2012 Municipal Elections: City of Belen

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COUNCIL

Name: David J. Carter

David J. Carter

Age: 56
Occupation:  Transportation services coordinator, Belen Consolidated Schools; part-time instructor, University of Phoenix,     business management and concepts of business ethics
Education: Master of Business Administration, University of Phoenix; Bachelor of Science (Agriculture), New Mexico State University; high school diploma, 1973 graduate Belen High School
Previous political experience: “I have not previously run for elected office …”
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony?  “No.”
Have you or your business ever filed for bankruptcy?  “No.”
Do you currently owe delinquent property taxes in Valencia County? “No.”
1. If elected, what are the top three issues you would like to address while in office?
“Realistically, there is only one issue — the recovery of our city.  When you take a drive up and down Main Street, you see closed and boarded up buildings, where once thriving business used to conduct commerce. New business generates new revenue. Condemned eyesores need to be demolished.”
2. How do you plan to execute your agenda with little to no money in the city’s coffers?
“Develop new and additional revenue sources, in particular recruit industry and new gross receipts, grants and rural development funds. Volunteer task forces of our retired, experienced residents contributing valuable efforts, including applications for rural development federal loan and grant programs designed to develop rural community facilities and stimulate rural employment.”
3. What do you propose to do to generate more revenues for the city?
“A strategic short and long term focused plan to identify and target specific industries that are looking for locations with the resources that Belen offers. Active recruitment of new, light industry creates jobs and income for residents of Belen and will generate lasting revenues.”
4. What qualities and experience make you the best qualified for the position?
“1. I care about Belen; 2. Work experience supervising and managing employees for successful transportation fleets, local and regional, large and small. My 30 plus years of business sense coupled with an MBA and a high work ethic. Belen needs practical and successful business experience.”
5. What volunteer activities have you participated in to better the city of Belen?
“I’ve volunteered in Belen and statewide. I served on an advisory board of the old TVI and as a director of the New Mexico Motor Carriers Association. I was a member and chairman of the New Mexico Safety Management Council. In Belen, I coached and assisted with AYSO soccer teams.”
6. What motivated you to run for city council?
“My wife and I walked south to north down Main Street and along Reinken Avenue taking pictures of more than 60 locations, where businesses once operated. It was an eye-opener — the businesses were gone and many building were boarded. Action needs to be taken to reverse this trend.”

 

Wayne R. Gallegos

Name: Wayne R. Gallegos
Age: 51
Occupation: Retired fire chief and emergency coordinator
Education: Belen High School, New Mexico Fire Academy, National Fire Academy, New Mexico School of Medicine EMS Academy
Previous Political Experience: Four years on Belen City Council
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? “No.”
Have you or your business ever filed for bankruptcy? “No.”
Do currently owe delinquent property taxes in Valencia County? “No.”
1. If elected, what are the top three issues you would like to address while in office?
“City water supply, storm drain improvements, infrastructure old and new where needed.”
2. How do you plan to execute your agenda with little to no money in the city’s coffers?
“We need to allocate funds regionally. Regional funding would encourage local governments including schools to work together to plan and prioritize funding for the regions needs. Together we will reduce costs while maintaining value to the public. The city of Belen will need to budget for grant matching funds.”
3. What do you propose to do to generate more revenues for the city?
“Gross receipts are critical Belen revenues. We must continue to support local business and recruit new business to promote jobs. We need opportunities for small communities and economic partnerships to create tourism infrastructure. Small communities need to put aside their differences and develop ways to work together.”
4. What qualities and experience make you the best qualified for the position?
“I have 30 years experience with city, county, state and federal funds. Good communication is vital importance with the public, management, staff and other agencies.”
5. What volunteer activities have you participated in to better the city of Belen?
“Chairman for Valencia County Senior Support, vice chair Valencia County Older American Program, New Mexico Area Agency on Aging Capital Outlay Committee. Other volunteer activities include multiple clean ups for city of Belen cutting weeds picking up trash.”
6. What motivated you to run for city council?
“The motivation comes from the need for continued implementation of flood control and the urgent high priority infrastructure needs of Belen (water system, waste water sewer system and roads), and with the current nationwide challenge of funding sources, my motivation and time is committed to public service.”

 

Dubra K. (Karnes) Padilla

Name: Dubra K. (Karnes) Padilla
Age: 60
Occupation: UNM-Valencia Campus, Fitness and Wellness education center manager and lecturer II
Education: Bachelor of University Studies with an emphasis in studio art and art history and a Master of Science in physical education from the University of New Mexico
Previous political experience:  None
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felon? “No.”
Have you or your business ever filed for bankruptcy? “No.”
Do you currently owe delinquent property taxes in Valencia County? “No.”
1. If elected, what are the top three issues you would like to address while in office?
“First, revitalize Belen, best accomplished by addressing code enforcement, infrastructure, and local and regional economic development. Second, the safety and quality of life issues for our citizens are vital. Third, for all of the above to occur, leadership is necessary from our mayor, city council, city employees, businesses and community members.”
2 .How do you plan to execute your agenda with little to no money in the city’s coffers?
“It is important to assess all available resources to Belen and evaluate and prioritize Belen’s short-term and long-term needs. We can also research how other small, rural towns, with challenges similar to Belen’s, have moved from just surviving to thriving and determine if Belen can benefit from these same strategies.”
3. What do you propose to do to generate more revenues for the city?
“Community development can improve our economic development outlook. We must pull together to solve our problems and invest in Belen once again. I am proposing we become a small town with big ideas to address our crumbling infrastructure, vacant buildings, loss of jobs, litter, stagnant growth and Main Street vitality.”
4. What qualities and experience make you the best qualified for the position?
“I have strong communication, managerial, grant writing, community mobilizing and research skills related to my Valencia Campus career and Planning and Zoning Committee experience. My knowledge will contribute in fostering a cohesive and balanced approach to governance. Integrity, compassion, creativity, and a strong work ethic are qualities I bring to this position.”
5. What volunteer activities have you participated in to better the city of Belen?
“Since moving to Belen in 1978, I have been involved in numerous volunteer activities; from fundraising, art endeavors, community presentations on health and wellness, committee or board service, planning recreational opportunities, creating a community garden to picking up litter, always striving to make Belen a better place to live.”
6. What motivated you to run for city council?
“I am running for city council because I have the skills and qualities to make a difference. I raised a family here. I know wonderful people here. I will work to keep Belen safe for families, and I want to see it thrive, prosper and retain its unique culture and traditions.”

 

Audrey D. Torres

Name: Audrey D. Torres
Age: 53
Occupation: Retired clerk for the city of Belen
Education: High school, some college and continuing education for local government; prior real estate education
Previous political experience: None
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? “No.”
Have you or your business ever filed for bankruptcy? “No.”
Do you currently owe delinquent property taxes in Valencia County? “No.”
1. If elected, what are the top three issues you would like to address while in office?
“Economic stability, cleanliness of town and youth recreation.”
2. How do you plan to execute your agenda with little to no money in the city’s coffers?
“Planning, citizen input and retention.”
3. What do you propose to do to generate more revenues for the city?
“Educate the public on the importance of local shopping and where and how their tax dollars work.”
4. What qualities and experience make you the best qualified for the position?
“Knowledge of local government laws; prior to city clerk position accounting and management. Local government employee for more than 26 years, 10 with the city of Belen.”
5. What volunteer activities have you participated in to better the city of Belen?
“Adopt-a-park, member of the Valencia County Sheriff’s Posse for scholarship donations to youth.”
6. What motivated you to run for city council?
“Stepping outside and taking the place of an investor and realizing what it would take to make the city a more attractive place to live, build and start a business.”

 

Ronnie Torres

Name: Ronnie Torres
Age: 52
Occupation: Salon owner
Education: Belen High School, Hollywood School of Cosmetology, various courses on municipal government
Previous political experience: Mayor of Belen 1996-2010, Belen City Council 1994-1996
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felon? “No.”
Have you or your business ever filed for bankruptcy? “No.”
Do you currently owe delinquent property taxes in Valencia County? “No.”
1. If elected, what are the top three issues you would like to address while in office?
“1. Create avenues to help our local businesses thrive and grow retention of businesses; 2. Locate resources to increase our public safety departments to insure the safety of our citizens; 3. Help bring back a sense of pride, ensure our zoning officials have the tools to complete their jobs.”
2. How do you plan to execute your agenda with little to no money in the city’s coffers?
“1. Prioritize where money is being spent. Secure more federal grants (non-matching to very low matching loans). Create a friendlier business climate to attract and retain our local businesses, hence increasing our gross receipt taxes.”
3. What do you propose to do to generate more revenues for the city?
“Search for businesses that are in the expansion mode and recruit them to Belen. Work with developers to attract industry, educate the public on the importance of shopping local and helping existing businesses offer more of what the public is after.
4. What qualities and experience make you the best qualified for the position?
“My past 14 years as a public servant. Important contacts I have made, my knowledge on obtaining funding for projects both on the state and federal levels. My willingness to work 24/7 for my community and most importantly my honesty and integrity.”
5. What volunteer activities have you participated in to better the city of Belen?
“Initiated and worked on the Christmas festival and parade for 24 years. Volunteered at Harvey House Museum for more than 15 years, recently creating the displays on Belen history, also Festival of Trees, served on Belen Chamber of Commerce Board for 20 years, help Belen Community Gardens, initiated Belen Main Street Program.”
6. What motivated you to run for city council?
“I cannot sit back and do nothing. As we see our community fall behind, we all need to help in whatever capacity possible. It’s my town, my home, so being on the council will give me the ability to do more. I’m easily accessible and will be your voice.”

 

A. Terese “Tinky” Ulivarri

Name: A. Terese “Tinky” Ulivarri
Age: 58
Occupation: Retired from New Mexico State Parks Training Development coordinator, safety officer, ADA coordinator, regional manager and park manager
Education: Belen High School, 1971; BA Recreation, English minor UNM, 1976; State Law Enforcement Certification, 1979-80
Previous political experience: 12 years on the Belen City Council
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? “No.”
Have you or your business ever filed for bankruptcy? “No.”
Do currently owe delinquent property taxes in Valencia County? “No.”
1. If elected, what are the top three issues you would like to address while in office?
“1. Water retention off the mesa for flood control and the formation of a flood control authority; 2. Replacement of water, sewage, drainage lines and the 50-year-old Eagle tank; 3. Encourage restoration and use of empty business buildings and recruit new business that in turn create jobs for our community.”
2. How do you plan to execute your agenda with little to no money in the city’s coffers?
“It will take time, planning and forward thinking. I will work with our state representatives and congressional delegation to aid us in finding grants and monies. A clean and inviting/friendly climate must exist to attract businesses. I will engage property owners and sponsor workshops to plan and create a positive business climate.”
3. What do you propose to do to generate more revenues for the city?
“Go after grants, state funding and federal monies and leverage them for needed projects. Work with our state and congressional delegation and chamber of commerce’s to shop Belen to possible industrial business and jobs. Open up Rancho Cielo to give Belen more revenue via building jobs, property taxes and retail GRTs.”
4. What qualities and experience make you the best qualified for the position?
“Having previously been on the council for 12 years, I learned how city government operated and what key roles all employees play in running an efficient and responsible city. I bring knowledge and 25 years of state government experience. I know budgets, procurement, grants, safety, training, personnel and administrative practices.”
5. What volunteer activities have you participated in to better the city of Belen?
“ 1. Volunteer weekly at the Belen Community Center; 2. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Commission 20 years; 3. Recreation department summer fests; initiated/ran the Belen co-ed volleyball league  for 30 years; 5. Initiated/ran the Belen Women’s Softball Association for 10 years; and 6. Coordinated the last triathlon held in Belen.”
6. What motivated you to run for city council?
“I care about Belen. I believe in this community. I know funds are low, but you don’t give up, you get creative. I want to give back to the community that helped raise me and taught me that public service is good if you do not compromise your beliefs or integrity.”