Candidate Q&A: Antonio J. Apodaca

Editor’s note: The following candidate is running for the four-year term of city commissioner for District 1.

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

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

Name: Antonio J. Apodaca

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired

Please list previous or current elected offices or other organizations you feel prepare you for a commission seat: I have served as the commissioner for District 1 for 16 years.

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

A: There are so many things that I would like to do for the residents of Tucumcari. First off I want to continue working for the rights of all of the residents not just those who live in my district. As a commissioner we need to secure our Ute Lake water allocation. I also want to support the Racino being built in Tucumcari. I’d continue to oppose unfair rate hikes and wasteful spending, work towards a better children’s youth recreation program and above all, work together with my fellow commissioners for a better Tucumcari.

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

A: The commission has done a great job of upgrading the infrastructure of the city. An example of that can be seen in the newly built waste water treatment facility north of town. The construction of that new plant has set the tone for further and future economic growth in Tucumcari. It will provide and accommodate a service which will be needed when Tucumcari grows. We have also just recently worked towards the redistricting of our municipal districts. This redistricting has ensured that the residents have an equal representation in city government.

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

A: The raise of rates without consideration of how it will affect our residents and businesses. Rate increases not only affected and upset our residents it also could have greatly damaged our existing businesses and prevented other potential businesses from moving into town. The commission also explored an unnecessary expenditure; the purchase of the Wells Fargo Building. This would not have been a sensible purchase, considering we already own property which is currently not being used such as the Worley Mills building. We also need to review and update many of our policies.

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

A: We need to focus on economic development. We need to work more closely with the Economic Development Corporation to search out new business opportunities to move into our town now or in the near future. We can not afford to wait three to five years for a business to come to town, we need that growth now. We also need to look into taking care of our existing businesses. We can ill afford to lose another business in this town. We already have to many vacant building in the heart of our town.

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

A: There are streets that need to be paved in my district. We also need to work on providing the underground utilities to all the residents in my district. There is also a need to understand that many of the residence in my district are on a fixed income. An increase rates for a city’s service can greatly effect them. They sometimes live alone and do not have an additional income coming into their home to adjust to the increase.

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

A: Above all, we need to do our best to work with the residents and listen to their concerns and ideas. It is important to hear what our residents have to say and act on their concerns. They need to know that they do have a voice in city government and know the commissioners are going to do everything in their power to protect their interest while helping the city to grow.