RIO RANCHO, N.M. — City Council seats in Districts 1, 4 and 6 are at stake in Rio Rancho’s March 6 municipal election, along with nine proposed revisions to the City Charter.
Council district boundaries have changed this year thanks to a redistricting plan approved in the fall. The biggest change was moving the Enchanted Hills neighborhood from District 6 into District 3, the latter of which will not be contested this year.
The race for the District 1 seat representing southern Rio Rancho pits incumbent Michael Williams against Chuck Wilkins, who hasn’t held elected office but speaks regularly at council meetings.
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To read some biographical information about the City Council candidates, along with their responses to questions from the Rio Rancho Journal go to Page 2
The central Rio Rancho District 4 contest will be between incumbent Steve Shaw and political newcomers Mark Scott and Roberta Radosevich.
District 6 in northeastern Rio Rancho is a four-way race between incumbent Kathy Colley, former seat-holder Marilyn Salzman, Lonnie Clayton and Helene Apper.
The District 6 race could result in a run-off. City election rules require a runoff in races with three or more candidates if none of the candidates wins more than 50 percent of the votes cast.
Michael J. Williams (Mike Williams) incumbent
Education: Attended numerous colleges in the fields of Law Enforcement, Labor Relations, Business and Government; Classes on Emergency Management; Certified Municipal Official through the New Mexico Municipal League.
Occupation: Rio Rancho City Councilor, 2008 to present; Mayor City of Rio Rancho 2007-2008, Rio Rancho City Councilor 2000-2007, Deputy Mayor 5 years, State of New Mexico Special Project Investigator 2008-2010, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sheriff 1985-2005, Communication Workers of America Local 7911 President 1994-2004, Bernalillo County Deputy Sheriff’s Association President 1987-2000, Bernalillo County Deputy Sheriff’s Association Secretary-Treasurer 1985-1987, West Pottsgrove Police Department Police Officer 1983-1984, Jefferson Wards Security Manager 1983-1984, Milford Police Department Police Officer 1975-1983, Molmec Inc. Assistant Foreman 1972-1974.
Family: Wife Kealy; two daughters; one step-son.
Political/government experience: Rio Rancho Governing Body 12 years (including time as Mayor); two terms on Rio Rancho Planning and Zoning Commission; two terms on Rio Rancho Labor Board; eight years United States Coast Guard Auxiliary-Division Captain (also see Occupation).
Major professional accomplishment: Who’s Who: Public Administration, Law Enforcement and Labor Relations. National Medal for Officer of the Year. Transparency in Rio Rancho government. Presbyterian Hospital.
Major personal accomplishment: My family and career.
1. Maintain our high standard of public safety (safest city in state, ISO 3 rating fire). Transparency in city government, maintaining water and road departments while staying within the budget.
2. To reassess and implement them at the lowest possible level, thereby not putting an undue burden on the city finances and create a positive flow of development within the city.
3. Our previous road bond covered these expenses. However, I believe the city should purchase the equipment and train our employees to operate the equipment, thereby saving the city from going out to bid and reducing costs while creating jobs.
4. We have the structure and land on Northern Blvd. Why not use it?
5. My constituents have always had the opportunity to contact and meet with me through my city cell phone or email and have done so, even when not in my District.
6. Streamline the procedures to build the business in our city or to move into an existing building. Have an individual (city employee) assigned to the business from start to end with constant communication. Have the mayor or councilor available to meet with the perspective business owner.
District 1 candidate Charles (Chuck) Wilkins declined to complete a Journal questionnaire.
Roberta M. Radosevich
Education: No Degree, Criminal Justice, University of New Mexico, TVI.
Occupation: Retired Law Enforcement Sergeant, Rio Rancho Police Department 1990-2009.
Family: Husband, Robert; one daughter.
Political/government experience: No previous political office.
Major personal accomplishment: From about seven years old all I wanted to be was a police officer to help people. My mother said I couldn’t because I was a girl, but I persevered and excelled in the field.
Major professional accomplishment: Developed and coordinated the Sandoval County Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response to bring together the police departments, DA’s office, and other countywide agencies to solve community DV problems.
1. Promote a well thought out, fiscally responsible future for the city. Enhance economic independence to increase businesses, jobs, transportation and wages.
Maintain and improve the quality of life for the citizens to include their safety and services.
2. Impact fees are an important part of providing the necessary infrastructure for the city. They provide for roads, public safety facilities and wastewater treatment. They should be competitive with the surrounding area.
3. It is obvious by driving down many of the roads in Rio Rancho that this is a community necessity. Appropriate prioritization and fiscal management are the keys to addressing the repairs and maintenance of the roads.
4. I would support a second facility that our seniors could utilize to enhance their quality of living, however, I believe the funding for the facility should come from grants or other similar funding sources.
5. We work for the citizens of the city; it is imperative that the citizens have full access to their city officials, and the officials should host or attend meetings to allow the citizens to voice their concerns.
6. The city has many attributes that make it attractive to businesses, however, it is important that all perspective businesses, both large and small are treated equitably and that the process is streamlined to reflect this.
Education: Grossmont College: Theatrical lighting, Photography, Liberal Studies 1974-1979.
Occupation: Self employed for the past 20 years. Employment info can be found on LinkedIn.
Family: wife, Paula; one son.
Political/government experience: Chair, City of Rio Rancho Lighting Task Force 2010-2011.
Major professional accomplishment: Within the last 20 years, created three successful businesses.
Major personal accomplishment: Provided free ski lift ticket program to over a thousand students over the last 5 years.
1. Public safety; business friendly city; increase gross receipts.
2. Impact fees are critical for overall infrastructure but where they already exist, some or all of the impact fees could be offset, or adjusted when the business produces gross receipt taxes.
3. Stop wasteful spending. Focus our attention back on the basic needs of our city and our citizens.
4. Neither. I believe a community center that ALL citizens of Rio Rancho can use would be a better approach.
5. Promote neighborhoods to form associations that can bring issues to their city council. Remove the fear that small businesses have now that if they speak up there could be repercussions.
7. Engage city staff members, the local business community and citizens in regards to their role in being business friendly. Treat all city employees with respect and they will help carry the message.
Steven L. Shaw (incumbent)
Education: Graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree, Applied Management (Public Safety), 2003, National American University.
Occupation: Law Enforcement Training/SFST Coordinator with T.A.C.T. & Associates, Inc. 2007 to Present; Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety (Police Department), 1986-2006, retired as Deputy Chief.
Family: wife, Judy; three daughters.
Political/government experience: City of Artesia Parks & Recreation Commission, 1984-1985; State of New Mexico, State D.A.R.E. Board, Governor King and Governor Johnson; City of Rio Rancho, City Councilor, District 4, 2008 to present; MRCOG – Metro Transportation Board and Chair Rio Metro Transit District Board.
Major professional accomplishment: Obtaining my degree while working/raising a family and attending the FBI National Academy and to apply that knowledge.
Major personal accomplishment: Raising three daughters to respect others and to lead by example both personally and professionally.
1. Increase economic based and commercial retail business – business and the gross receipts taxes they are the backbone of our economy. Keep public safety a priority. Improve public infrastructure, roads and facilities.
2. Development adds additional demand on our communities existing infrastructure, impact fees were established as a means for new development to help pay the cost of expanding infrastructure to meet those added demands.
3. The city receives a portion of the gasoline tax from the state specifically for road maintenance; these funds ($200K) are nowhere close to what is needed to maintain our roadways. We need to restore a general obligation bond cycle to meet those needs.
4. Support. The existing Meadowlark Senior Center clientele has outgrown its capacity. Construction of a second senior center (north) is a need that we should address.
5. I think the city has done a great deal to inform the public of issues that affect them. The city posts its meeting agenda on the website before council and board/commission meetings; information is available at city facilities, and from media outlets.
6. Rio Rancho has a variety of incentives available to businesses; such as the GRIP, TIDD, PID, IRB, IDZ and other incentives. Supporting property owners changes in zoning to meet the city’s strategic and comprehensive plans where appropriate.
Education: BS in business and education, San Diego State, 1978.
Occupation: Independent legal assistant.
Family: Husband, Alan Apper, and one son.
Political/government experience: None.
Major professional accomplishment: Helping people with their lives and their futures and the futures of their families.
Major personal accomplishment: Moving to Rio Rancho, knowing no one, and start life all over. It was/is the best move I ever made.
2. Yes, I was forced to file personal bankruptcy in 1992 because of my ex-husband.
1. Communication, Open Government, Accountability
2. Unfortunately, they (impact fees) are a necessary evil.
3. We have to stop Band-Aiding and actually repair. Should get our own equipment and crew to keep costs down. We can’t keep taxing people. Need to reach out for grants from the federal government and other avenues for assistance.
4. Support. We have an older population and I think this would be a wonderful addition. I was under the impression that senior housing was also to be built in La Plazuela, but that has not come to fruition as of this date.
5. When something affects a neighborhood, the neighbors should be polled and listened to. Councilors should call neighborhood meetings with regard to the issue. A councilor is supposed to represent the people in their district.
7. Whatever it takes. Wine, dine, TIDD, IRB, GRIP – take your pick. New business means new jobs. New jobs mean income. Income means taxes. Why wouldn’t the city do whatever it takes?
Age: My age is not relevant to this election.
Education: Bachelor of Science degree in food distribution with minor in business administration, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
Occupation: Retired. (See web site, www.clayton4riorancho.com for community activities since retiring)
Family: Wife, Nancy, three children, four grandchildren.
Political/government experience: One year appointed city councilor – 2003; regular attendee and speaker at city government meetings, including City Council, Planning & Zoning, Parks & Rec and charter review meetings.
Major professional accomplishment: More than 35 years successfully working with multi-billion dollar corporations as manager, director, vice-president. Skill areas: logistics, labor contracts, finance, inventory control, retail/wholesale, HR. Five-year owner/operator, million dollar per-year supermarket, Michigan.
Major personal accomplishment: Marrying Nancy, the best lady in my life and raising three very successful children with multiple university degrees and outstanding career paths.
1. Safety, improve fire/police protection. Bring staff in these departments up to par. Improve safety equipment/coverage throughout city in these areas. Roads, maintenance and repair. Resolve issues up front how to pay for same.
Enhance taxpayer’s input at city hall.
2. Developers should not be assessed impact fees in areas where infrastructure is in place. In areas without infrastructure they should be assessed up front, on a prorated basis, depending on size of project, to reduce the cost to taxpayers.
3. Preventive maintenance is the answer. Place a 1 percent fund aside from all bonds passed, only for road repairs and maintenance. Reevaluate the percentage now being spent on scheduled dirt road maintenance versus random paved road maintenance.
4. While on Council in 2003, I did a study on a potential “Community Center” in the Enchanted Hills area. Unfortunately, I left office and the topic and study died. I am still in favor of this project.
5. Upfront input from citizens is the only way the voices of the taxpayers can be heard. Major issues involving certain neighborhoods should be given to that particular councilor to get input. Make those conversations public before the issue hits the council meetings.
6. Assign the task to the council and the mayor to be on a direct communication basis with all interested business entities, not through a second or third party. Stop assessing more fees on the business owners. Change all the business sign ordinance restrictions to be more business friendly, rather than opposing any signage that benefits the owner/operators.
Kathy Colley (Kathleen M Colley) (incumbent)
Education: Cuyahoga Community College, 1972-1974, Business Administration.
Institute of Financial Education, 1988, Diploma Arizona State University, 1987-1988, Graduate Executive Development Program/IFE, Leadership New Mexico, 2009, Local Government Leadership Program Municipal Officials Leadership Institute , 2010–2011, Certified Municipal Officer.
Occupation: Retired Bank Vice President of Branch Administration, TRANSHIO Savings Bank, 1974-1994 Rio Rancho City Councilor District 6, 2008-present.
Family: Husband, George, three stepchildren.
Political/government experience: Rio Rancho City Councilor, 2008-present, Rio Rancho Deputy Mayor, 2009-2011.
Major professional accomplishment: At TRANSOHIO I was the youngest female promoted to the position of VP. More recently, two years serving as Deputy Mayor after only one year in office as Councilor.
Major personal accomplishment: Quitting smoking and winning the New Mexico Senior Women State Golf Championship.
1. Continue efforts to attract new businesses to the city. Obtain funding for road repair and reconstruction.
2. Impact fees are a necessary part of doing business with most communities in New Mexico. At a minimum they partially provide for the revenues necessary to support the increased demands for services and facilities which new development places upon the city.
3. Without any new taxes, the only funding method is voter approval for a general obligation bond. The $22 million request that failed in 2011 would have covered road issues throughout the city. The road improvements made from the 2009 GO Bond are testament to the effectiveness of this funding.
4. I absolutely support a second senior center in Rio Rancho. I believe we can go a step further and make it a multi-generational center to address the needs of a greater number of our residents.
5. We already have numerous conduits for input: the Governing Body, Planning and Zoning, Utilities Commission, Library Board, Parks and Recreation Commission, Senior Services Advisory Board, Library Board and Arts Commission meetings. I encourage residents to contact their councilor directly.
6. We must continue to offer incentives to new businesses. TIDDs, GRIPs, and IRBs are essential to being competitive and building our community. The return on investment is best exemplified by HP, Premiere Cinemas, The Plaza at Enchanted Hills, etc.
Education: Studied at Fordham University, Manhattan Campus, no degree; several political/government-related classes; MOLI (Municipal Officials Leadership Institute – near certification).
Occupation: Self-Employed. 1975-2005, Service-related business.
Family: Widow, no children.
Political/government experience: Rio Rancho City Council, District 6, 2004-2008, Metropolitan Transportation Board: 2004-2007, Sandoval County Health Council: ongoing.
Charter Review Committee: 2000, 1998 Graduate Leadership Sandoval County.
Major professional accomplishment: Started a professional typing service in New York City in 1975, growing that business to six employees while broadening the use of computer-related technology.
Major personal accomplishment: Being nominated and selected in 2000 as the Rio Rancho Hall of Honor recipient for outstanding volunteerism.
1. Eliminate waste and special interest influence in city government. Make government more open and accountable to the citizens of Rio Rancho. Grow small business in Rio Rancho by offering incentives equivalent to those given to big developers and by reducing business fees and red tape.
2. I would support a request for a cost/benefit analysis to determine whether the benefits generated by reducing impact fees will offset the adverse impact on city services and neighborhoods due to reduced income.
3. Dedicate percentage of city budget to road repair and maintenance if not already in place. Fund by cutting waste in city budget, including no-bid/favored-vendor contracts and excessive dirt road maintenance. Dedicate road bonds only for new roads.
4. I support the concept, but in the current economy we need to postpone new construction and explore private enterprise partnerships to expand senior services in Rio Rancho.
5. “Ask Your Councilor” sessions before council meetings or increase public forum time limit from three to five minutes. Dedicate a public gathering area in City Hall, like the overflow room, so citizens attending meetings don’t have to gather in the hallways outside council chambers.
6. Establish public-private partnership accountable for specific results, including retail; Small Business Support Center with staff and volunteer advocates; Task force to target red tape, fees, anti-business ordinances.
1. Have you or your business, if you are or have been a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
3. 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?
1. List your top three priorities if elected.
2. What is your position on impact fees for developers?
3. What measures do you believe the city should take to cover the cost of road repairs, maintenance and improvements in older neighborhoods?
4. Would you support or oppose building a second senior center in Rio Rancho?
5. What, if anything, should be done to enhance the opportunity for members of the public to have input on council action or policy measures that affect their neighborhoods?
6. What measures do you believe the city should take to attract new businesses to Rio Rancho?