Elections 2020: Three candidates running for two seats on Bloomfield City Council
FARMINGTON — With no incumbent candidate in the race, three Bloomfield residents are vying for two seats on the Bloomfield City Council.
The Bloomfield City Council elections are March 3, although early voting is currently underway through the end of the month. Registered voters can cast ballots at Bloomfield City Hall, 915 N. 1st St.
Community members can meet the candidates from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Bloomfield Multicultural Center.
The candidates include businessman George Walter, engineer Tony Herrera and oilfield worker David Aguirre. Two of the three men will serve four year terms on the City Council following the election.
David Aguirre describes himself as a God-fearing, Bloomfield Bobcat loving resident who wants to serve as on the City Council as a way to give back to his community.
He said he has been pretty involved in his church community at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, but felt like he was lacking something. When people approached him about running for City Council, he decided to pray about it. After prayer and consideration, Aguirre entered the race.
He said he would work to make Bloomfield a better and safer place, including by supporting the Bloomfield police and fire departments.
Aguirre has lived in Bloomfield most of his life. He attended college for two years at the University of New Mexico and San Juan College before he was “introduced to oil field life.” While he started as a mechanic, he now works in operations.
He said there is a lot of traffic going through Bloomfield on a daily basis because the city serves as a main hub at the intersection of U.S. Highway 550 and U.S. Highway 64. That means people traveling to Albuquerque must travel through Bloomfield.
That traffic can create safety challenges and Aguirre said traffic safety needs to be a priority. He said the city should also work to reduce the crime rate.
George Walter said he has a strong gut feeling that “we the City of Bloomfield, our families, friends and all who visit can have a better tomorrow.”
He has lived in Bloomfield for 17 years and been an active community member. He co-coordinated the 5th of July celebrations, which he describes as the best show in the Four Corners, and has participated in parent advisory council for various of the schools as well as the Bloomfield Citizens Police Advisory Committee and citizen’s police academy. He has also been a part of the economic development committee and a member of NM Invents, a local group of inventors.
Walter is currently branch manager at Crane Service Inc. and previously served as district manager at Waste Management. He said his business experience has given him an understanding of fiscal responsibility and making tough decisions.
“I have been working in business here locally for several companies over my career and have learned a lot about what moves us to action, what may be missing, and what we do well," Walter said. "Ours is a community of resilience and character. We deserve a quality of life that can match our desire to live the good life right here in Bloomfield. All Bloomfield residents, families, and businesses should be able to benefit from sound and responsible City Council decisions and actions.”
He sent an email with a list of challenges Bloomfield faces including:
- Making sure the city meets the 2024 mandate to complete upgrades at the wastewater treatment facility
- Diversifying the economy, including developing outdoor recreation and retaining and expanding existing business
- Budget planning and oversight, including ensuring operational efficiencies, prudent spending to prepare for potential economic downturns and continued monitoring of revenue sources
- Improving the city’s aesthetics to make it more attractive to small business owners, families, retirees and tourists
- Working cooperatively with the Bloomfield Irrigation District to protect the primary water supply and increase the reservoir storage capacity
- Updating the Bloomfield comprehensive plan
- Working under the guidance of the community advisory committee and invested parties to resolve the court case involving acquisition of an electric utility from Farmington
- Seeking funding sources for infrastructure like streets and bridges
Tony Herrera is an engineer with the Bloomfield Fire Department. He did not respond to phone calls or email by deadline Feb. 7.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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