The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Candidate Q&As: Commission District 2

 

January 26, 2020



The heart of Clovis will have a new representative this year with Commissioner Sandra Taylor-Sawyer throwing her hat in the race for mayor and leaving her city commission seat for District 2 open.

There are two candidates on the ballot: Lauren Rowley and Jamaal Williams.

The News sat down with both candidates to ask some questions before early voting starts on Feb. 4. Election Day is March 3.

Lauren Rowley

Why did you decide to run?

I want to see the younger generation more involved in Clovis and I think it’s time for us to step up and take that leadership role.

Seeing that community grow and keeping the younger generations here with me and everyone and have them moving back here if they leave by having a sustainable source for them here to move back to.

What specific experiences and qualifications do you have that prepare you for the next four years?

I graduated college and was born and raised here in Clovis. I want to see this town grow and I see the potential that is has. I want to help that any way that I can.

I want to help the younger generation stay here. I think that helps me see a vision for that younger generation.

Have you been arrested or charged with any crime beyond traffic violations? If so, what were the circumstances and outcome?

No. Nothing like that.

What is the most important issue facing the city in the next few years, and what do you think needs to happen with it?

I would say water. Finding a stable source for it and having that readily available for the future generations that come.

What's an issue specific to your district that needs city attention, and how does the issue need to be addressed?

I would say roads and drainage and even just crime. I think it’s bad all over the city right now and I think finding a bigger police force and making the roads safer for residents of Clovis to drive on by getting those projects going and moving forward.

How does a community know when it's been taxed enough? Do you feel Clovis residents should pay more taxes, fewer taxes or about the same as they do now? And on what do you base your opinion?

I'd say about the same. We are taxed higher than most communities, but I think it all varies.

Recreational marijuana could be a reality in New Mexico as soon as July 1. Should that happen, do you believe the city should create its own regulations within its incorporated areas, take no position and leave regulations in the state's hands or keep recreational marijuana illegal in city limits?

I would have to see numbers on it before I could make a judgment call and weigh those options.

I don't know. That business with those pros and cons, I'd need to weigh those.

There's no evidence either way right now so I'd need more research to make that decision.

Jamaal Williams

Why did you decide to run?

Leadership and community is what I want to bring. I have some leadership skills that I feel are of value to the community.

Most people look to other people to run and solve all the problems. I was kind of feeling the same way and this was a last-minute decision.

I realized “Hey, the time is now.” And we can't look to other people to solve problems we can solve ourselves or contribute to solve. To solve them, I thought it was time to step up and contribute.

We need a fresh view to get in there and help solve the problems.

What specific experiences and qualifications do you have that prepare you for the next four years?

I'm a lifelong resident of Clovis first of all. I've been all over and know the town, though now I'm in District 2. I've been all over the entire district.

I'm also a Navy veteran so I have that military perspective. I went away for a while and then brought my family back to Clovis to raise my family.

I've been on the Parks and Recreation board as well. I'm on my second term.

I feel like I have to come in with love and this connection to Clovis. I'm a hometown person. I traveled away but then decided to bring back my family to be a part of this community.

Have you been arrested or charged with any crime beyond traffic violations? If so, what were the circumstances and outcome?

As a minor and I'll leave it at that. No felonies or anything like that.

What is the most important issue facing the city in the next few years, and what do you think needs to happen with it?

One of the most important issues is water. In regards to that I feel like we need to get more education and action on ways to reduce industries' use of our water resources.

That is one of the main things I think is important, that we need to reduce our water usage and improve our infrastructure.

What's an issue specific to your district that needs city attention, and how does the issue need to be addressed?

As I mentioned, I'm on the Parks and Recreation board and we have Hillcrest, which could always use improvements.

One thing that is specific to my district is safety. There aren't any stop signs or sidewalks and it's a hazard to public safety.

Around where I live in the middle of town there's not a stop or yield sign on every street. It's dangerous if you come between Main and Prince, as well as a lot of the inner city.

For this district it's the safety. I know the specific avenues we can address to rectify the issue.

Those are the things I think are the biggest issues.

How does a community know when it's been taxed enough? Do you feel Clovis residents should pay more taxes, fewer taxes or about the same as they do now? And on what do you base your opinion?

I will say this; we always want to work to lower taxes. As a veteran, I get some tax relief that everyone else doesn't get so I want to recognize that.

Looking at the complete picture, everyone in Clovis isn't super wealthy, so I think we can always lower taxes as much as we can.

Using the tax resources that we have, we have different ways to use them effectively. I want to work towards that.

Any efforts we can make to cut taxes I think would be a positive. I think we can use what we have and find ways to make our money stretch.

Recreational marijuana could be a reality in New Mexico as soon as July 1. Should that happen, do you believe the city should create its own regulations within its incorporated areas, take no position and leave regulations in the state's hands or keep recreational marijuana illegal in city limits?

I think we definitely should look into it. I know different places can make their own choice, but I definitely think we shouldn't just hide away from the issue. I think we need to look into it.

I know some of the smaller towns around will wait for Clovis to decide, so this is an issue we'll have to tackle.

— Compiled by Staff Writer Mathew Brock

 
 

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