Two of the three incumbents already sure about running
Three of the five seats for the Community College Board of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell are up for consideration this year, and two of the incumbents plan to seek another term. The third is undecided at this point.
Mireya Trujillo, District 1, and Carleton “Cla” Avery, District 5, have said that they will run for their seats. Ralph Fresquez, District 4, said he hasn’t made a decision at this point.
Candidates can file for the three offices on Aug. 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Chaves County Clerk’s Office, 1 St. Mary’s Place. Write-ins can file on Sept 3. The terms are for four years and will begin Jan. 1, 2020.
Elections will occur Nov. 5, with early voting starting in October. Municipal elections for Hagerman and Lake Arthur are also occurring during this election cycle.
Members of the ENMU-R board provide oversight of the finances, administrative actions, programs and policies at the local campus of the ENMU system, although the Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents must give final approval on many issues.
To be eligible for the board, candidates must be registered voters 21 years or older, and live in Chaves County, according to Casey Higgins, Chaves County Bureau of Elections chief, and an ENMU-R announcement.
Trujillo, the current board president and a Roswell Independent School District academic services administrator, said she has served on the board since 2007.
She said she was appointed to the board for her first term, but then was elected two times, in 2011 and 2015.
“I think not only as a mother, but as a professional and as a community member, I think it is important to get involved. If we want to see any meaningful change come about in our community, then we need to take part in it, to be willing to help make a difference,” she said. “And a lot of it is trying to become informed. It doesn’t mean that we are so qualified to do this job. It just means that we want to serve.”
Higgins said there are 5,740 registered voters in District 1, which covers the eastern part of the county and the portion of Roswell that is east of Main Street running from about Brasher Road on the south to a bit north of East College Boulevard.
Avery, the board vice president, will be running for public office for the first time. A retired public school teacher, he is one of the organizers of the annual Hike It and Spike It charity football tournament and is a former executive director of Character Counts! of Chaves County.
Avery began serving on the board in November 2017, appointed to complete the term vacated by Lovelace Regional Hospital administrator Dawn Tschabrun, who moved from Roswell to accept a professional position in another city.
Avery said he is not a campaigner by nature, but wants to continue to work with community college board members and with ENMU-R employees.
“I am really looking forward to serving again,” he said. “I am extremely pleased with what we have accomplished before, and I am excited about what we have planned for the future and the next five years. I also have appreciated working with the staff, faculty and administrators here.”
District 5 has 6,511 registered voters, Higgins said. It is located in central Roswell, generally from West Bland on the south to West Mescalero on the north and from around Sycamore Avenue on the west to North Main Street or a few blocks to the east in certain portions.
Fresquez — a veteran and a former Roswell city manager, deputy manager and municipal judge — said he has been on the college board for 10 years. He chose not to comment regarding the upcoming election, other than to say that he is waiting until later to decide about running again.
Higgins said 6,137 registered voters are in District 4. The odd-shaped district is located in the southwestern part of Roswell, primarily from South Brown Road on the west to South Main Street between Hobson and Brasher roads. The west boundary then moves east of Eisenhower Road and the area heads to a couple of blocks north of West McGaffey Street.
Maps of the college districts are available from the Chaves County Clerk’s Office or on the website.
The board seats now held by long-time public school educator Patricia Parsons (District 2) and retired ENMU-R faculty member and administrator Eloise Blake (District 3) will be up for re-election in 2021.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at email@example.com.