Clovis City Commission District 2 – Q&A

Three of four Clovis City Commission seats are contested in the municipal election. They include District 2, District 3 and District 4. Each candidate was asked five questions. The questions and candidate responses:

Gary Elliott

Gary Elliott

Gary Elliott

Q What specific changes need to be made to ensure the city doesn’t lose money in another scandal like the failed Beauty Health and Science Innovation deal?

A I think we need to be more diligent about checking the credit and background of anyone or any business seeking financial help from the city. The leadership of the (Clovis Industrial Development Corp.) and (Economic Development Tax Advisory) boards need to report completely and accurately to the city manager and the City Commission. Anyone who deliberately withholds negative information on an applicant must be held accountable. I think the ad hoc committee is on the right track to determine what went wrong in the latest loss of money.

Q Do you think the city is on the right track for getting the Ute Water Project completed? If not, what changes would you recommend?

A Yes, I think the city is on the right track to complete the Ute Water Project. The Ute reservoir was built specifically for the domestic water supply for eastern New Mexico. We have been blessed to have the use of the Ute reservoir for fishing and recreation for about 50 years. We have paid for the reservation of water rights for the municipality of eastern New Mexico that will protect our right for the water. We must do all we can to protect our water rights. We are about 20 years out on water from the Ute water pipeline. More important right now is the short and intermediate needs of our community. We need water conservation and incentives to reduce water usage. All decisions about our water should be made by the commission and not by individuals. The Boone Pickens offer is an example.

Q Is the Colonial Park Golf Course a good or a bad investment by the city? Why? And what is in its future?

A I think the Colonial Park Golf Course can be a good investment. Hundreds of people use it and having an 18-hole course will be good for Clovis citizens and people in the surrounding area. But this cost should decrease and revenue increase as more people use the course. But I do believe their needs to be a projected budget for the future, and not just keep spending and spending with no accountability.

Q As a city commissioner, what will be your top priorities to improve the city and what specifically will you do to make sure they happen?

A As a commissioner I will do everything I can to not lose any more of the taxpayers money. That is unacceptable. I think we need to address some streets that are in bad need of repair, traffic safety, boost the economy by helping current and new business by reducing restrictions. Two years ago the city voted for a change in the way the city is run. A conservative change in the commission will support Mayor (David) Lansford in current needs as well as the future needs of our city. I support Cannon and the wonderful addition that their personnel make to our community.

Q What specific ideas do you offer to improve the quality of life in Clovis?

A Continue to build streets with bike paths like north Norris and Martin Luther King. Continue to work on the zoo, the rugby field, and all other sports fields. Help to keep Clovis safe. Make the roads into Clovis more appealing. Adequate police and fire personnel. Make Clovis a quiet place to raise our families and a place to retire. Short term answers to our water needs. And yes I would welcome all new business.

 

Len Vohs

Len Vohs

Len Vohs

Q What specific changes need to be made to ensure the city doesn’t lose money in another scandal like the failed BHSI deal?

A Economic development has never been without risk and for that reason the percentage of our gross receipts tax that we pay for economic development goes into the economic development fund, rather than the general fund. The BHSI application followed the same oversight procedure as all previous economic development prospects. The result with BHSI revealed flaws in the way existing policies were followed. I am currently serving on the Ad Hoc Economic Development Review Committee, working on specific safeguards to make sure ordinances and procedures, already in place, are followed as well as implementing new procedures for qualifying applicants who ask for any economic development funds from the city. I am confident this committee will accomplish this task and will have a recommendation for our commission soon, to ensure adequate safeguards are in place to protect economic development funds.

Q Do you think the city is on the right track for getting the Ute Water Project completed? If not, what changes would you recommend?

A Water is our most important resource and providing a future sustainable water supply for our community and future generations is vital. For many years the Ute Water Project has been the No. 1 priority for the city of Clovis. The city is working with and meeting with anyone on the federal, state and local levels to make sure we secure sustainable water for our future. I am confident we are on the right track and together we can make it happen.

Q Is the Colonial Park Golf Course a good or a bad investment by the city? Why? And what is in its future?

A I currently serve on the parks and recreations board, if you look at it as a quality of life issue and a goal for the city of Clovis parks plan, and for the city to own an 18-hole golf course, it’s a good investment for the quality of life and tourism. The nine-hole municipal golf course lost money every year and Colonial Park was not bought or visualized as a money maker but rather to improve our recreational programs. Our golf course will be something our senior golfers can be proud of. They can be proud to host their senior golf tournaments, and our high school golfing team can be proud to host tournaments for schools from all over the state. Conventions can include, as part of the activities, golf tournaments, and the homeowners in the area will have something to be proud of.

Q As a city commissioner, what will be your top priorities to improve the city and what specifically will you do to make sure they happen?

A 1) Secure funding for the Ute Water Project

2) Water conservation. I will work with EPCOR water, agriculture, schools with radio PSA’s (public service announcements), and print advertising conservation tips, and encourage all of us to conserve our valuable water resources.

3) Streets. As chairman of the public works committee the city has used bonding, state and federal grants, to complete many street projects. For example north Norris and Martin Luther King street improvements. I look forward to continue to be aggressive and diligent in going after funding to meet the infrastructure needs of our community.

4) Public safety. Continue to work with our police and fire departments to make sure we have the equipment and personnel to handle all the needs of our growing community.

Q What specific ideas do you offer to improve the quality of life in Clovis?

A In the eight years I have been fortunate to serve as commissioner, I have seen huge progress in quality of life issues. An 18-hole golf course, zoo expansion, soccer fields, three new walking trails, skate park, wellness center, YRB (Youth Recreation Building), airport expansion, senior citizen programs, library improvements and more. I would like to see air travel to DFW (Dallas Fort Worth) and Albuquerque. I would like to continue to work with CAFB (Cannon Air Force Base) for opportunities for quality of life issues. We are known for the Clovis Sound and the city that rocks. We can work with the chamber on that theme year round. We can bring more concerts, comedians and entertainment so people from all over can visit our community and see why all of us enjoy living here and give tourists the experience so they will come back to visit or maybe even move here.