My Recent Accomplishments
Updated: Oct 30, 2018
We work as a team on the Las Cruces City Council, but sometimes individuals lead the way. Below are some of the efforts in which I have taken a leadership role.
Plaza de Las Cruces The plaza is the center piece of a vibrant downtown that came online in 2017. It features a very popular water feature and a locally designed sundial. Getting it built in its current location with those two features and getting it appropriately named were areas where I believe my leadership made a difference.
911 Call Center - Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA) I have served as a board member from 2012 to the present and as chairman from 2014 to 2017. In those roles, I agreed to the design of the building and its current location to avoid further delaying a much needed and overdue replacement of the previous facility. I was board chair when the building opened.
Las Cruces Museum of Art - Affirmation of Location When private sector efforts to demolish part of the building and build an apartment building on the site threatened plans to move the MoA there, I ensured that we voted to maintain its future location in the Old Post Office building, next to the Plaza de Las Cruces. I believe my leadership in those efforts has also ensured that there will be funding to relocate the Municipal Courts from that historic building, and to repurpose it for the Museum of Art.
Art Board and 1% for Art This was an effort I started pushing on before I was elected to public office. I encouraged the late Councilor Miguel Silva to get something in place to showcase local works of art in the then newly opened City Hall. Art on Loan started the process, and during my terms in office, we have instituted the City Art Board and the Las Cruces 1% for Art.
Community Pool at Las Cruces Regional Aquatic Center This has been finally budgeted for groundbreaking in 2019. It will be an enclosed, Olympic sized pool, 50 meters by 25 yards, that can be used for swimming lessons, lifeguard training, competition, exercise, practice, triathlons, water polo, scuba lessons, recreation, and a host of other benefits to our whole community.
Camino Real Bronzes Council members were each assigned some discretionary funds in 2014. I designated $50K to bring the Camino Real Bronze Statues out of storage. At that time, I also designated funds for the eventual Tribal Gateway, which will honor the first inhabitants of our area and their descendants.
La Entrada Monument This was another part of the previous fabric of our downtown that was languishing in storage. I pushed to have it reconfigured for relocation, which occurred in 2018 in Albert Johnson Park where it honors the Spanish heritage in our area.
Representing Las Cruces Regionally Both as mayor prom tem and as the councilor for the southernmost district of Las Cruces, I have represented the City Council in El Paso, Ciudad Juárez, Anthony, Sunland Park, Santa Teresa, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Socorro. I have regularly attended Change of Command and other events at White Sands Missile Range, and Campus Planning and Town and Gown meetings at NMSU.
Improvements at Las Cruces Convention Center in District 2
The decision to build a Convention Center at its current location was made before I was on the Council, but two pieces, which were planned originally and not done then, are being built now. Both are believed to be critical in the increase of use and flexibility for conventions and other events planned here:
1. An adjacent hotel so that guests can walk to the Convention Center
2. An enlarged exhibition hall and more breakout rooms to accommodate more people and more activities