BY JOSEPH MAESTAS
Candidate for District 3
Public Regulation Commission
As an experienced, licensed engineer, I trust the science that tells us climate change is a real threat to us now and in the future. Our State is poised to be a national leader in fighting climate change with a quicker transition to a clean energy future through the enactment of the Energy Transition Act (ETA) of 2019. The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) will be at the epicenter of that transition. Will factional in-fighting continue among PRC commissioners? Will the battles continue between the PRC and the Executive and Legislative branches over funding and legislation? Will the utility ratepayers’ interests fall through the cracks as a result?
Voters will have an opportunity to weigh in on these very important issues through this election. But which candidate is best suited to help solve these problems? Should voters trust a candidate that is privately-financed and beholden to specials interest? Should voters consider a candidate that is untested and part of the factional, insider culture within the PRC? I’m certainly not that candidate and I hope to convince you that I’m the clear choice in this race as the candidate with the most experience, leadership, and qualifications as my publicly-financed campaign is driven only by people power. I will also bring a fresh perspective that’s needed to reform the PRC.
As a native New Mexican, born in Santa Fe and raised on a small farm in Santa Cruz, I am New Mexico. I’m a land grant heir, acequia water rights owner, and proud product of our public education system. I have bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering. I departed New Mexico for 16 years to serve our country as a Federal civil servant for a total of over 30 years as a Federal engineer and regulator. I came back to NM to give back by serving my communities for 14 years as a local elected official as an Espanola City Councilor and Mayor; and Santa Fe City Councilor. I’ve built a solid reputation as a progressive reformer committed to good government and public service.
I am a proven leader having served as President of the NM Municipal League Board, Chairperson of the NM Voices for Children Board, and Vice Chair of the Conservation Voters of NM Board. As Espanola’s Mayor, I worked closely with Los Alamos County to help create the Northcentral Regional Transit District, the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities, and the Regional Economic Development Initiative. I also partnered with the Los Alamos YMCA to open the Espanola YMCA Teen Center as a safe haven for at-risk youth.
As a PRC candidate, my vision is to unify the executive and legislative branches to transform the PRC into a model regulatory organization and share a vision for a path to a clean energy future. As your next PRC Commissioner, I will work hard ensure that the PRC receives adequate, consistent funding to be that model organization. I plan to help modernize the PRC and our electric grid and fight for ratepayers to ensure that the low-income consumers do not pay a disproportionately higher share of utility and energy transition costs.
I believe that I am the right candidate at the right time – a trained problem-solver with a steady hand that has the necessary experience, leadership, qualifications, and independence to move New Mexico forward. As your friend and neighbor, I humbly ask for your vote on June 2nd as your next Public Regulation Commissioner for District 3.