Michael Padilla returns to role as Aztec Mayor after two-decade break

Three new city commissioners were sworn in on Jan. 11

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Michael Padilla Sr. was selected by the members of the Aztec City Commission during its Jan. 11 meeting as mayor, according to City of Aztec news release.
  • Former District 4 Commissioner and Mayor Victor Snover along with District 5 Commissioner Mark Lewis were voted out of office by Aztec residents.
  • Padilla told The Daily Times that he previously served as mayor between 1992 and 1998 while serving two terms on the commission.

FARMINGTON — One of the former Aztec mayors has returned to the position this month after previously serving in the role more than two decades ago.

Michael Padilla Sr. was selected by the members of the Aztec City Commission during its Jan. 11 as mayor, according to City of Aztec news release.

District 2 Commissioner Ken George was selected Mayor Pro Temp during the meeting.

George along with district 4 Commissioner Colby King and District 5 Commissioner Jim Crowley were sworn during the first meeting of 2022.

All three were elected during the Nov. 2 elections. Former District 4 Commissioner and Mayor Victor Snover along with District 5 Commissioner Mark Lewis were voted out of office by Aztec residents.  

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Members of the Aztec City Commission pose for a photo, from left to right: Austin Randall, Michael Padilla, Sr., Ken George, Jim Crowley, and Colby King.

Former District 2 Commissioner Rosalyn Fry did not run for re-election.

Padilla told The Daily Times that he previously served as mayor between 1992 and 1998 while serving two terms on the commission. He returned to the council during the March 2020 election.

He said he was looking forward to serving as mayor after receiving some pressure from the community to take over the position.

“I’ve been here, and I care for our community. I care about our staff,” Padilla said.

Padilla named several things he believes the city is tackling or will need to tackle including addressing the ramifications of the drought that has stricken the region.

The mayor didn’t share figures, but he stated that City of Aztec has been able to maintain financial stability during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as the municipality doesn’t have any manufacturing or industry within city limits.

The biggest issue the city has tackled in recent years is the retirement of many city directors, including the city manager, financial and electrical directors.

“I’m really pleased with the three new directors that we brought in,” Padilla said. “I think we're really, really fortunate in a small town to have this quality of people helping run our city.”

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One big project on Padilla’s radar is looking to build a fourth water storage reservoir.

“That's probably one of the big things on my mind right now,” Padilla said. “We are still in a drought, extreme drought. Water storage is going to be the key, water is the most important commodity that we can have for the city.”

Padilla is excited to see the North Main extension project going forth and hopes to secure additional federal funding for the East Aztec Arterial Route, intended to divert large vehicle traffic from the downtown area.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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