Outgoing mayors offer advice to newcomers

Tommy Roberts encourages new mayors to be transparent

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
Nate Duckett recognizes guests on Monday during his swearing-in ceremony as mayor in the Farmington City Council chambers.
  • Sally Burbridge encouraged new mayors to get to know other elected officials and find common ground.
  • Scott Eckstein said Bloomfield residents will see changes after this month's municipal election.
  • Roberts and Burbridge had been mayor since 2010, and Eckstein was elected mayor in 2006.

FARMINGTON — Multiple-term mayors left office this week in Farmington, Aztec and Bloomfield.

The three mayors were replaced by former City Councilor Nate Duckett (Farmington), Aztec High School JROTC coach Victor Snover (Aztec) and Cynthia Atencio, who works as an administrative assistant in Aztec (Bloomfield).

Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts and Aztec Mayor Sally Burbridge chose not to run for re-election. Roberts had been mayor since 2010 and was first elected to the City Council in 1998. Burbridge had been mayor for 10 years and served on the City Commission since 2006.

Bloomfield Mayor Scott Eckstein ran for re-election, but was defeated by Atencio. Ecsktein had been the mayor of Bloomfield since 2006.

Eckstein said he gave Atencio his number and encouraged her to contact him if she needs any advice.

“The citizens voted for change, and they’re going to get change,” Eckstein said when reached by phone Tuesday.

Burbridge teared up Monday evening as she accepted a plaque and flowers in recognition of her 12 years of service to the city of Aztec.

Burbridge told The Daily Times she had a simple piece of advice for the new mayor.

“You have to get to know the other elected (officials) and understand what motivates them,” Burbridge said. “Then you’ll find your common ground, and you can actually make things happen.”

Commissioner Sherri Sipe, left, and interim city manager Steve Mueller, right, thank outgoing Mayor Sally Burbridge for her service Monday during a City Commission meeting at Aztec City Hall.

Roberts also had some advice for the newly elected mayors.

“The most important thing for a mayor is to know the issues very well, to know them to the extent that you can almost always respond promptly to constituents’ concerns,” Roberts said.

He said it is important to practice inclusiveness with all groups of constituents.

“I think it’s wise to maintain independence from party politics,” Roberts said.

He said the municipal government positions are nonpartisan and work well that way. Roberts also encouraged the new mayors to be transparent and to involve their constituents in the city government.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.