‘Observe the true potential’ here at home

My name is Augustine Montoya and I am a Democrat running for Torrance County Commission District 3. As I write this letter to the editor I am inspired by the courage, energy and sense of community we the citizens of Torrance County have shown through these challenging and turbulent times. If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it is that we here in Torrance County know how to care for one another and protect each other.

Torrance County is my home; it is the place where I was born and raised, additionally, I hope to do the same with my children. My family has been a part of the Mountain communities for centuries, and hopefully more to come. I’ve observed opportunities in economy; education, environment and so much more flee the county. In being a part of a small, family owned business I know what it means to work from sun up to sun down as an everyday person. Did you know, that in Torrance County we are experiencing a “36.4%” poverty rate amongst our children 0-17 years old (NM-IBIS, 2017)? That is over one-third (1/3) of our kids within the community!

It is time for our leaders to observe the true potential we have right here at home. As your County Commissioner I am committed to working with every school district in Torrance County to find new and innovative forms of revenue to provide more after-school, art, drama, music, S.T.E.M, and other programs to our students. The County Commission has worked to bring previous programs into fruition regarding economic development, and I would like to build upon these programs with your help and input. I am running to protect our water, a sacred finite resource; diversify and build our economy; innovate upon our student’s education; maintaining and improving our services and overall protecting and serving our communities here in Torrance County.

I hope that you will stand with me in this fight to achieve the vision we as a community have for the future of our county and families. VOTE June 2, 2020.

Augustine Montoya, Tajique


Running to bring about ‘vision for success’

Why I decided to run for re-election: This election, season, I have consistently contributed material to our partners in the press so that my positions and point of view regarding various issues such as economic development, infrastructure improvement, and open government might become better known to the public. Rather than contribute another treatise regarding specific policy, I wish to offer the public a summation of why I am running for re-election:

As I considered the possibility of running for re-election, it was critical that my motives for doing so not stem from any sense of ego, careerism, nor personal interest. Our form of government rarely rewards the selfless public servant because there are very few people who wish to take on burdens and assume cost without reaping rewards. The selfless public servant is a rarity and yet an essential component in delivering change because they do not fear repercussions and are willing to do right because it is right. District 3 is no different and its county commissioner must be prepared to deliver change over partisan opposition, public skepticism, and a prevalent lethargy in existing power structures. Four years ago, I clearly laid out what my goals would be as county commissioner and have done my utmost to stay true to the vision I laid before my fellow citizens. Before deciding to run for re-election, I considered the matter with those with whom I have worked most; town council members, land grant presidents, school board members and the like to gain an appreciation for their perception of my term of service. I believe that we have come a long way in uniting as a region in District 3 and I believe the potential for unified action is greater than ever before. If elected, I will do everything in my power to further the initiatives we have begun, such as expanded emergency services, implementation of economic development projects, cooperation with land grants, increased capital outlay, revitalized infrastructure, stable solid waste fees, a five-member commission, increased accountability, improvement of road maintenance, supporting renewable energy, public transparency, and water conservation. Yes, a selfless public servant is a rarity and what that person needs from the public is their support in order to make good on their intentions. It is unfortunate that the public does not regularly attend commission meetings en masse, but they can be sure that regardless of whether they attend, I am paying attention and considering all points of view. In short, when I am in the meeting, I am thinking of the perspectives of all the people and holding true to my promise that I would do my utmost to be a voice for all of us. We have not had a successful incumbent commissioner in District 3 for twenty years. I decided to run for re-election not so much because there is work to be done, but because as a region, we are in a powerful position to convert the coalitions we have built between our school districts, municipalities, and land grants into widespread regional success. The tantalizing possibility of bringing about that vision of success for District 3 and Torrance County is what inspires me to run again. The change we seek is coming into focus; the transformation we desire requires much work to be done.

Javier E. Sánchez, Ewing

Weighing in on Torrance County Dist. 3 candidates

In support of James Frazier for Torrance County Commission District 3.

Mr. Frazier is a good HONEST man who is running for the seat that is held by Mr. Javier Sanchez.

Mr. Frazier is running in the Republican primary against a past commissioner, among others in the race. I support Mr. Frazier in this endeavor. The reason I support Mr. Frazier is that he is honest. Mr. Frazier did not approve that a person indicted on 12 counts of felonious activity be allowed to do her job based on the lie that she knew how to do the job, like the past commissioner did when he was the commissioner. Mr. Frazier reeled in anger at the State of NM Judiciary for not acting on these indictments, that were correct, legal and righteous. The state of NM decided to sweep these indictments under the rug and listen to the past commissioner’s advice.

Commissioners in any county are assigned the job of keeping us safe and ensuring our roads are of quality as to not destroy our means of transportation. This is it, period. Mr. Frazier’s own car has been damaged by the roads of this county for years, so the safe roads mentioned have not been met. The safety of the community he will be serving has not been met either. Where he lives, drug addicts continue to rob him of his Constitutional Rights of Life, Liberty and his Pursuit of Happiness with no repercussion from law enforcement. Mr. Frazier was actually shot by a neighbor on his own property by his neighbor drug addict, all without police intervention.

Mr. Frazier is a supporter of local community. He was involved with the Fire and EMS Department in the area he lives. Mr. Frazier was been ostracized by his own community’s Fire Department in these endeavors due to petty nonsense that precluded his willingness to help the community in which he lives.

If you know James Frazier, you may know him as “Jim Bob”. This is how I know him. Jim Bob may not be what you consider to be “commissioner material”. I am here to tell you Mr. Frazier is commissioner material. He can see what is right, what is wrong and he will correct what he sees is wrong. He can see what is wrong and participate in the discussion with acumen. He will lead us in the way that will benefit everyone in the County of Torrance.

District 3 has been the “bastard” of Torrance County for years. This county needs representation in this district. Mr. Frazier is a fair man capable of discerning right from wrong and is able to lead this county’s district. Mr. Frazier can lead this county to make district three relevant once more.

There is no finer person in Torrance County willing to serve district 3.

I plead with you to vote for Mr. James Frazier, District 3 Commissioner on June 2nd, or whatever day we vote on. He is the only way for you to change the same old way this county has been operating. If you like the poverty of District 3 in Torrance County then vote as you will. If you desire change in District 3, vote for Mr. Frazier.

Steven Grabiel


An open letter to Sandoval County Commissioners, State Fire Marshal

I wanted to write and express my appreciation to you for listening to the concerns and views of the East Mountain community about the La Madera fire station. While our residences are far from yours, we treasure them as I know you treasure your own homes. And, we are so proud of our volunteer firefighters and what they have accomplished—they are part of the glue that holds our community together. Thank you for realizing that and allowing us to keep this precious resource.

I watched the entire Commission meeting this past week, and I want you to know that we greatly appreciate the time and energy you expend on our behalf as well as the entire Sandoval County. God be with you.

Dave Thompson, Sandia Park