Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
A self-proclaimed lifelong resident of Roswell, Ward 4 contender Whitney “Whit” Hamill said he believes in the potential of Roswell to be a great place to live, work, and play.
This is Hamill’s first attempt running for public office and he said running opposed is a welcome challenge. Hamill and campaign manager Joshua Ford came to the Daily Record over the weekend to discuss the campaign and vision for the city.
Currently Hamill, 32, commutes to Guy Chevrolet Company in Artesia, where he is the finance manager. Hamill is married, expecting his first child and all of his family resides in Roswell.
“The reason I want to run is number one, I have always wanted to do it,” Hamill said. “Number two, I believe Roswell has a great and very bright future ahead of ourselves. Our best days are not behind us. They are ahead of us. I want to see Roswell grow and thrive and I want a good future for everybody—not just one specific subset of the population.”
Ford has known Hamill for a long time and Hamill asked him to be his campaign manager because he is good with people. Ford said he wants to see Hamill succeed and supports his vision of economic development, more police officers and more activities for the community. Ford is an independent contractor professionally, married with one daughter, and lives in Ward 4.
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Ward 4 is south of West Second Street between Main Street and West Wyoming Avenue. Principally, Ward 4 ends at West Brasher Road and continues north to West Poe Street and intersects at Main Street and West McGaffey Street.
Tuesday is the last day to register to vote and the 2018 Municipal Election Day is March 6.
Hamill said his interest in running for council has been present for a while and friends, fellow church members and acquaintances said he would be a good fit ran council because of his passion an desire to help Roswell grow.
“Well over ten years ago — I had looked into it,” Hamill said. “Back then, the incumbent just got started running and he had a lot of momentum. I like a lot of what he said and so I felt the ward was being represented in a positive light.”
Hamill clarified the councilor he was referring to was Jason Perry. Perry served on council since 2009 and vacated his seat in January due to moving to a larger home in another ward.
In regards to Ward 4, Hamill said businesses like Epic Cinema 10, Farmer’s Country Market and Fitness for 10, have helped revitalize the Plains Park Center on West Hobbs Street and define Ward 4.
“I would like to see more businesses located in Ward 4 — definitely fix some of the infrastructure on the streets,” he said, “I want to help tackle crime and make Ward as great as any other ward in the city.”
Hamill said he supported the construction to comply with the American Disabilities Act on Main Street and remembered a time twenty years ago when construction improved downtown.
“Those kinds of public works projects are beneficial for the city and making everybody feel included like they are doing on Union Avenue,” Hamill said. “You don’t want someone’s first taste to Roswell while driving through to see anything but a good place to live. You don’t want them to see old buildings standing. You don’t want them to see trash everywhere.”
Hamill said he reads the Daily Record and talks to many people to stay informed about what is happening locally.
“We haven’t really talked about issues,” Hamil said about conversations with his constituents. “They were just thrilled someone is running and wants to represent the ward. When Congress passed the new tax reform that was kind of the big thing on their minds — I celebrated right along with them. As I get to visit with them more, I learn about what they want in a city councilor — certainly. Even if I do get elected, it’s going to be a growing process and not just stay stagnant. I want to continue to grow and represent the folks of Ward 4 and Roswell at the best I can.”
Hamill also said the mayor and city councilors act as cheerleaders for the city. Whenever Hamill goes out of town, he said he makes it a point to go to restaurants and businesses that he think would be a good fit for Roswell. He said he tells the management about how a Roswell location would be an investment because he does not want to see Roswell miss opportunities.
Of the current city council, Hamill said he finds they have good hearts, are doing their best and appreciates when they can come together on an issue.
“In terms of local politics, it’s everybody coming together for the greater good for the city and the residents and making sure that Roswell is a great place to live, work, and play,” Hamill said. “I’ve said it a few times and it is something I really believe — I am trying to help everybody realize that Roswell has great potential. So many people that I know have left and tried their hand elsewhere. Some come back. Some don’t. It’d be nice to see people stick around — the current generation and later on, let them have the jobs and the opportunity to stick around and raise their family here.”
Hamill said his communication skills, a will to learn, and a willingness to see Roswell thrive is what he will bring if elected to the council. Of the committees, Hamill said he is exploring his options, but interested in serving the airport, which he called one of the city’s best assets with room for development and growth.
Vision for home
Calling Roswell home and a place unlike anywhere else, Hamill said he likes the city because it still has a small town mentality, but is also an economic hub for Southeastern New Mexico, which needs to be sustained.
“In terms of politics, it somewhat feels that towns like Carlsbad, Hobbs, Las Cruces are going to pass us by,” he said. “Good or bad, I don’t want to see Roswell get left in the dust. I want us to be just a great, or even better, as those folks running those areas and have just as many opportunities as for our residents that their residents have. If our residents are making a commute to one of those areas, let’s find out if we can get in on some of that as well.”
One of the amenities Hamill wants to see a fun center like Main Event, so there will be more to do for kids, teens, and adults. Hamil also wants to help the Unity Center to grow and thrive.
Hamill hopes to assist in bringing more businesses to Roswell to stimulate the tax base to generate more revenue for the city.
“Someone in the private sector all the way up to a name brand company coming in and making an investment in Roswell — I am all for it,” Hamill said.
“If you are in a position of public service, you have to have your best foot forward,” Hamill said. “You need to represent your constituents in a positive manner and not bring any kind of nonsense to your campaign or your constituents.”
Hamill said he would like to start with city council and has interest in serving as county commissioner or mayor in the future.
“I am a younger guy. I have the passion to see Roswell grow,” Hamill said when explaining his credibility as a candidate. “This isn’t just some one-shot deal for me. If I get elected, I will run again as long as I can and try to better myself for another public office. It is not me just throwing my hat in the ring to see what happens. I am passionate about where Roswell is and where we are going. I definitely want to see all of the residents of Roswell do well.”
City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.