Courtesty photo Charles Adams is a District 2 County Commission candidate.
Charles Benny Adams
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Occupation: Retired human resources, training and manufacturing manager in the computer chip industry
Previous elected offices: None
What is your long-term vision for the county? And how will you plan for that?
I would hope to see a future Curry County as a place for our children to be safe and also a community they want to raise their children in. I would like us to build reasons for future generations to want to stay. I would also like to see Curry County and Clovis as a destination spot for folks around the country. How do we do that? I believe we have a good start; the Special Events Center can bring considerable attention to Clovis and Curry County if it is managed well. I believe access to wholesome and fun activities for our youth to be critical. This spring, I am coaching my grandson Willie’s baseball team. I am so impressed with these kids; clearly parents and youth alike embrace sports and from my experience the more that is available (and affordable) the more kids are involved and the less they are in trouble. I have another grandson, Ben, that is a competitive BMX rider. I have seen, first hand, what that sport can do for a child’s self esteem, physical health and discipline. I have also seen the positive impact it can have for a community’s coffers as regional races bring in parents and athletes from all over the country. Obviously, it is not only sports that builds character and discipline in our youth. There are large, small, rich and poor communities around the US that have advanced various arts that get the same positive results. With qualified reasonable and visionary leadership these things can be done in fiscally responsible ways. We can not depend only on our churches and scout groups, although as an Eagle Scout myself I do know they sure help.
Are you in favor of zoning or creating an ordinance to clean up the county?
I am in favor of ordinances that make the entrances to our county more appealing and keep our citizens safe. I want visitors to have a good first impression and get past the county line before they judge us. Curry County is an impressive part of New Mexico, the people are as nice as anywhere I have ever been and I would like folks to give us a chance. However, every farmer and rancher in America has at least one junk pile on their property; I see no reason to impose unnecessary laws on them. My bottom line is I would support ordinances that help improve the city but oppose laws that would unreasonably impact our farmers and ranchers.
What do you think the county should do to address water conservation?
First, there is a lot of water wasted in this county and there are still many of our citizens that are unaware that there even is a problem. Part of the solution may be marketing and part of it may be through ordinances. That is the fact everywhere water is scarce in the U.S. From a county perspective this is a very complex question. We are an agricultural county and that takes water. We respect existing water rights and I see no reason for that to change. Considering more drought tolerant marketable crops and new dairy technologies may help. I know water is on a lot of minds in Curry County and it is one thing we must never take our eye off of. But there are other environmental issues that should concern us as well. We can learn a lot from communities around the southwest on how to deal with conserving our other resources. Our level of recycling is marginally understandable for now but we need to prepare for the future and begin to be responsible with all our natural resources.
What do you consider the county’s greatest need today? And how should we resolve that issue?
I believe the sitting commissioners have done a good job. But there is always room to improve and keep our county moving in the right direction. I need to mention two areas of need: The Special Events Center needs to be completed and we need to fill it up as often as possible, that will bring in money and give our citizens opportunities for entertainment. The adult detention center needs to be a focus. In the past few years we have done an admirable job managing the population there. That is due to some remarkably progressive leadership from the administration of the facility. Despite that leadership we have and will likely continue to have staffing issues. Marketing jobs, hiring and retaining good personnel for those facilities is, I believe, a critical issue. So far we have done well but if our economy slips our crime levels could increase. We need to take a comprehensive and strategic look at our facilities and plan for the future.
What is your stance on alcohol sales at the Curry County Special Events Center?
If it is a given we will not have a public vote on this subject, then we will have to make what appears to be a tough decision. I will have a variety of communication avenues with the folks in my district and I will listen. My constituents will tell me what the answer is on this. Not to avoid the question; there are two things I believe I know: Not having alcohol sales will limit the marketability of some very lucrative sponsorship. Having alcohol sales at all events may limit a positive family experience for many of our tax paying citizens. Like I said early, our youth and families are extremely important. Either way this goes we must maintain control of the liabilities and ensure the safety of the citizens of Curry County. Sorry to end this one repeating myself, but my constituents will help me with the right answer on this one.
What can county commissioners do to avoid any more “unaccounted for” funds in light of the money missing from the 2007 county fair?
We have one of the best county managers in New Mexico and I am confident he will get to the bottom of what happened in 2007. The commissioners need to follow the chain of command and for us that begins with the county manager. We must not micromanage but we should spend time with him regularly. The commissioners get paid to do a job, we must understand and pay attention to details and support the county manager in his work. The county is well managed and I am confident we will find the 2007 incident an exception rather than the rule. I have worked for executives and shareholders most of my life and I understand accountability. The people of Curry County deserve a commission that will be accessible, ask tough questions, insist on accountability and pay attention to the details.
— Compiled by CNJ Staff Writer Gabriel Monte