Jobs

Jobs are vital to the growth of Las Cruces. It takes longer than necessary to open a business. For example, two Target stores in El Paso were planned for and aquired after the Las Cruces store (#769) and the El Paso stores (#822 & #823) opened first due to the red tape Las Cruces puts in place. 15 years ago, when opening La Fiesta Bakery, it took almost 2 years to open because of the red tape imposed on businesses. An inspector would issue a correction and the contractor fixing the issue would say the correction was not needed and only issued for job security. We have all seen this before, bureaucracy killing business initiative. In addition, the new inspector would call for additional corrections the first did not, starting the process over again.

Recently I've spoken to new businesses that have said these same pitfalls are still happening today.

Furthermore, our Gross Receipts Tax is among the highest in New Mexico.  If you are a business owner looking to get started in New Mexico, Las Cruces will not be your first choice simply because the price to do business is so high. We need to focus on the basics before we worry about going to space. I'd rather see us focus on an electric cooperative to bring down the cost of electricity while placing the peoples interest before profit.

What is an electric cooperative you might ask? A cooperative is a not-for-profit business owned and controlled by the people who use its services. Unlike investor-owned utilities, an electric cooperative is operated by and for people of the community. Its goal is to provide reliable power, not make a profit.

As a business owner I know how to help our city create the good paying jobs we need.

Public Safety

The city police are responsible for our safety.  LCPD officers are in many of our schools and I support furthering that initiative.  As mayor I would facilitate further in-depth planning on the safety of all our children and teachers, including cameras and hardened entry points to schools such as fully electronic locks and sectioned buildings.

Education is also important to minimizing crime.  You know the old saying "idle hands are the devil's workshop".  Let's focus on sending our kids to college and furthering the trade school opportunities we offer for those not seeking a degree.

I believe that police officers interacting with citizens should be wearing body cameras, as this is a dual-purpose matter. Cameras protect the officer in addition to the non-officer, as well as holding both accountable to the situation they may be in (as people behave differently when they know they are being watched).  There is no city ordinance or LCPD policy that requires body cameras.

Let's do all that we can as a city to help ensure that people are and feel safe.

Crime in Las Cruces is at record levels, our police department is understaffed, and our city council voted to withhold money from the Las Cruces Police Department. I cannot remember a time growing up when our community saw six shootings in six weeks or when I felt unsafe to receiving an education. Like El Paso I would like Las Cruces to be among the safest cities in our country. We can do this by following the lead of the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s department and implement more aspects of community policing. As your mayor I would fully fund the police department by applying for grants that allows for humanitarian aid and direct the Chief of Police to focus on reducing gun related crimes, further incentives that make our schools safer, and advocate for our officers to complete additional education before entering the force.

Education

The city police are responsible for our safety.  LCPD officers are in many of our schools and I support furthering that initiative.  As mayor I would facilitate further in-depth planning on the safety of all our children and teachers, including cameras and hardened entry points to schools such as fully electronic locks and sectioned buildings.

Education is also important to minimizing crime.  You know the old saying "idle hands are the devil's workshop".  Let's focus on sending our kids to college and furthering the trade school opportunities we offer for those not seeking a degree.

I believe that police officers interacting with citizens should be wearing body cameras, as this is a dual-purpose matter. Cameras protect the officer in addition to the non-officer, as well as holding both accountable to the situation they may be in (as people behave differently when they know they are being watched).  There is no city ordinance or LCPD policy that requires body cameras.

Let's do all that we can as a city to help ensure that people are and feel safe.

City Planning

We need to have a Mayor and City Council with a long-term vision. Currently the city council addresses what is in front of them only.  Rather than voting for or against an individual suggestion brought by councilors, it would be more productive to have a goal and focus our resources toward that end.  For example, if our goal is to have an electric cooperative, we would not want to waste $500,000 shading portions of a street as we are proposing to do now.

City planning can be done in different ways.  One simple way to solicit feedback from your citizens is to send out a survey in the monthly utility bills.  It is evident by the city council decision to hold meetings at 1PM on a workday that they do not want feedback or input from the people. This isn’t the transparency and participation we demand from our city government.

We need to plan for a cooperative electric company and focus our goals. When El Paso Electric was sold their executives made millions of dollars off taxpayers.  An electric cooperative is a not-for-profit organization and would therefor prevent this from happening in the future.

Road Diets - Imagine a 4-lane road; 2 lanes in each direction with businesses on each side.  The city has approved reducing these 4 lane roads to 1 lane each way and a turn lane in the middle.  In addition, these roads will have sidewalks and bike paths added.  Please do not misunderstand me, I am in favor of bike paths and sidewalks, but we must have the proper studies to determine where the sidewalks and paths are appropriate.  Previous studies have focused on a 6-week period.  6 weeks in the summer is drastically different from 6 weeks in the winter.  We do not need to put the city on a diet.  We need to feed it the nutrients it needs to grow. Click here (pg.75) to see future road diets in Las Cruces.

Family and Business Friendly City

In the past 15 years the city has spent millions of dollars focused on revitalizing downtown and bringing entertainment to the area. The untapped potential within the other areas of the city needs to be nourished as well. We can do this by getting rid of unnecessary and overbearing regulations on new business attempting to open this doors.  Rather than spend taxpayer dollars to rename a road we should fix the ones we already have. As mayor I would work with local businesses to ensure ongoing access to property during road constructions.  As your mayor I will bring family entertainment to all areas of the city by working with each city councilor to individualize what that means.

Politics

"No single political party has a monopoly on good ideas, and neither the Democrats or the Republicans have it 100% correct. I’m a Democrat and always have been, and I'm not going to play identity politics by changing my name or party affiliation to secure your vote. I’m asking for your vote as a small business owner and candidate putting people before politics." If you believe as Gina does, that we need to leave our colors (party affiliations) at the door, term limits for mayor, and that entertainment should be dispersed throughout the city, then please rank her as your number one vote.

Growth

The city will continue to grow even though many of our young adults pursue opportunities outside of New Mexico, so let’s get moving in the right direction. An example is that we are focusing on "Road Diets" (going from 4 lane roads to 2 lane roads, and one turning lane in between the two , i.e., (Solano) from Lohman to Missouri,  The next one already in the works probably Spring /Summer 2020 (Avenida de Mesilla/Idaho) to Boutz, (which will also will include five foot sidewalks) this does not make sense as the number of automobile drivers is always increasing and not decreasing, so why eliminate driving space.  This form of thinking, thought or action is regression not progression and all with a pretty price of $4 million of our precious tax dollars.

I have also spoken to many individuals and families that are frustrated and complain about the lack of entertainment here in Las Cruces. The common answer seems to be “go to El Paso”.  I do not want to give my taxpayer dollars to El Paso, I want to circulate my money in Las Cruces.

Entertainment

For more than decade downtown has been the focus of the city council. We have new bars, restaurants, water attractions etc. and yet many people still go to a neighboring city for entertainment. Entertainment should be dispersed throughout the city, allowing for people and families to stay in their own neighborhoods to spend their money.  As Mayor I will advocate for upgrading local parks with water features, adding youth community center with options such as crafts, trades, and even bringing back Burns Lake.