Updated: Q&A With Los Alamos Candidates Running in June 3 Primary Election

NOTE: All Council and Assessor candidates have submitted their responses to the questions published below:
 
POLITICAL News:
 
The 2014 Primary Election is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and the Los Alamos Daily Post has asked several questions of Los Alamos candidates for council, assessor and sheriff to better understand their motivations for running for office and plans if elected.
 
Here are their reponses:
 
RICK REISS
Republican Incumbent for County Council

LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?

REISS: Community service has always been important to me. I have served in organizations in Los Alamos such as Kiwanis, Leadership Los Alamos, United Way and Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation. I have also served on County Boards and Commissions, including Planning & Zoning, Airport Board, and supported the Art in Public Places Board as a corporate representative/donor. These organizations, who’s mission includes service, leadership training, giving, education and government, have provided me with in depth information about the community and its residents. I have leveraged this information as I serve at the County as a Councilor. I have served for two years and I would like to serve for 4 more.  

LA DAILY POST: What sets you apart from your opponents?

REISS: I do not pretend to be smarter, more qualified or harder working than my “opponents,” which I prefer to think of as equally civic-service-oriented associates. I do believe that each of us brings a perspective based on our experiences, employment or time in Los Alamos. My local business experience provides me a unique perspective in this election. I have negotiated the rules and regulations of much of the County government as I operate my business in the county. I have met and provided financial products to many homeowners in the county and have a clear understanding of the housing environment. I have invested in the community and I am involved in the community. During my 20+ years in Los Alamos, I have been a financial institution owner, a real estate developer and self employed as a mortgage lender. I see things from a different perspective than most of my associates.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

REISS: The Los Alamos County Municipal Code presents a number of challenges for our citizens and businesses. With all due respect to our hard working County staff, many of these challenges put the staff in the unpleasant circumstance of not being able to help a business or resident accomplish what would appear to be a simple task. Our challenge is to identify issues and realign our municipal code to support our citizens, businesses and staff in a “win-win” way. We need better systems to provide information to the public as the County manages the various permitting processes. We need to constantly review and evaluate flaws in our code and take action to correct them when possible. We need a strong Municipal Code but we must insure it does not hamper progress unnecessarily.

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

REISS: The Council is responsible for a large array of issues and decisions. These issues and decisions should be made within the strategic goals of the County and within the scope of services that should be provided by the County. My goal would be to vigilantly monitor our focus and scope as we administer the business of the County. The County Councilors are responsible for ensuring the efficient and effective delivery of essential services to the citizens. My goal is to keep us focused and within the scope of our goals, duties and capabilities.

 

MICHAEL REDONDO
Democrat for County Council

LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?

REDONDO: I am running for County Council because I don’t see anyone else from my generation doing so. A robust government has representatives from all parts of the community, and I feel that I can represent a portion of the community that has historically been underrepresented on the Council. For the Council to be most effective it needs to be diverse so that we can utilize a wide range on perspectives to deal with the challenges that face us.

LA DAILY POST: What sets you apart from your opponents?

REDONDO: I grew up in Los Alamos. I know what it is like to be a child in Los Alamos. I was a student in our excellent school system, and I understand some of the many challenges that system faces. I have seen how our community has developed over the past 30 years. I remember what it was like when there so many trees on the mountains that you could not walk through them. I remember what it was like to have a thriving retail sector, when we had three competing sporting goods stores, a hobby store, a bowling alley, a book store, and so much more. I remember all of these things, and yet I am also the youngest person running for Council in this election. I can relate to the younger generations that so often abandon our fair community. I understand their needs and desires, and I am committed to working on the council towards satisfying those needs so that we can retain more of those people in the community. I also feel that my education makes me particularly suited to this office. I may not have a PhD in Astrophysics, but I think that my Masters Degree in Community and Regional Planning is more suited to the work of county governance even if it is not as prestigious.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

REDONDO: I think that the greatest challenge which faces the County Council is responding to the needs and concerns of our diverse community in a fair and equitable manner. We do not always agree as a community when it comes to the many contentious issues which come before Council. This is why it is so important to have a Council that is willing to look for the middle ground, and find ways to compromise and find creative solutions that satisfy as much of our diverse needs as possible.

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

REDONDO: I am always wary when someone asks me to have one and only one goal, and I have to respond with a goal that is as broad as possible. My goal is to see Los Alamos thrive. I have plenty of ideas on how to ensure that happens, and as conditions change, and I learn more about what we can do, and what sorts of actions are most effective, then those ideas may change. But the number one overarching goal has to be, and will always be, to see our community thrive.

 

MARY SUSAN OLEARY
Democrat for County Council

LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?

OLEARY: I’m running for the County Council because I believe that Los Alamos County is a great family community. Like many people here, we could have chosen to live and work in any number of other, great places. We moved here because Los Alamos County is a fantastic place to raise a family; with good and safe schools, interesting neighbors, all-season recreation, and a community engaged in critically important work for the nation and the world. I deeply appreciate the quality of life my family has in Los Alamos and I want to participate in County government to help make this an even better place to live.

LA DAILY POST: What sets you apart from your opponents?

OLEARY: I bring a very specific set of skills and experience to my candidacy.  I have deep business experience as a senior executive at The Washington Post.  As the Vice President of Advertising, I ran the advertising department – with 500 employees and annual revenue goals of about $750 million. I met my revenue goals nine out of 10 years, with the year of the September 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon being the only exception.  

My professional success required strong general management skills and the ability to prioritize issues and resolve problems quickly and efficiently. Producing a daily newspaper and 24×7 website is a lot like running a county government, where the pressure on profit margins equates to maximizing the value derived from every tax dollar. Senior leaders must manage a long term vision and planning cycle while ensuring the efficient execution of daily services. In my experience, a strong customer focus and an unwavering commitment to quality and continuous improvement are the best path to success.

I’ve also demonstrated my strong commitment to community service. I’m a founder and author for Save Our Schools Los Alamos, a group dedicated to informing the community about important issues related to K-12 public education funding.  Read more about this group at http://soslosalamos.com. In 2013, I was Chairperson of the County’s Utility Charter Review Committee focused on Article V which defines the relationship between the County and the Department of Public Utilities.  The Committee did some great work and its recommendations will appear on the ballot for a public vote in November. I’m also a regular volunteer at Mountain Elementary School where my children go to school.

As a woman and mother with children in elementary school, I have a good understanding of a significant demographic segment in our community. I have current, relevant, and personal experience with what it means to raise a young family in Los Alamos today. This experience is essential for the County Council as it makes decisions about County priorities and the flow of County resources that impact families.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

OLEARY: There are a number of important challenges facing the County in the next five years or so. Things like providing services to community standards when revenue streams are volatile; replacing an aging utilities infrastructure; and increasing the communication between County government and the community.

However, I view the County’s “greatest challenge” as being its “greatest opportunity.” That opportunity involves being a strong partner for the Laboratory by making Los Alamos a community that can attract and retain the very best scientists, engineers, managers and support people.

Helping the Laboratory with its recruitment and retention efforts will help sustain the Laboratory’s stature as a preeminent institution, and is essential to the long-term viability of the community.  In a world of finite resources and changing objectives at the federal level, I believe making the community even more attractive for Laboratory staff is the best way to ensure the viability of our County.  And, of course, this focus directly benefits today’s residents by improving everyone’s quality of life.

As examples, the County needs to deliver basic services efficiently; to ensure K-12 education remains high quality and to community standards; to provide amenities like recreation and entertainment; and to reflect a robust community that includes health care and other services that are important to quality of life in Los Alamos.

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

OLEARY: If I’m elected, my number one goal will be to ensure that County revenues and resources are aligned with our greatest challenge and greatest opportunity – making Los Alamos an even better place to live. I’ll also work to increase efficiency in government operations and to improve the communication channels between government and its citizens. You can read more about my experience and priorities at my website: http://oleary4lac.com.

 

BILL MCKERLEY
Republican for County Council

LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?

MCKERLEY: My main motivation comes from a document written by our founding fathers, which says—“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The function of government is not to provide, but to protect and defend these rights. These words are as powerful and inspiring today as they were when they were written over 230 years ago.  These principles are just as applicable at the county level as they are at the national level.

I believe community service is a good thing and a patriotic thing. My family and I have benefitted greatly from living here for 36 years. I retired from the Lab after working more than 34 years. I’m a member of the Los Alamos Church of Christ, and I have been involved in various community-wide activities over the years. I am seeking the opportunity to serve on the council because I believe we should put our principles into action. I would strive to be a benefit to Los Alamos County.

LA DAILY POST: What sets you apart from your opponents?

MCKERLEY: I am a fiscal and social conservative. I believe in smaller, less intrusive government. I believe the solutions to our challenges most often lie in the free market system and the entrepreneurial spirit. Competition in the marketplace is a powerful and productive tool. I will use these principles to guide my service on the council.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

MCKERLEY: Ensuring a smaller, more efficient and less intrusive government.  

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

MCKERLEY: To hold the line on tax increases and check the tendency for government to take over services that private enterprise can do better. This would result in a more small-business friendly community. 

 

DAVID IZRAELEVITZ
Democrat for County Council

LA DAILY POST:Why are you running for this particular office?

IZRAELEVITZ: It has been an honor to represent the people of Los Alamos County for the last three years. I have done my best to be a good steward of the resources available to the County, voting to use those resources thoughtfully in improving our community. These past three years have seen many changes, and I believe I have helped shape a constructive period in our community’s history. In that time, the County has made great strides in economic development, improved county services and staffing, and enhanced quality-of-life for our citizens. There is still more work to be done, and I believe my experience and approach can continue to be a valuable contribution to the County Council.

LA DAILY POST:What sets you apart from other candidates?

IZRAELEVITZ: We have an excellent variety of candidates for County Council who represent a variety of life experiences and perspectives. What I bring to the table is my experience as a long-time community volunteer and leader, and obviously of most relevance is my experience these last three years as a councilor. We have a disproportionately complex government, such as our ownership of the utility system, relationships with the laboratory, the state and federal agencies, etc. In addition we have unique challenges such as hurdles to economic development due to our limited footprint, and I believe my experience and exposure to these issues over the last three years is of value.

A second distinguishing characteristic is my existing record as a councilor. I have been very communicative both during and apart from Council sessions about my philosophy of governance and approach to decision-making. Thus, I believe the voters of Los Alamos have one candidate who has already demonstrated his approach and skills in the context of county government.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

IZRAELEVITZ: We have many, interwoven challenges in our community, but if I were to highlight a single one, it would be the need to maintain and improve Los Alamos as a community that attracts the best and brightest young staff to LANL across the employment spectrum, from scientists and engineers to skilled technicians to the support and administrative staff that a complex organization requires. Progress in this area not only makes the Lab more productive and competitive vis a vis other DOE laboratories and defense contractors, and improves our tax receipts, but it also invigorates our schools, maintains the value of our real estate, and provides new consumers for our retail segment. It is clear that the quality of life of all citizens is improved when a community has a balanced demographic profile.

Because of where we are now and our limited options, we have to make progress on many fronts, such as improve our residential stock, diversify our economy both in the retail area as well as employment opportunities for “trailing spouses”, and find ways to maintain the excellence of our schools in comparison to much larger and urban communities.

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

IZRAELEVITZ: I believe a good direction has been established by Council over the last several years, and I look to continue to support the current strides in economic development, infrastructure repair and community amenities that are beginning to bear fruit. But perhaps the single most important role of a councilor is to establish the trust of the community in the competence, professionalism, responsiveness and fairness of its government. Many of the decisions that councilors make cannot be evaluated in a few months, or sometimes even years. However, the general community must be assured that we are doing our best, that we have no hidden agendas or influences, and that we hold the county staff and ourselves to the highest standards. If we do our best, and the community shares in this assessment, then Council will be given the latitude by the community to go past “analysis paralysis”, to make those complicated decisions and unpleasant trade-offs that nevertheless will move our community forward.

 

ANDREA CUNNGHAM
Democrat for County Council

LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?

CUNNINGHAM: I am running for Council in order to serve the community with a sustained effort, and to see the projects that we have been building to accomplish over the years come to successful completion. For 20 years, I have had the opportunity to work with County Council on behalf of Los Alamos families on various private and capital improvement projects. Being a member of the County Council affords the opportunity to serve the community in a sustained manner rather than just involvement in specific projects. I can utilize my experience balancing the priorities of those on both sides of an issue and respecting the values of those rooted in the community to move the County forward.

LA DAILY POST: What sets you apart from your opponent(s)?

CUNNINGHAM: I have a proven track record of leading successful, tangible results for community projects including leading the “Movies in Los Alamos” Group in a successful petition to Planning and Zoning to permit the Reel Deal Theater to be built on its current site, as well as various school and youth organizations. I invested more than a decade making the Trinity Site Revitalization Project come to life, first as a community activist and organizer of the effort to pass Ordinance 529 and later as a County-appointed member of the Trinity Site Revitalization Project committee. My public service to date has involved coordination with the councils, other community leaders and County staff. In order to best serve the community, our Council representation should reflect the diverse skill sets, backgrounds and experiences of our citizens so that each member can bring something unique to the table. As a health professional, I can offer a unique perspective to the Council.  My volunteer and professional experiences will enable me to be a well-informed, balanced and highly contributing member of County Council.  

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

CUNNINGHAM: One of the greatest challenges we have as a community is to recruit business investment as Los Alamos does not have demographics which meet the typical business expansion formula for most national chains. However, there is much we can do within the local business climate to facilitate the establishment and retention of independent businesses within the community. The other major challenge is judicious use of our budget resources in the current economic climate. We have to choose our CIP projects carefully, ensuring that those we move forward with are beneficial and serve a large sector of the population. 

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

CUNNINGHAM: My goal in volunteering in the community has always been to create an environment in which families want to move to, and stay living in, Los Alamos. I have three issues of focus to accomplish this goal; the first is to support and enhance economic development and downtown gentrification, the second is to enhance the health and well-being resources in our community and the third is to facilitate greater communication between the local government and all sectors of the community. The main emphasis for health services is facilitating mental health support for at risk youth and families. We should never have to lose another child to suicide and need to ensure that those at risk have resources available. In the realm of economic development, the need to reduce retail leakage and retain the GRT income spent off the hill is important both for budgetary reasons and making the community viable over time. I would like to update, simplify and streamline processes for business, and create business advocacy and liaisons within the Economic Development department.

 

JAMES CHROBOCINSKI
Republican for County Council
 

LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?

CHROBOCINSKI: As a small business owner, I see the need to become a much more business friendly county in order to diversify our business community. The Lab is a very important partner but we could be so much more. With the incredible people who live here and the beauty inherent in our town we can be the technological capital of the world. Part of achieving that is to welcome and enhance our retail, eatery, and support services as well. In order to attract and retain the top people we need the services they want. From my own experience, I  have found the county ordinances in place to be cumbersome and inhibitive towards business. We need to simplify our ordinances, stream line the processes, and reduced the bureaucracy in order to get government out of the way.

With my experience in business, I believe I have the knowledge and determination to make the changes we need to see our community thrive.

LA DAILY POST: What sets you apart from your opponent(s)?

CHROBOCINSKI: I was raised here so I understand this community yet I have spent time in other communities so I have experience to draw upon. As a successful small business owner, I have the knowledge and expertise to guide how our processes should work – it is not just theoretical to me. As a father,  President of Los Alamos Little League, Rotarian, board member of the Los Alamos Housing Partnership, hockey dad, Chamber member, and Mountain Elementary PTA vice president, I have demonstrated my commitment to our community. This community involvement also provides the connections and experiences necessary to truly understand and hear what is important to the citizens in our community.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest obstacle to overcome in the office that you seek?

CHROBOCINSKI: One of the greatest obstacles we will face in enhancing and diversifying our business community is bureaucracy. From overly cumbersome sign ordinances that no one seems to understand to building permits that expire halfway through a construction project requiring the owner to have to go through all the red tape more than once, I have witnessed the impedance to success that the county’s bureaucracy causes. I would like to see “a one stop shop”, with clear guidance provided by a dedicated staff member and simplified codes. We need to change the current system that is a hindrance to business to one that fosters new businesses and supports existing ones.

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number goal that you intend to accomplish?

CHROBOCINSKI: A thriving business community downtown AND in White Rock that attracts the top people in their fields to our community.

 

JOHN BLISS
Republican for County Council

LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office? 

BLISS: I believe that those with experience and capacity to serve should participate in making a difference in their community when possible. After 17 years as a resident in Los Alamos, and now with some confidence in my understanding of the issues and desires of much of the Los Alamos community, the time is right.

LA DAILY POST: What sets you apart from your opponent(s)?

BLISS: My breadth of experience has afforded great opportunities for leadership and service in numerous positions. I believe that my record of vision, and just as important my ability to identify implementable actions to realize change, has been well established. While many members of the Los Alamos Community have similar goals, I have experience in achieving progress toward difficult goals.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

BLISS: As one of seven County Council members nothing can be accomplished without consensus among many members of the Council. The challenge for me, and the Council, will be to lead necessary change within the County while maintaining the Los Alamos life-style and sense of community that we enjoy.

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

BLISS: My goal will be to make the Los Alamos economy and community attractive to families, businesses, and visitors with the aim of diversifying our economic base without impacting the life-style we enjoy.

 

ED BIRNBAUM
Democrat for County Council

LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?

BIRNBAUM: Based on my background and experience, I felt that a position on Council would be the best way for me to have a positive impact on the lives of the citizens of the County, including my wife, daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren living in Los Alamos.

LA DAILY POST: What sets you apart from your opponent(s)?

BIRNBAUM: My 15 year’s of experience as a chemistry department chair at a health sciences university, where I had to reconcile the demands of the administration and needs of the faculty and students with the resources available to our Department, by balancing the budget. I also had to deal effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders who were directly or indirectly affiliated with the University, both in my Department and from other departments. This includes students, faculty, administrative staff, physical plant staff, financial officers, deans, the provost and president, parents, alumni, potential donors, members of the Board of Trustees, etc. In my capacity as department chair I was also responsible for the purchase of major instrumentation from outside vendors, and for the design and renovation of our chemistry laboratory facilities, matching bids with available resources. Finally, I needed to maintain relationships with faculty and administrators in other universities, as well as with staff in a variety of funding organizations.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

BIRNBAUM: I have visited Los Alamos every year since 1995, and I have heard many of the same concerns every year, such as too few shopping opportunities, poor zoning, wasted taxpayer dollars, etc. I think we need to approach all these issues from a fresh perspective, which I feel I can provide based on my having lived and worked in a wide variety of communities, both big and small, in many parts of the country.  I expect that my greatest challenge will be to build a consensus around new ideas to tackle entrenched problems.

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

BIRNBAUM: My highest priority will be to ensure that we have an adequate water supply at a reasonable cost to meet the County’s need for fire mitigation, to enable future desired development, and to provide the water necessary for the recreational opportunities that are so critical to our current residents, and so valuable for attracting new residents.

Editor’s note: Responses from Republican candidate for council John Bliss will be included when received.
 
Abraham Dispennette
Republican for County Assessor

LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?

DISPENNETTE: I’m running for office because I saw a need for integrity and business sense in local office. 

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

DISPENNETTE: My opponent should be thanked and appreciated for his many years of service to this community. I do not wish to seem disrespectful of him for a single moment. Yet unlike my opponent, I assess properties everyday as a part of my business as a State Farm Agent. I have a firm knowledge of both the purchase and rebuild value of every single area in Los Alamos and White Rock. I am also on the front lines of knowledge concerning shifts in the market with my relationships with the major realtors in town and general contractors, on top of State Farm’s million dollar assessment tools I use everyday.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

DISPENNETTE:  Government entities on both sides of the isle prefer to handle recessions and budget restraints by finding ways to increase revenues, usually with increased taxes, as opposed to reducing its size and budget.  While this position is subject to both existing and future laws passed from state legislatures, the biggest challenge I foresee is being a voice combating the need for government to feed itself with more of the people’s money. 

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

DISPENNETTE: If elected my number one goal will be to insure the assessor’s office is run with upmost business sense and integrity along with insuring that the homeowners are well informed of their rights to challenge taxed home assessments. I conduct myself in this manor with my business and I would do no different in elected office.

 

KENNETH MILDER
Democrat for County Assessor

LA DAILY POST:Why are you running for this particular office?

MILDER: As a resident of Los Alamos for 40-years, many citizens are well aware of my commitment to public service. Whether in elected office or as a member of local non-profits, the gratification I’ve received from serving the community is immeasurable.  Although I have been out of elected office for five years, my volunteerism in our community has never ceased. For example, I currently serve on the board of directors of Los Alamos Retirement Community (LARC), the community’s non-profit organization that owns and operates Aspen Ridge Lodge Assisted Living Community and the Sombrillo Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Serving as Los Alamos County Assessor will not only allow me to continue my public service but also allow me to apply my years of experience and knowledge to this important oversight role. The Assessor’s Office has a knowledgeable, professional, and dedicated staff that is well run under the day-to-day leadership of Chief Deputy Assessor Joaquin Valdez. My knowledge and experience (described below) will assure continued high quality service to the community. 

LA DAILY POST:What sets you apart from your opponent(s)?

MILDER: I have not yet had the honor of meeting my opponent at candidate events but I do indeed look forward to meeting him on the campaign trail. From everything I’ve heard, he sounds like a fine gentleman. I believe, however, that each candidate should describe their background and qualifications then let the voters decide on Election Day.

I have lived in Los Alamos for 40 years, retiring from LANL in 2012 as a computer scientist specializing in cyber security. From my first year in Los Alamos I have been involved in public service, both within the community and in county government. My first local activity was with Los Alamos Little Theatre and many people have seen me either backstage or on stage in LALT and Light Opera productions. I had served on the LALT board of directors, including a year as president. Throughout the years I have been involved with local organizations. Today, I am completing my fifth year on the LARC board of directors and was its president for three of those years.

In county government, I have served at various times on the Board of Public Utilities (12 years) and on the County Council (12 years). I had also been asked to serve on special ad hoc committees to advise the Council on specific issues, most notably a board and commission review committee, the first airport advisory committee, and the first community wide-band network committee.

Having been a team leader at LANL, coupled with broad community and local government knowledge and experience provides me with the skills needed to perform the necessary oversight roles of Los Alamos County Assessor. 

More importantly is my record of open-mindedness, the ability to actively listen, and fairness. I can provide assurance that property valuations continue to be done fairly and accurately and comply with state law. And when questions arise, I can assure that they are addressed promptly, fairly, and professionally, as they have been by the excellent staff currently in the office. The office must continue to be run efficiently and cost effectively.     

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

MILDER: It is probably no surprise that many citizens do not fully understand the role of the Assessor’s Office. The challenge, therefore, is to provide adequate outreach so that the public not only has a better understanding of that role but also know what exemptions are available to property owners, exemptions that will save them money. I believe that the assessor must be out in the public to educate citizens about the office, its role in government, and the role it plays in their lives.   

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

MILDER: First and foremost the goal is to assure continuity of excellent service and professionalism. With the help and team leadership of Chief Deputy Assessor Joaquin Valdez, I expect this to be this to be a rather easy task, allowing me the opportunity to expand educational outreach to local organizations and schools.

 

MARCO LUCERO

Democratic Incumbent for Sheriff
 
LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?
 
LUCERO: When I considered retiring from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, I thought to myself … What now? I discussed it with my wife, Sandy, explaining to her that I was thinking of joining the bid for the Los Alamos County Sheriff. I retired in March of 2010 after 22 years of service with the rank of Lieutenant/Commander and was elected in November 2010 as your sheriff. I saw another opportunity to provide a service to my community by sharing my experience and training to help make the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office more professional and functional.

Having served as sheriff, I know that I have made a difference. I established policies and procedures for the office; I established the use of duty uniforms to display professionalism; I have worked with staff to organize the sex offender registry; while working with other sheriffs, in New Mexico and elsewhere, I promoted and adopted the “Offender Watch” sex offender program for Los Alamos County; I established a cooperative working relationship between the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office and Police Department. As your sheriff, I have provided testimony to our state legislators ensuring that your rights are protected. After laying the groundwork to meet my original goals, I know that I can continue to provide services to help promote public safety in Los Alamos County.

 
LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?

LUCERO: I have met my opponent and I believe that he is a nice man. There are, however, some very distinct differences that set us apart. First of all, I am a New Mexico State Certified Law Enforcement Officer. I have made public service as a peace officer my career (26 years). I believe in the office of sheriff and abiding by state law/statutes. My intentions are not to duplicate the duties of the local police department, but rather to work in cooperation with them to keep our community safe. I will continue to dedicate myself to work every day for the sheriff’s office, whereby my opponent works full time elsewhere. My opponent and I have very different views regarding the responsibilities and duties of the elected sheriff as dictated by state law. As my opponent stated in his candidacy announcement, “My goal has been that I want to go further than this in public service, but this is where I want to start.” I ran for the office of sheriff to provide a service rather than using the office as a stepping stone to further my political career. I am and have always been active in our community by volunteering time and services to our youth and charitable organizations.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

LUCERO: The greatest challenges I continue to face, are the negative propaganda statements saying that I intend to disrupt public safety in Los Alamos County by providing services as your sheriff. As the sheriff, I hold true to my oath of office. As your sheriff, I received information of a convicted sex offender in our county who was in violation of the law. Having the knowledge and ability, I conducted an investigation, drafted an arrest warrant and he was sent back to prison for violating those laws. This was all done with the knowledge and cooperation of the local Police Department and Federal Officers.

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

LUCERO: My number one goal is to establish a trust by the entire community that I am their elected official, and I serve them. Public service and a strong work ethic will continue to be the norm, if I am re-elected.  

 

JARET MCDONALD
Republican for County Sheriff

LA DAILY POST: Why are you running for this particular office?

MCDONALD: Running for an elected office and serving the community is the most important duty I can perform as a willing citizen. I am running for this office because I can and will take ownership as a leader of the sheriff position.

LA DAILY POST: What sets you apart from your opponent(s)?

MCDONALD: My opponent and I both have a strong law enforcement background and we understand how to keep a community safe. What sets me apart from my opponent is the fact that I have demonstrated exemplary business and management skills. Additionally, I possess proven critical search & rescue skills and firefighting experience that will be brought to this office as added public safety measures.

LA DAILY POST: What do you see as the greatest challenge to overcome in the office you seek?

MCDONALD: The greatest challenge to overcome while I am in office will be to define and educate the public on the role of the sheriff and how these roles apply to the public.

LA DAILY POST: If elected, what will be the number one goal you intend to accomplish?

MCDONALD: The distinctive goal I will accomplish as sheriff is to ensure the responsibilities of sheriff do not overlap, interfere, nor duplicate the work of the Los Alamos Police Department.

 
LOS ALAMOS

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