Mayors and district leaders share legislative priorities

BERNALILLO – The leaders of the local governments of the Rio Rancho area are pushing to maintain their own elections and receive government funding for local projects during the upcoming legislature.

Mayors Gregg Hull of Rio Rancho, Jack Torres of Bernalillo and Jo Anne Roake of Corrales, and Sandoval County Manager Wayne Johnson discussed their legislative priorities at the Sandoval Economic Alliance breakfast Tuesday morning. It was in person in the district administration building and was also broadcast live.

Sandoval district

When it comes to brick-and-mortar projects, Johnson said expanding Paseo del Volcan to I-40 is the county’s first priority.

Wayne Johnson

“We see PdV as one of the keys to economic development and growth on the west side of the river,” he said.

The county is also prioritizing a more permanent animal shelter that Johnson hopes will have an emergency veterinary clinic.

Third, Sandoval County is seeking government funding to add funds to a new public safety complex.

“We’ve been chasing the hare, if you will, with the cost of building this building for two, probably three years,” he said.

District leaders also want the 13th remodelthat Judicial District Court building is said to have more courtrooms. To keep pace with the growth in cases over the next 15 years, Johnson hopes the sheriff’s office will move from the district court to the proposed public security complex, remodel the vacant space, and move the Sandoval County Magistrate Court into the district court building.

Eventually, Johnson and the County Commission plan to remodel the administration building to convert the commission chambers on the third floor into offices and move the chambers to a new building adjacent to the current administration building for comfort, security and expanded office space.

Rio Rancho

Hull highlighted a long list of project funding requests.

Gregg Hull

“The state said they have a stupid amount of cash, so we’re going to ask for a stupid amount of money, right?” He said.

These “inquiries” include $ 1.8 million for the next phase of Campus Park, $ 1.3 million for the next phase of Broadmoor Senior Center, and several public safety vehicle inquiries. City guides are also hoping for $ 350,000 to rehabilitate the Sabana Grande Recreation Center.

“This is a heavily used facility, one of our original buildings, and it really needs some attention right now,” said Hull.

He said the city opposes any legislation that would restrict the home rule’s authority, including its ability to administer its own elections. He said he was concerned that mixing municipal affairs with those of other jurisdictions would lead to confusion when a vote is taken.

“I get a little scared if we want to hand over bipartisan elections to a partisan elected official to oversee it,” added Hull. “We have done very well in our elections over the past 40 years, so we want to make sure we keep doing it.”

The city’s legislative priorities also include additional mental health resources and money to help public safety staff help people in crisis; – urging the state to keep payments to local governments harmless in order to offset lost revenue when the gross income tax on food was abolished; and enable individuals who have received pension benefits from the Public Employee Pension Association, particularly law enforcement officers, to return to their jobs without losing their benefits.


Torres said Bernalillo members and staff preferred to conduct their local elections themselves.

Jack Torres

“Just changing the date from March to November would not be good for our church,” he said.

Torres said Bernalillo leaders oppose the abolition of “hold-harm-free” regulations, but support behavioral health resources, particularly crisis intervention teams that work with multiple agencies and return to work arrangements for PERA Pensioner.

“It affects us all,” Torres said of the return to work rules.

Torres said the return to work provisions should include restrictions to prevent abuse, but he would like to allow law enforcement, fire and water or sewerage workers to return to work after retirement as it does it is difficult to fill these positions.

Unlike in the district, he and other members of the Bernalillo board of directors reject the extension of the PdV.

“… The biggest concern we have is the impact it will have on our community in terms of additional traffic from 550,” he said.

If 75,000 or more cars roll down $ 550 each day on their way to PdV or other locations, the road would not be able to handle the load, Torres said, making city shops difficult to access and thus reducing their incomes.

Torres and other Bernalillo leaders also want lawmakers to cap interest rates on payday loans at 36 percent.

“They’re sucking dollars out of your community,” Torres said of payday lenders.

For stationary projects, Bernalillo officials are asking for $ 15 million to improve the city’s sewage treatment plant, several million more to improve the water system, and $ 5 million for a new fire station to expand services.


Most recently, Roake spoke, who is not running for re-election.

Jo Anne Roake

“We are in the same boat on many of the problems we face, particularly local government and autonomy,” she said.

The state passed civil rights and cannabis laws without thinking about a city like Corrales, she said, raising concerns about future legal and financial obligations. Like Rio Rancho and Bernalillo, Corrales leaders want to keep their own local elections.

In terms of projects, Corrales is asking for $ 16.5 million to install a sewer system that will protect more than 1,500 homes, she said. The village has no water and sewage system, so most of the residents use wells and septic tanks.

“We really believe that there are some problems with our groundwater. We really need to turn around and look at a decent sewer connection, ”she said.

A sewer system won’t harm wells, Roake said, but it will protect groundwater quality.

Village chiefs are also charging for a fire truck, police equipment, building conversions, and $ 10 million for a multigenerational center for economic and cultural events.

“I hope we can get some traction on our larger inquiries,” said Roake.

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