Events center top County Commission issue

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Republican candidates spoke about their candidacies to members of the community Tuesday at Clovis-Carver Public Library in a public forum.

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Those seeking Republican nods for the Curry County Commission agreed Clovis needs beautification. They also agreed zoning isn’t the answer.

They also agreed the still-in-construction Curry County Events Center would be a concern, with first-year losses estimated as high as $500,000.
“Our challenge is to find ways to cut losses,” said District 5 candidate Caleb Chandler. “Whether (county residents) were for the plan or against the plan, it’s going to happen.”

Six are seeking votes in the June 3 Republican primaries for the three open commission seats.

District 2

Daniel Stoddard, a Coast Guard veteran and assisted living business owner, has concerns about a lack of funds on the horizon, particularly in dealing with the Curry County Events Center.

He felt the next County Commission may need to look at allowing alcohol sales at the center, because the county doesn’t have the benefit of a lodgers tax to offset losses like the Clovis Civic Center.

Allen Sumrall, a Curry County farmer and treasurer of the Curry County Mounted Patrol, said he objected to the sale of alcohol because of morals and liability issues.

District 4

Lisa Dunnagan, a Clovis banker, said she wants to solve problems with the commission, and not be somebody asking “What happened to Clovis?” a few years down the road.

“I believe Curry County can do more,” she said. “We have a lot of great assets we don’t capitalize on, one being the wind.”

Seth Martin, a Curry County farmer, felt moral and liability issues were reason enough to keep alcohol from being sold at the events center, and the center would be better off with alcohol-free events aligned with the county.

“It’s more for your rodeos and your motocrosses,” he said.

District 5

Charles Guthals, who is also on the Clovis Community College board and the city’s water policy advisory committee, said boards should stay current without overstepping their primary responsibility.

“I know boards function as policy-makers only,” Guthals said. “We hire administrators to administer the policies we make.”

He said he does not want an office at the county, because the office at his business is enough.

“I won’t micromanage,” Guthals said.

Chandler, a former Clovis police chief, state senator and magistrate court judge, feels his multi-faceted experience has prepared him for the position.

“My priorities will be to … enhance the quality of life,” Chandler said.