Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District Elections

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Position 4

Teresa Smith de Cherif

Name: Teresa Smith de Cherif (I)
Age: 52
Community: Valencia County, El Cerro de Tomé
Occupation: Medical doctor, farmer and rancher
Education: Doctor of medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine, 2002; master of international affairs and certificate of the institute of African studies, Columbia University, 1987; bachelor of arts, cum laude, Mount Holyoke College, 1983.
Previous political experience: Board member, Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District, 2008 to present; diplomat, delegation of the government of Sao Tomé and Príncipe (West Africa) to the General Assembly of the United Nations, New York, 1986.
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI? “No.”
Have you or your business ever filed for bankruptcy? “No.”
Are you up-to-date on your property taxes? “Yes.”

1. What qualifications, experience or education do you bring to this position?
“During my five years on the board, I have worked to serve all constituents. In 2008, I wrote a friends of the court legal brief to support the residential ranching community of San Clemente. The brief was accepted by the 13th Judicial District Court.
“In 2009, I provided consultation and strategy to a community within our district that is attempting to fight the break up of agricultural preserve zoning within Valencia County. The strategy I suggested was employed as the key argument in the community’s court battle and has prevailed, to date.
“I have been the chairwoman of the Rio Abajo Conservation subcommittee since 2010. I was one of the first advisors to Meadow Lake residents who wanted to convert the abandoned and empty lake to a sustainable park and recreation area for the community. I helped write legislation that was sponsored by Sen. Michael Sanchez this year to fund the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program.”

2. What is the district’s No. 1 short-term priority? How do you propose to accomplish that goal?
“I believe the district’s primary priority is to achieve sustainable and inclusive projects. Most districts underwrite administrative costs through a mill levy, especially because budget cutbacks among federal, state, and charitable funding sources eliminate these costs to awardees. To achieve sustainability and to be able to expand services, we need help from the public through the quarter mill levy. These funds will maintain our conservation programs, such as Whitfield and Rio Abajo, our bosque research, restoration, and fuels reduction efforts, and leverage federal and state funds for cost share programs for local farmers and ranchers.”

3. What does the district need to accomplish in the next four years and how will you be a part of that?
“We can achieve sustainable and inclusive projects by representing all constituents within the district in an open and transparent fashion. I hope to continue to be of service to the people of the district and to continue building harmonious community relations.
“I am committed to opening to the public our second conservation area, Rio Abajo, and hope that a second term on the board will allow me this opportunity.”

Lawrence Sanchez

Name: Lawrence Sanchez
Age: 72
Community: Adelino
Occupation: Farmer and national and international consultant in agricultural products.
Education: “Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture from New Mexico State University; doctorate degree in agriculture production, animal production and conservation from the University of Wyoming.”
Previous political experience: President of the board for the town of Tomé Land Grant; sit on the state land grant committee as well as national agriculture boards.
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI? “No”
Have you or your business ever filed for bankruptcy? “No”
Are you up-to-date on your property taxes? “Yes”

1. What qualifications, experience or education do you bring to this position?
“I have ranched all my life. I have actual experience on the job, not just book learning, plus book learning. I have always farmed and ranched and still do. This is nothing new.
“I work with agriculture consultants nationally and internationally, and they have got to know something about agriculture. I think part of problem now-a-days is people are on boards for the prestige or to make a name.”

2.) What is the district’s No. 1 short-term priority? How do you propose accomplish that goal?
“The board has never addressed issues concerning farmers or ranchers. They have never done what should done. What kind of conversation has been done? They haven’t helped anyone yet.
“True, maybe they don’t have money to help, but they need to at least address the issues. They have strictly addressed Whitfield and Rio Abajo (conservation areas). They need to talk to the farmers and ranchers, find out what is needed. Ask how can they help and build a plan.”

3. What does the district need to accomplish in the next four years and how will you be a part of that?
“We need to get some funding and set up a cost share program for farmers and ranchers for soil and water conservation. We can help with those kinds of projects. A lot of other counties do that — cost share with farmers and ranchers. It’s what the district is all about.”

Position 3

Name: Joseph Moya (I)
Age: 62
Community: Valencia
Occupation: Retired school teacher.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in agriculture from New Mexico State University; master’s degree in agriculture from Highlands University.
Previous political experience: Served on board for 10 years; acting board chairman for 2010; board chairman since 2011.”
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI? “No”
Have you or your business ever filed for bankruptcy? “No”
Are you up-to-date on your property taxes? “Yes”

1. What qualifications, experience or education do you bring to this position?
“I bring a lifetime of being an agriculture person, plus my experience on the board.”
2. What is the district’s No. 1 short-term priority? How do you propose accomplish that goal?
“We need to continue trying to improve property here at Whitfield (Wildlife Conservation Area) and just a lot of work across the district. I do a lot of volunteer work myself on these projects and I will continue that. I really enjoy working with Molly Madden and the kids planting trees.”

3. What does the district need to accomplish in the next four years and how will you be a part of that?
“Well the 10 to 15 year plan is to keep going with what we’re doing. We are trying to get a mill levy passed so we can pay our staff and administrative assistant, and operating costs. We are trying to do the best we can with what we have.”