ARTESIA — A former head of the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center and a radio talk show host is seeking the District 4 slot on the Artesia City Council.
Kevin Baggerly is 41 years old and is a husband and father who has lived in Arteisa a majority of his life. While in high school, he participated in 4-H and theater. He also attended New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs and Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.
While in the “Show Me State,” he started a family and moved back to Artesia. He’s worked in many places in the community since 1999 including Land of the Sun Theater, Pecos Valley Broadcasting as a sales representative and on-air personality. He was also the executive director of the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center.
While he was on the air on KSVP AM-990, he served on a number of committees. “I think working on Good Morning Artesia got me a little more connected with what was going on, not only in the city, but also the county and state. I think one of the things I’ve always wanted to do was run for city government,” he said.
“But the biggest thing that came up a year or so ago is when the state went through and started sweeping accounts, they needed to help fill their budgets, so they went through and did a sweep.” Baggerly said a number of entities across the state hurt from that and that’s when he decided he was going to try his hand at public office.
“I felt that was incorrect and wrong, if it was their money they were granting and they were withholding it, that’s entirely one thing.”
Baggerly said it was wrong for the state to do that, and so he is now seeking the District 4 spot on the Artesia City Council. The seat is currently held by Mayor Pro Tem Terry Hill. Baggerly originally had thought of running for mayor, however City Council is where he feels he could have the greatest impact.
Baggerly said Artesia was built on tradition and that the community has always found ways to adjust. “The city has a lot of goals and dreams for the future, people in Artesia have a lot of goals and dreams and how can those be united?”
Baggerly said there a number of challenges facing those who live in his district that takes in some of the busier streets in the community. The first challenge is a new traffic light set to go up at First Street and Hermosa Drive. Baggerly said he understands the paperwork has been signed with the state for the new traffic control device.
“That is something Mayor (Philip) Burch has been very vocal about. The state put one up at (U.S.) 285 and Richey a few years ago with the promise of putting one at U.S. 285 and Hermosa, but it wasn’t until a collision that probably happened two or three months ago that got the state talking about it again.” Baggerly is hoping the new traffic light will be up in the next eight months, “to hopefully slow people down.”
Baggerly would also like to see the city develop a recycling program. “Something where the city can make money off of people recycling.” Baggerly said his idea would keep people from throwing money away. He said some plastics, glass, paper and newspaper products can be broken down and used for other products.
“Paper can be broken down easily and sold to a manufacturer who’s looking for that stuff and will pay for that stuff to turn around and make their product.” Baggerly said if there was a facility in Artesia that could do the work that he’s suggesting, then the community could have curbside recycling. “Just like the trashman goes to the dumpster and dumps your trash, we could have the recycling boys come by and this would create jobs.”
He said such a program could create at least half-a-dozen jobs in the community. Baggerly said a factory that handles recycled materials could also take in similiar products from other communities across the region. “We charge them a fee, sell the product, they’re selling it to us in a way and they’ve got to get rid of it, so we break it down and sell it.” Baggerly said his proposed recycling program could be like the water department and be self-sufficient.
General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.