An election is coming up May 2nd for the Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District, which serves eastern Sandoval County. Coronado’s Board consists of five supervisors who hold staggered four-year terms. Current supervisor Gary Miles will step down June 30 when his term expires. Miles has been a lackluster supervisor who hasn’t spearheaded any projects during his term and seems to have no interest in conservation, so it will be a big improvement to have a new supervisor on board.
Running for the open position is Orlando Lucero, an outgoing Sandoval County Commissioner. Lucero filed early and will be on the ballot. After the ballot deadline passed, a second individual, Richard Reif, filed forms to qualify as a write-in candidate. We haven’t run into Reif at Coronado meetings and volunteer activities and don’t know much about him except that he lives in Placitas. Currently, three of the Board’s five supervisors live in Placitas.
Supervisors serve without pay, but have a lot of work to do. They are expected to identify and implement projects that address conservation needs, assist with grants and land use planning, attend a lot of meetings and conferences, and represent the District on various multi-agency committees.
Which brings us to Lucero. We think Coronado is fortunate to have someone with Lucero’s substantial experience interested in being a District Supervisor. He has a long history of public service in the state and county. He has served as State Representative for NM District 65 and as Sandoval County Commissioner for the last 8 years, including stints as vice chair and chairman. He has served on the North Central Economic Board, the NM Association of Counties, and as chairman of the Town of Bernalillo’s Planning and Zoning Commission, so he is familiar with public and private land use, flooding, and economic issues in the County and with the Piedra Lisa flood control dam, which Coronado co-manages with the Town of Bernalillo and Sandoval County. Add to this a strong academic and professional background in public education and many years working in prison ministry.
This kind of hands-on experience, expertise, and community involvement doesn’t come along every day, and would be a big asset to the District. And Lucero would be a great fit. One of Coronado’s goals is to develop conservation education programs for Sandoval County youth. Lucero also has experience as a farmer and rancher—a helpful background, since partnering with private landowners, growers and ranchers to conserve soil, water and natural habitat is a key function of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Coronado also has a seat at the table with the US Forest Service and other federal agencies that deal with local public lands—one more reason why Lucero’s experience would be a tremendous “get” for Coronado.
Typically, only a couple hundred people cast ballots in District elections, so every vote carries a lot of weight. We hope those of you residing in eastern Sandoval County (including Algodones, Bernalillo, Placitas and tribal lands) will visit Coronado’s website to learn more about our District conservation organization. Then on May 2nd, hustle on over to Our Lady of Sorrows Gymnasium in Bernalillo and vote for Lucero.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 7 am to 7 pm
Our Lady of Sorrows Gymnasium, 301 Camino del Pueblo, Bernalillo, NM
April 10 update: The Coronado SWCD now has statements by both candidates available on its website (see election announcement on home page).