Candidate close-up

By Keith Hayes

I was transplanted to Tucumcari via Swickly, Penn., Fort Bragg, N.C., Morgantown, La., and Miles, Texas.

I was born in 1942 and my dad was in the military until we settled here in 1947. I attended the Tucumcari schools for 12 years. I went to first grade at Central School, which now houses the Tucumcari Historical Museum.

I graduated in 1961 from the old high school which was located on Fourth Street. It burned in 1975.

Then I went to Eastern New Mexico University and New Mexico State University for business courses.

I married a hometown girl, Corinne Meeks. God blessed us with two children – Jimmy Hayes and Tammy Hayes Lopez. Our children and their spouses live in Tucumcari. We have five grandchildren.

I have been self-employed most of my life in the fields of construction, livestock hauling, excavation, redi-mix concrete and now long-haul trucking. We employ 18 people and expect our 2006 payroll to be approximately $400,000.

We are the owners and operators, along with our children, of a successful business. Not all of my business endeavors have been successful, but that is a skill I bring to the table – the ability to merge and/or change an operation to take advantage of its more profitable or promising areas.

The City of Tucumcari is a business and should be operated as such. Since it is a business that is dependent on its residents and other businesses for its survival, it has to be business-friendly.

That does necessarily mean bringing in mega corporations. Ten or 12 small operations that could bring in money from outside sources could have a tremendous impact on the economics of Tucumcari.

The city needs to be on a paying basis. As a candidate for city commissioner in district four, economic growth would be one of my priorities.

Being in my own business for over 30 years has meant wearing many hats. I feel that this experience, knowledge and a conservative, practical approach to operating a business of my own will be an asset in dealing with the economics and future of Tucumcari.

Keith Hayes is running for Tucumcari city commissioner in district four.

All city candidates are invited to write, in 300 words or less, a brief synopsis of their intentions if elected.