AZTEC The city of Aztec has published its vision for the future.

The 14-page Vision Plan was posted online Tuesday and is available at the city's website, aztecnm.gov.

Aztec City Commissioners approved and adopted the document at a Feb. 25 commission meeting.

"The Vision Plan is very important to our city," City Manager Joshua Ray told commissioners. "It is one of those vital steps to chart a path together for our city's future going forward."

Last year, Ray, Aztec Mayor Sally Burbridge and city staff hosted 10 "vision sessions" to solicit ideas and aspirations from the city's less than 7,000 residents to craft the Vision Plan.

Aztec Mayor Sally Burbridge speaks during a vision session last year for the city of Aztec. The city published its 14-page Vision Plan last week.
Aztec Mayor Sally Burbridge speaks during a vision session last year for the city of Aztec. The city published its 14-page Vision Plan last week. (Courtesy of City of Aztec)

In the plan's introduction, Burbridge wrote the city wants to be "America's best and coolest small town, with those embracing values of family, community, safety, beauty and livable scale."

"On the other hand, we aspire to grow and evolve and to be able to access the benefits, the services, the jobs and the marvelous technologies of 21st Century American life," Burbridge continues in the introduction.

The Vision Plan identifies eight values — "that small-town spirit," "living local," "quality of life," "strong and growing," "gateway to fun," "history and hope unite," "sustainability and livability" and "visionary leadership" — around which to create a plan for progress and change.

"We gathered information in survey style and with verbal interaction," Ray said. "We then took all the data we collected and sent that to (the Northwest New Mexico) Council of Governments. We worked with (them) to develop this document we now have before us. It's exciting."

City Projects Manager Ed Kotyk assembled and designed the document and posted it online.

Burbridge, who visited schools, local businesses and community groups much of last year, was pleased with the final result.

"I am really happy looking through it," she said. "I had to be very careful to not edit out the things that didn't hit home for me. Since I led the sessions, I didn't want it to be (perceived) as my vision. This is to be a community vision, a community document, which is really the purpose. Are we really moving in the direction the community wants? This reflects that."

Ray added that the Vision Plan doesn't reflect the ideas of any particular person or group.

"It altogether truly shows what people want to see, and I think that's captured very well in the document," he said. "In one sitting, people can find it all, but I also hope it will encourage more communication from our citizens."

James Fenton covers Aztec and Bloomfield for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621 and jfenton@daily-times.com. Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.