects. Keeping people employed is a priority as are basic infrastructure projects, which serve the dual purpose of stimulating the economy and addressing basic needs of the community.
4.) How specifically — if at all — do you think the county should partner with the city of Albuquerque for its planned Gateway Center homeless shelter? The concept of a single location is of concern considering responses from some who work directly with this population. However, the County, through the Behavioral Health tax program, is in position to provide badly needed resources to have a serious impact on the inter-related issues of mental health, substance abuse, alcoholism and homelessness.
5.) Do you agree with the county’s current immigrant-friendly policy, which, among other things, prohibits jail staff from providing information to immigration authorities unless legally required to do so? Yes. Federal immigration authorities have their jobs and Bernalillo County employees have theirs. As a former prosecutor, I am well aware that much of the relevant information is public record and that Federal officials have the resources to keep a close eye on violent offenders.
6.) What, if anything, will you do as a commissioner to prevent further cost increases at the county’s new headquarters project, now estimated at $65 million? The growing cost of the project is of great concern to me and certain amenities such as the rooftop park and walking path should be delayed if not, eliminated.
7.) Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens? A lien was filed and released in the 1980’s.
8.) Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding? No.
9.) Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? No.