Simple Candidate Questions…


Two weeks ago, I emailed every County Council candidate to try and get simple answers for some of the main issues for the town. I asked each candidate for a brief, simple, to the point, less the 3-sentence answer for each, to try and get useless fluff out. So, we as voters could have a “cheat sheet” if you will. A simple document where we could quickly find where a candidate stands on the bigger broad issues and the best place to contact them for more information. Because let’s face it, most of us don’t want to or don’t have the time to read a long article that is 80% fluff answers and 20% actual answers.

These are the 8 issues I asked.

1- Transparency of the council. 

2- Spending of the council. 

3- Infrastructure of the county. 

4- Community outreach and involvement with council. 

5- Small business in the county. 

6- Transportation mass or personnel. 

7- Code enforcement. 

8 – Housing in the county.

James Wernicke is the only council candidate that was not concerned about who I was, what this was for, or didn’t think 3 sentences isn’t enough to answer. One didn’t even respond. Some of them referred me to the League of Women Voters forum and guide.  Which are fantastic, but I’m not going to watch 3 hours of forum, and why is high speed internet question a big deal in the guide? 

If a candidate is too worried about who questions are coming from or how they answer a direct question, shows a lot on how they might act if they get elected. A lot can be said in a sentence if worded correctly. For this, James gets my vote. Since it seems he is the only one that can take the time to respond to a normal citizen with questions.

Here are James Wernicke’s answers to the questions I sent him .

  • Transparency: Except when it jeopardizes a person’s safety, record and publish all official government documents and meetings. Publish IPRA responses online. With today’s media sharing platforms all public records should be searchable, accessible, and available to the public on-demand in perpetuity.
  • Spending: Balance annual budget to provide overall equal value to each citizen and report clear and precise cost/benefit of each project.
  • Infrastructure: Build bike/pedestrian/accessible paths between residential and commercial areas including from WR to LA. Reduce scheduled bus routes in favor of microtransit (e.g. “dial-a-ride”). Pursue autonomous vehicles for public transit. If it’s not already being done, install utility expansion conduit during road resurfacing projects. Upgrade to more resilient utility distribution infrastructure. Continue to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Work with stakeholders to connect I-25 fiber backbone to local communities.
  • Community outreach and involvement: Diversify communication platforms to engage with underreached segments of the community. Host quarterly Council town halls. Make it easier to find information and submit feedback or requests via the County website.
  • Small business: Work with government contractors to allow local businesses to compete for local rents. Commercial inspections, permits, and enforcement will be consistent regardless of tenancy. Transfer public land designated for commercial development via public auction to local real persons for building local customer-facing businesses.
  • Transportation: Build bike/pedestrian/accessible paths between residential and commercial areas including from WR to LA. Restore Trinity to four lanes and put a stoplight at 35th. Replace stoplight at NM-4/Jemez with merge lanes.
  • Code enforcement: Codes will substantially benefit health, safety, and/or welfare of the community and minimize barriers to growth. Inspections, permits, and code enforcement will be consistent regardless of tenancy.
  • Housing: Codes, permits, and inspections will minimize delay and cost of new construction and allow more housing density.