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MAYORAL CANDIDATE PROFILE: Michael J. Williams

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Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014 12:00 am

Age (on date of election): 59

Years of residence in Rio Rancho: 29 consecutive years

Education: Certificates and hours of schooling equivalent to bachelor’s degree.

Occupation: Retired public servant.

Family: Spouse, Kealy; daughters, Jennifer and Jessica; stepson, Deveron; grandson, James; two Yorkies, Gizmo and Ginger.

Political/government experience: 33 years working at city, county, state and federal agencies.

Major professional accomplishment: I was instrumental as a city councilor, along with other civic leaders, in helping guide our growing city from 20,000 to 90,000 residents. During that time, Rio Rancho was named one of America’s safest cities, several times as being the best place to live. Presbyterian and UNM hospitals, CNM, UNM West, HP along with other businesses.

Major personal accomplishment: My family and career.

Have you ever been arrested for, or charged with, or convicted of drunken driving or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, please explain. No.

(The numbered questions each candidate answered are available online in an introductory article.)

1-1) Economic development: Form Economic Advisory Committee to guide growth; centralize chamber of commerce, economic development and convention and visitors bureau to better serve businesses; create “one-stop shop” approach for businesses to interact with city; identify and market commercially zoned properties to bring in new businesses; create public/private partnerships to solicit business. 2) Infrastructure roads/water: Investigate cost to purchase equipment for resurfacing streets at lesser expense; create regional water authority maximizing our ability to preserve and conserve.

2-As a former city councilor, mayor and public servant for 33 years, I have a record of proven collaboration with leaders on both sides of the political isle. I’m a graduate of economic development at Western New Mexico University, advanced certified municipal official through New Mexico Municipal League, Federal Emergency Management Association through United States Coast Guard. I have received Leadership Awards from Rio Rancho Economic Development and Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments. Passionate and committed.

3-(Refer to No. 1) My five-point plan with mayor’s involvement.

4-We need to maintain our status of safest city in the state of New Mexico. Also, we need to maintain our fire rating to keep insurance rates down for our residents. Our police and fire departments do a fantastic job considering the confinements of our budget. We have been recognized as one of the safest cities in the U.S.

5-While I was on city council, we made the acquisition of water rights a top priority, creating a fund to purchase water. Now, we need to consider creating a regional water authority board to draw multiple communities together for future growth.

6-Yes. I believe the citizens have a right to vote on bonds or a tax question. I’ve always supported that in the past. It is our constitutional right to let voters make that decision. By addressing the problem now, it saves the taxpayers in the future. Also, we need to address the state Legislature to acquire capital outlay monies, lessening the financial burden on the city.

7-Being retired, I will dedicate my time entirely, as I did in 2007, as mayor, collaborating with constituents and councilors to guide our city forward in a non-partisan manner.

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