Candidate Q&As: District 1 commission seat

Randal S. Crowder, left, and Janice Elliott

Editor’s note: The following candidates are running for the four-year term of city commissioner for District 1. Candidates for the seat include incumbent Randy Crowder and Jan Elliott.

Candidates were asked the same questions and asked to keep their responses to 100 words or less.

The municipal election is March 6. Tuesday is the first day for absentee voting. Feb. 15 is the first day for early voting.

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Name: Randal S. “Randy” Crowder

Age: 61

Occupation: Self-employed general contractor

Please list previous or current elected offices or other organizations you feel prepare you for a commission seat: Commissioner, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, 2011-Present; Vice Chairman, Ute Reservoir Water Commission 2008-2011; Board of Directors, Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority, 2006-2011; Chairman, Water Policy Advisory Committee for City of Clovis 2003-Present; Representative, N.M. North East Regional Water Plan Task Force 2006; Representative, Ute Reservoir Master Plan Committee, 2007

Q: What are your goals if you are elected and how do you plan to implement them?

A: I want to continue moving toward the completion of the Effluent Reuse Pipeline Project, The Ute Pipeline Project, and create a dedicated revenue stream from existing revenues for the purpose of “planning, designing, constructing, or re-constructing arterial and collector roadways.” The path to implementing this plan will be debated on the other side of this election.

Q: What is something the city commission has done well over the last four years?

A: The City is nearing completion of a total re-construction of the waste water treatment plant. This will roughly double the treatment capacity. They have also secured the funding for phase 1A of the Effluent Reuse Project and are within a few months of a groundbreaking.

Q: What is something the city commission has not done well? How do you intend to correct that if elected?

A: The obvious is the attempt to adopt an Affordable Housing Plan contrary to the will of the voters.

The second is less obvious. We have performed very poorly when it comes to strategic planning. Input from professionals, well vetted design studies, and due diligence will improve long term efficiencies. We can do better.

Q: What do you feel the city needs to focus on as a whole?

A: Roads and water.

Q: What do you feel the city needs to focus on in your district?

A: Same answer.

Q: Last question: 150 words, whatever else you want to say.

A: It is an honor to have served District 1 and the citizens of Clovis as a City of Clovis Commissioner. I have the desire and energy to serve another term and respectfully ask for your vote on March 6.

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Name: Janice “Jan” Elliott

Age: 49

Occupation: Executive Director, Eastern N.M. Emergency Medical Services Corporation Region III (EMS Region III)

Please list previous or current elected offices or other organizations you feel prepare you for a commission seat: Being actively involved in the community has always been important to me. While not an exhaustive list, I currently participate in the Governor’s Trauma System Fund Authority, State Medical Directors Committee, ENMU’s EMS Advisory Committee, and the Clovis Ladies Golf Association. In addition, I have served on the City of Clovis’ Parks and Recreation Committee, Operation Keep Cannon BRAC Commission as well as many EMS and Trauma Committees at the local, state and federal level.

Q: What are your goals if you are elected and how do you plan to implement them?

A: Education is crucial to the economic success of Clovis. It is vital that we maximize the great resource we have in Clovis Community College to develop a diverse workforce pool for existing and new employers to draw from. In my current position, as Region III Director, I worked with the college to develop and implement an EMT/Paramedic certification program ensuring that Clovis will have trained professionals to service our community. As a City Commissioner, I will work with existing businesses and those considering locating here to assess their workforce needs and coordinate with our education professionals to meet those needs.

Q: What is something the city commission has done well over the last four years?

A: The Commission has taken steps to improve the quality of life for families who live in Clovis and such improvements are necessary to attract new businesses and their employees to Clovis. These changes are evident in the City’s new dog park and the walking trail, the advancement of Ute Pipeline Project which will provide Clovis with sustainable source of water for municipal and industrial use for generations, as well as rebuilding the Hull Street Bridge that is a crucial resource for transportation of goods into Clovis.

Q: What is something the city commission has not done well? How do you intend to correct that if elected?

A: The city has failed to provide all its employees with the tools they need to perform their jobs effectively and efficiently. It is imperative we give our city workers the tools they need to do their jobs as well as provide training, and learning opportunities. As commissioner, my goal will be to identify these deficiencies and remedy them by either securing the proper tools or training necessary to guarantee we have the most productive employees possible. Communicating with not only department heads but also city workers will help us identify and resolve the resources issues the city is currently facing and that continue to hamper our productivity.

Q: What do you feel the city needs to focus on as a whole?

A: Get back to the basics: Better communication with residents and city employees, developing unity of purpose or a common goal among the commissioners, growing a shared commitment to the entire community not just one special interest group, establish long-term visions for our community, listen to everyone from the kiddos to the elderly, and have an open mind when crafting solutions.

Q: What do you feel the city needs to focus on in your district?

A: Community safety issues such as neighborhood lighting and repairing roads are crucial in District 1, as they are throughout Clovis. As Clovis continues to expand, it is vital that we require the new neighborhoods include such community safeguards and that we maintain high community safety in our existing neighborhoods.

Another very important issue in District 1 is maintaining our 18-hole golf course. The City Commission acquired the course in Colonial Park for a fraction of what it would have cost to build a new 18-hole course, and we now need to ensure its preservation by properly maintaining it.

Q: Last question: 150 words, whatever else you want to say.

A: A leader should only micro-manage when necessary. The goal to accomplishing this is to employ a competent team, be aware and accessible, but give your department heads the confidence and ability to act without the feeling they will be second guessed when implementing your vision. The commissioners should ensure the city management and employees have the tools they need to do their job, the training they need to utilize those tools, and a clear vision of our goals and how we plan to accomplish those goals. When everyone is on the same page, we can accomplish great things.

— Compiled by CNJ Staff Writer Kevin Wilson