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Belen City Council

Danny Bernal Jr. 

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Danny Bernal Jr. 

Age: 21

Occupation: Investigations assignments supervisor of ADC LTD NM

Education: University of New Mexico; high school diploma, Belen High School.

Previous elected offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? No.

1. If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

“1. Roads, fix Belen’s roads that haven’t been touched for 30 years. Declare war on broken sidewalks and potholes. 2. Crime, Belen needs be safe and feel safe. No tolerance for speeding and ensuring our property is safe. 3. Community improvement, remove or cleanup vacant eyesores. Invest in commercial districts.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“I have worked diligently for Belen. I led the old City Hall cleanup project, created a budget for FY20 to bring tourism to Belen, brought people from Albuquerque and around the county to watch The Hub Community Theatre’s plays, coordinated the Farmers Market vendors, and advocated for better road conditions.”

3. How should the city address the staffing shortage within the Belen Police Department?

“Use the budget surplus the city has gained; raise the police department wages and advertise for more police officers. Have an active and strong police chief.

“Promote from within the department for morale. Then hire quality police officers from outside. Strive for only the best, those who are loyal and true.”

Wayne R. Gallegos (I)

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Wayne Gallegos

Age: 58

Occupation: Retired fire chief, emergency manager

Education: Belen High School, New Mexico Fire Academy, National Fire Academy, UNM School of Medicine EMS Academy

Previous elected offices: Three terms on the Belen City Council

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? No.

1. If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

“Support of flood authority board for Belen and Valencia County. Improve infrastructure, roads, water and sewer lines old and new where needed for economic growth. Quality-of-life projects by updating walk ways, parks and recreation fields.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“Knowledge and experience of project details. Communication with citizens; I encourage public input and public participation. My loyalty and experience dealing with public service and tradition of putting people first. I am retired and I have the time needed for a life committed to public service.”

3. How should the city address the staffing shortage within the Belen Police Department?

“We need to support the change of culture within the police department and become unified to better serve the residents of Belen.

“Police staffing and retention problems are state wide. Invest in our youth to join our police department, create a public service safety program in handling non-priority calls.”

Robert Noblin

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Robert Noblin 

Age: 42

Occupation: Noblin Funeral Service owner

Education: Degree in Mortuary Science

Previous elected offices: President of the New Mexico Funeral Service Association

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? No.

1. If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

“As a business owner and citizen of Belen, my top three priorities are, and have been: community, crime, and appropriate infrastructure. Without a safe, clean community we can’t attract more people, we can’t attract more commercial growth; the three are all directly connected.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“I want what’s best for Belen and its citizens. I moved to Belen and started a thriving business without the benefit of having friends and family in high places. I have the passion and know-how, and am beholden to no one, aside from the citizens who deserve change.”

3. How should the city address the staffing shortage within the Belen Police Department?

“Leadership begins at the top. We must strive to promote from within, so our officers know we have confidence in them. We must train and treat our officers with the respect that we expect them to show our citizens. We will work to create and maintain a comfortable, successful work environment.”

Rio Communities City Council

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Jerry Don Gage

Jerry Don Gage

Age:57

Occupation: Retired

Education: current student

Previous elected offices: None

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? No.

1. If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

“Economic development, community awareness and common sense.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“My passion for greatness. Our new city is the diamond of Valencia County; let’s give it a shine.”

3. How can the city attract more businesses to the area?

“By making our city the best choice to bring it to.”

Margaret “Peggy” Gutjahr (I)

Peggy Gutjahr

Peggy Gutjahr

Age: 78

Occupation: Retired registered nurse

Education: B.S.N , M.S.N. and C.M.O.

Previous elected offices: Current Rio Communities city councilor

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? No.

1. If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

“Public Safety: Secure sustainable funds for a second VCSO deputy; implement Citizen Patrol; support the fire department and code enforcement officer. Infrastructure: Continue road repair/replacement projects; increase street lighting; identify and resolve community communication gaps. Provide for recreational activities and space: Develop a plan for on-site recreation/community gatherings.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“I raised my family in Rio Communities and understand its priorities. During my five years on the city council, I voted to secure a full-time VCSO deputy, established the Council Action Priority System and laid the foundation for a Citizen Patrol. I am a willing listener and solution seeker.”

3. How can the city attract more businesses to the area?

“Continue making this a clean, welcoming city with a vision. Actively participate in the incubator project and in Albuquerque Economic Development. Support the 62 small businesses in Rio Communities with a Small Business Association and a place to meet; their growth is the economic base for Rio Communities.”

Arturo Sais (I)

Arturo Sais

Arturo Sais

Age: 73

Occupation: Retired as director from the New Mexico Fire Academy in Socorro

Education: Master’s degree from USC

Previous elected office: City councilman (four years) for city of Rio Communities

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? No.

1. If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

“I strongly believe we need to fund an ‘effective drainage system’ for our community to divert flooding problems that could occur from the Manzano Mountains. Complete our City Hall building through grants, etc. Hire another police officer for our city, and continue funding projects that enhance protection for our citizens, such as lighting, sidewalks/paths, safer roads, etc.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“Due to my spouse and I longevity of living in Rio Communities; business owners, public service, knowledge of our needs, my involvement in the initial P&Z (planning) process to establish policies and procedures for our city; four active years as your city councilman, active participation in municipal league training (municipal league), cleaning our city (trash), etc.”

3. How can the city attract more businesses to the area?

“Our government structure is surely and effectively falling in place; our needs are identified and our solutions are falling into place without “overburdening our residents.” Business’s are being made aware of our potential and population base by our hard working and dedicated EDC. Businesses will come and when they arrive will have a strong foundation.”

John K. Thompson

John Thompson

John Thompson

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired

Education: Master’s degree in business with a focus on organizational development; bachelor’s degree in business in finance/economics; associate degree in math, and in physics

Previous elected offices: None.

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? No.

1. If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

“Public safety is No. 1. A safe community helps to (2) attract the residents, (3) which will attract the businesses, which will allow us to then grow our community, pave our streets and build recreational areas. A safe community is the foundation for growth and peace of mind.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“My background is analysis and problem solving. As a Marine intelligence officer, small business owner and financial advisor, my background makes me well qualified. My master’s degree is in organizational development, BA in finance/economics; I’ve served on a traffic commission, downtown redevelopment and currently am on Rio Communities Planning and Zoning Commission.”

3. How can the city attract more businesses to the area?

“We must offer a safe community. Businesses want rooftops and residents want a safe place to live. We must reduce red tape, minimize procedural delays, offer a business friendly environment, and have an effective marketing plan to let investors know where we are to attract their businesses.”

Jim Winters

Jim Winters

Jim Winters

Age: 71

Occupation: Retired

Education: BS Medical Technology (Medical Laboratory Science); minor in chemistry

Previous elected office: None.

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? No.

1. If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

“Crime issues, serious shortage of officers, rising cost to hire, equip, insure and maintain them offers serious financial challenges. Limited access to health care is a detriment to our community. Survival of life-threatening illness requires much needed stabilization and transport. Safety includes street lights, safe walking and roads.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“Countless hours involved with the development of Rio Communities and working behind the scenes to help plan and implement solutions are great preparation for the job. Working on the Economic Development and Planning/Zoning Commissions has prepared me for the give and take of governing body (council) decisions.”

3. How can the city attract more businesses to the area?

“Our business has declined over many years, but paying them to come here won’t work. We must create an environment where they want to come. We’re in the best position in more than 10 years. We are getting the calls, but finding that big group hasn’t happened yet. It will happen!”

Allan A. Zach

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Allan Zach

Age: 83

Occupation: Retired hospital construction manager

Education: Three and 1/2 years

Previous elected offices: None.

Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a DWI or a felony? No.

1. If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

“My top three priorities for our city are a fully-active police department with a chief and two officers minimum. Next, a much-needed health care system to serve our city and surrounding communities. Finally, a major street work with curbs and sidewalks throughout with related cleanup from curb to setback.”

2. Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

“I am qualified because my college education in industrial technology and 20 years as a construction manager coupled with my work ethics and my desire to get the job done and learn the mechanics of city operations make me very qualified.”

3. How can the city attract more businesses to the area?

“Our city can attract businesses by aggressive advertising its long- and short-term goals, offering very attractive building sites and promote the ease of shipping and receiving of goods and services by rail or ground transport systems with easy access to the interstate system.”

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