For the past 20 years I have worked to improve our schools and provide wholesome activities for our youth, ensure ample clean water for our future, protect our access to public lands, and advocate sustainable economic development. With your support, I will bring these priorities to the County Commission.
We have world-class natural resources and creative, resourceful people. We can build a prosperous future by facilitating innovative business ventures, encouraging local food production, and working with federal agencies and WNMU to take greater advantage of our position as gateway to the Gila Forest and the Continental Divide Trail.
We can do this without raising taxes. As business manager for Aldo Leopold Charter School since 2005, I have experience controlling spending as state funding was cut. Aldo has avoided the fiscal problems other local schools have run into, maintaining a prudent cash reserve every year. And we have achieved educational excellence at the same time, finishing third among all New Mexico public high schools in standardized testing last school year.
The biggest threat facing Grant County's finances is the proposed diversion of up to 14,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Gila River. If we are not careful, our county could end up responsible for a significant share of the hundreds of millions of dollars in engineering, legal, construction, and operating costs that will be involved in such a large-scale diversion. The best way to prevent such an outcome is to exercise our right to withdraw from the CAP entity - the body that is responsible for developing the Gila River diversion. If I am elected to represent District 5 on the County Commission, this will be my top priority.
My Priorities for the County Commission
Photo courtesy Jay Hemphill