Holliday to resign from county commission


Who says you have to die where you’ve always lived?

Donald Holliday: Resigning from commission

Who says you have to die where you’ve always lived?

That’s what Valencia County Commissioner Donald Holliday and his wife of 30 years, Valerie, aim to find out.

After the third time of putting their Bosque Farms property on the market, the farm sold. Now the commissioner will have to resign his position on the commission.

“I am resigning,” Holliday said. “I don’t know the exact date, but I am resigning.”

With the sale of the property, Holliday said they have until August to vacate their home. Even though he hasn’t decided on an official date, Holliday said all the options they are considering will take him out of his commission district and possibly out of state.

“It has been a great privilege to serve on the commission,” Holliday said. “I hate leaving. This came up and it is such an opportunity. If I had realized this was the direction things were going to go, I wouldn’t have run for re-election.”

Holliday was elected to the commission for the first time in 2008 and to his second term in 2012.

Once Holliday resigns from the commission, the governor will appoint his replacement.

The decision to leave Valencia County, and probably the state, comes from a desire to go see new places, Holliday said.

“I’m not leaving because things are bad. I’m not mad about anything,” he said. “I’m not dying, not getting a divorce. This is a beautiful place to grow up, to raise a family. But there are other beautiful places and this is an opportunity to enjoy them with my wife.”

The couple’s three children are grown, living on their own and doing well, he said.

“I’ve been in business since 1983,” said Holliday, who owns Holliday Fence Co. “I’m done building fences. I guess I’ll be semi-retired, but I’ll find something to do.

“I’m the guy who wants to see what’s on the other side of the mountain. We have a myriad of opportunities in front of us. I’m not sure which one we’ll take.”

While he equated his first couple of years as a commissioner to being thrown into a rattlesnake pit, Holliday said the county has made some very positive changes.

“Right now, we are administratively awesome,” he said. “We have made some really good choices and gotten some really good people.”

As a board, the decisions the commissioners made weren’t always right, he said, but “we’re only human. The next commission can come in and change everything. That’s the way it works.”

Looking back at his five-and-a-half years in office, Holliday said there are some things that went well while others didn’t.

“Take solid waste. As much as people fear it, you have to give it time and it will work,” he said. “Be positive.”

He was also happy to at least see the expansion to the county jail started, although it’s still a ways from completion.

“We all had ideas that were great. I thought the idea for a new administration building was fantastic,” he said. “But bottom line, we didn’t have the money. We have a $14 million budget and a $26 million appetite.”

Looking at the county’s future, Holliday encouraged residents and the governing body to look at what the community has to offer, such as copious amounts of sunshine.

“We have a lot of sun. I think the PNM solar project was a big accomplishment,” he said. “And more things like that could be on the way.”

Holliday said his strength as an elected official was that he was “just Don,” and people could talk to him and he would listen.

“I think people felt comfortable with me. I think I served openly, honestly and truthfully,” he said before pausing and then breaking into laughter. “And I probably said some things I shouldn’t have.”

Spending most of his 54 years in the county was a wonderful thing, Holliday said.

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do exactly. But like the guy told me, ‘The sun will come over the Manzanos tomorrow. There’s no stopping that,’” he said.

And no matter where he ends up, Holliday is pretty sure “every day will be a holiday.”

-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.