AZTEC — For the tenth time, the city of Aztec wants to hear from you.

Tonight, Mayor Sally Burbridge will host the tenth and final "vision" session this year. The mayor will share with interested members of the community what projects and plans are in the works.

The gathering will also provide citizens the opportunity to share ideas and concerns and ask questions about the city and its future.

"It's out-of-the-box and openly interactive," Burbridge said. "There's no idea too small or inconceivable. This is an opportunity for people to have a real impact in the direction Aztec will take in years to come."

Courtesy photoAztec Mayor Sally Burbridge speaks during a recent vision session. Tonight, Burbridge will host the tenth and final vision session this year.
Courtesy photo Aztec Mayor Sally Burbridge speaks during a recent vision session. Tonight, Burbridge will host the tenth and final vision session this year. The sessions allow the public to share ideas and concerns about the city s future. (null)

Though the previous nine sessions held throughout the city at various locations were not as well attended as she had hoped, Burbridge said she is pleased with the quality of a lot of ideas -- both written on feedback sheets and verbally -- she's received.

For one session this spring, Burbridge invited students from Aztec and Vista Nueva high schools to city hall. She said she was impressed with their degree of insight and investment.

"They were incredibly tuned-in," she said. "Since then, at every session I tell the adults to be as impressive as the high school kids."

Katee McClure, who moved to Aztec in 1998 and organizes the annual Blues 'n' Brews festival, attended a vision session earlier this year at Crash Music.

"Tourism -- that's key for this town," McClure said. "I'd like to see bigger and more specialty events coming here, not just in the summer."

McClure emphasized the city's biggest draw -- the Aztec Ruins -- as a reason to attract more visitors.

Tonight's session will be attended by members of the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments, an agency that helps municipalities with long-range planning and development.

Burbridge and City Manager Josh Ray will compile the feedback they've collected from the sessions and pass it along to the Council of Governments to produce a report of the community's vision.

"The document will have to be approved by commission before a final draft is adopted," Burbridge said. "It will be a big-picture document to show where we want to go in the future."

Burbridge, who became mayor in 2008 and is serving her final term, wants to deepen the conversation about the potential in the city of more than 7,000 and what it will look like 10 or 15 years from now.

"I believe that we all have an obligation to make the place we live the place we want to live," she said. "The greatness of our home will be realized by the leadership and ideas we get from residents and businesses, not just its elected officials."

James Fenton covers Aztec and Bloomfield for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4631 and jfenton@daily-times.com. Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.