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Rodriguez seeks another term on Artesia City Council

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Rodriguez

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ARTESIA — Raul Rodriguez is seeking another term to the Artesia City Council. He represents District 1, which encompasses the northern portion of the city limits.

Rodriguez was born in Artesia in 1960 and he has served four terms.

“That’s 16 years that I’ve served,” he said. “I’m running for re-election for my fifth term, not consecutive, but for my fifth term.”

Rodriguez said the reason he has run for public office is to represent the people, “give people a voice and my motto has been since 1996, ‘is where caring counts.’”

Rodriguez said his district is one of the fastest growing in the community.

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“We face some challenges in the next four years,” he said. “Most of our challenges come in the infrastructure area.”

The water supply in Artesia has been a major issue for city leaders this year. E. coli was found a number of times this past summer and water department officials had to flush the system with chlorine and now they are dealing with possibly buying a machine that would chlorinate the system on a full-time basis.

“Maintaining water capacity for a city that is starting to grow a little bit, even though the numbers change from the population, we are facing some growth,” he said.

Along with water, leaders like Rodriguez are also dealing with housing.

Rodriguez said he doesn’t see himself as an individual on the council, “in saying, I did this, I did that, in part of these infrastructure commodities that we’re trying to grow in, I think if you’re a council person representing the city of Artesia, it’s a whole issue and you’re a part of it.”

He said solving issues in Artesia is going to require teamwork. Streets have also been a major issue in Artesia this year.

“That had probably been put on the back burner,” he said. “Because, I see streets, some of our fire hydrants, we wanna make sure they’re back up to par, if you drive around Artesia, you see some of them are still covered. We still have plenty of water flow and we have plenty of outlets. We want to get that looking back to where it used to be.”

Rodriguez said a budget crunch years ago affected the street situation in Artesia. He said there was enough to maintain them.

“I think the last street project we had was probably about three years ago, which was in the Bates-10th area, because we did have a system at that time that we were putting in an X-amount of dollars in street projects every year. We were trying to maintain that.”

Now that the oil and gas industry appears to be picking up, Rodriguez said people like him may want to look at a new plan to maintain the streets. Major work wrapped up on 13th Street and Texas Avenue and Rodriguez said more street work is coming to the community and that includes more work on 13th Street.

“The early stages are going to be from 13th Street to Hermosa Drive to tie in everything to the new housing (development) that will be taking place in the 26th Street and Hermosa area.”

Election Day in Artesia is March 6 and the deadline for candidates to file is Jan. 9.

“The election process is an open process, the more people that get involved, the better it is. People have choices, not everybody may be content with what we’re doing now and this would be a time for them to come out and express their opinion and their vote,” he said.

Rodriguez added, “Opinions matter, I take it to heart when people come to me with an issue. I try to move forward and get them an answer for it. It may not be the answer they want to hear, but at least we’re able to express their concern to the governing body and to the mayor and the department heads so they may have a vision and a viewpoint for our citizens and constituents.”

In addition to Rodriguez’s spot, some other seats are also up for re-election, along with the mayor’s position.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.