San Miguel County’s government is arguably the best-run in the area. That’s to the credit of the county manager, his staff and the current County Commission.
With two competitive races for commission in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, it’s important voters look at which candidates are best able to continue the progress and find ways to improve those areas of county government that are lagging.
In our minds, Nicolas Leger in the Las Vegas-based District 5 and Ramon Lucero in the Pecos-based District 2 are the best Democratic candidates for the commission.
Leger is an attorney, and Lucero is a project manager for an engineer firm. Their work experience have prepared them for the duties of a county commissioner.
Moreover, both praise the work of County Manager Les Montoya and the county staff, but they provide constructive suggestions in their candidate questionnaires about how to further improve county government.
Leger has much experience in several areas of the law — land, water and land-use planning, all of which involve many issues related to county government. In his job, Lucero has worked with small rural communities to design and build water system improvement projects, and that requires dealing with a number of government agencies.
Leger’s campaign has focused on managed growth; after all, uncontrolled development is probably the biggest threat to the lifestyles of rural residents. He suggests the county develop a closer relationship with the county on water issues. We couldn’t agree more.
“Through smart development, we can increase our tax base and generate more revenues to improve county services,” he states in a candidate questionnaire, but added that he would want to have ordinances that protect the county’s water, environment and natural beauty.
Lucero notes that many rural residents aren’t happy with county road maintenance. Indeed, county officials admit that they fall far short in this area, largely because of a lack of resources. The county recently drafted a maintenance plan, to which Lucero insists that the county adhere.
Lucero, in fact, is a board member for the El Valle Water Alliance, which has been a shining example of progress in the county over the last few years. This group coordinates water needs of the rural communities in the Valley and presents a unified list of funding requests to lawmakers.
“A large part of the success of this organization has been sharing of information and resources, which I would advocate as a county commissioner,” Lucero writes in a candidate questionnaire.
We urge voters to cast their ballots in favor of both Leger and Lucero next week.