Santa Fe County Commissioner Chair Henry P. Roybal/Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Henry Roybal has been elected chair of the Santa Fe County Commission for 2020. Roybal serves District 1 which includes stretches from the northern part of Santa Fe north to Chimayo and Santa Cruz.
Roybal began his first term in office in January 2015 and was re-elected to his second four-year term which began in January 2019. He is chair of the Regional Coalition of Communities, chair of the Santa Fe County 2020 Census Committee and sits on the board of directors of the New Mexico Association of Counties.
He also serves on the Buckman Direct Diversion Board, Santa Fe Metropolitan Policy Organization, Santa Fe Solid Management Agency, the Santa Fe County Housing Authority and is lead CEO for the Northern Area Local Workforce Development Board.
This will be Roybal’s second term as chair of the Commission. He told the Los Alamos Reporter that one of his main priorities this year will be the success of Census 2020.
“It is very important to me that as many people as possible in the Census 2020 count for Santa Fe County. Every individual that is not counted is $30,000 over the next 10 years that the state will not receive for services,” he said. “So if a household of three people is not counted, that means it will cost the state more than $100,000 over 10 years.”
Roybal said parts of his district desperately need additional services and infrastructure. He said for the first time, people will complete the census primarily online.
“New Mexico is considered a ‘hard-to-count’ state’ and much of my district falls into that category. I promise to work my hardest to have a successful count in Santa Fe County and I am asking my constituents to help make this happen in District 1,” he said.
Roybal said he also wants to collaborate with surrounding counties to assist them with their counts if necessary. In October the RCLC approved a plan introduced by Los Alamos County Councilor David Izraelevitz which is designed to help members in the region to have a good response.
Roybal said he plans to bring Santa Fe County Complete Count Committee members and a census navigator to make a presentation before the RCLC.