Clovis City Commission District 4 – Q&A

Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams

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 Our city needs to aggressively seek economic development. However, we must approach it in a way that protects and safeguards taxpayer money. We need to develop a process which requires thorough background investigations, third-party economic studies, a competitive and fair bidding process and, most importantly, open and transparent community discussion prior to any decisions being made regarding taxpayer money. I believe there are currently procedures in place, but we need to make sure those procedures are followed at every step.

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 I will answer this question to the best of my knowledge based on information which is released to the “general” public. The Ute Water Project is contingent on several different levels of local, state and federal funding sources. Given the level of government involvement and our country’s current economic condition, the project will likely span several generations. Because of this reality, we cannot ignore our water issues; we need to pull together as a community to develop some viable and economical solutions to meet our needs now. One idea is purchasing water rights from farmers in our area who have viable water supplies.

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

A It is not an investment that I was in favor of as a citizen, but it’s an investment the city has made; now we need to work to maximize the benefits for the people of Clovis. I do not want this investment to become a financial drain. As with the BHSI ordeal, as a city commissioner I want to be completely informed on investment decisions before they are made. Moving forward with the golf course I look forward to green grass, a great golf course, which increases our quality of life in Clovis and profits.

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 I believe our top priority right now is water. As previously discussed we know the Ute Water Project is a solution in many years, but we need to work on a water solution until the Ute Water Project comes to fruition. I would like to see us work with the state highway department to improve major highways into Clovis. I believe one way to help accomplish this is to build a stronger relationship between the City Commission and Curry County Commission. We need to ensure that our money is used wisely and is going to projects that will benefit the city. Every dollar in our community counts and recently it seems we’ve just “thrown away” a significant amount, which could have been avoided. We need to continue to create and grow current activities for the children in our community, including sports, clubs, after school programs, etc.

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

A I am a conservative business person. I was taught our community thrives on honesty and hard work. I know the sacrifices we all make for our community and I will protect our valuable and hard-earned resources. I believe a fiscally responsible government protects and promotes our quality of life. As a city commissioner I would like to work with public and private funding towards more quality of life issues, such as recreational facilities as seen in other communities our size. I think we have a wonderful city, we have a great zoo, numerous parks, we have Clovis Community College, which offers the Cultural Arts Program and classes in the summer for children. Clovis is a great place, but there is always room for improvement.

 

Tom Martin

Tom Martin

Tom Martin

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 If you want to make sure we never have this happen again, seek no economic development, for as every business person knows, there is no such thing as a sure thing. Beyond that, I am currently sitting on an ad hoc committee formed by the City Commission to come up with a better way to catch preventable risks. About a dozen of us are putting our collective minds together to question procedures and make suggestions to better the process. After reading all of the material, the conclusions by the Underwood law firm, and listening to the discussion, I realize that no one person or entity was responsible nor can one person come up with an answer. I trust that this committee through a collaborative effort will come up with new procedures and checks and balances to reduce preventable risk. Synergy is at work.

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 From all that I have read and seen, this project is moving in the right direction. It appears as though it is moving too slowly, but since the project has been going on for almost 50 years, the progress in the past few years has been exponential. As a commissioner, I would like to see the timeline and, more importantly, the money-line, to determine if the project will be completed before our local underground water supply runs out. It would be irresponsible of me to make any reasonable conclusion without that information.

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

A Good question, with no clear answer. Did the city pay under appraisal? Yes. Could the city have paid less if they had waited? Who knows? Was that purchase price less than the cost of a new golf course? A boatload. Will the city have to put a lot of money into the course to make improvements? Unquestionably, yes. Should a city of Clovis’ size have an 18-hole municipal golf course? Arguably, yes. But in my estimation, the true value of the golf course purchase was that the old nine-hole muni is now vacated and can be developed into a centrally located sports and recreational complex with virtually unlimited uses. Already, there are new soccer fields, a dog park and really cool splash park where the old course was. OK, so we will never have a Central Park like NYC, but for our city it can be an oasis.

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 Top three? Getting water, conserving water and re-using water. Beyond that, city infrastructure, including roads, public safety and quality of life are what constituents tell me are important to them. To improve and enhance these areas will take a collaborative effort, with the commissioners, the mayor, and government officials all working together within the city budget to come up with successful strategies. None of us is as smart as all of us. As commissioner, I will bring to the table a new set of eyes, critical thinking skills, and an extensive business background.

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

A I would like to see the old golf course developed into a multifaceted complex, with sports, recreational, and cultural activities integrated into a central location. I think the Aquatic Center has developed into a usable facility, but I think it should be expanded to include a competitive pool and therapy facilities. Ned Houk Park is underutilized and I can envision more. Bike lanes are being developed with the city, but more needs to be done to connect them. But I also know that for us to grow, we will need to encourage and foster economic development.