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Arnold wants to work to continue improvement in city

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When Cristina Arnold ran for Roswell City Council in 2020, she identified three areas of focus — infrastructure, economic growth and crime. She has returned to those for her 2022 campaign but with a slight difference.

Cristina Arnold is a candidate for Ward 1 on the Roswell City Council. (Christina Stock Photo)

Arnold is a candidate for a Ward 1 seat on the city council. The incumbent, Jacob Roebuck, is not running again. She will face James Edwards, a member of the Roswell Independent School District board of education and student advisor at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell.

Ward 1 is in the eastern and east-central portion of the city.

Arnold said she has strong roots in Roswell. Her father was born here and she graduated from Roswell High School and attended ENMU-R. She married a military man and moved to several areas before returning to Roswell.

“I have lived in other places and never felt the same kind of community attachment. There’s something to be said about living where your roots are,” she said.

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Her children have grown and “sprouted their wings,” she said, but she hopes they will come back to Roswell.

“I would like to actually build a community that they want to come home to,” she said.

“There’s many people who cannot run because of the jobs they have or it doesn’t fit into their family life. I am able to dedicate myself to my ward and to the community at this time in my life and I feel very strongly about stepping up now and in committing myself to our community,” she said.

Arnold is a member of the Sertoma Club, vice president of the Historical Society of Southeast New Mexico and vice chair for the Chaves County Federated Republican Women. She works as a mobile notary, completing loan signings across southeast New Mexico.

In preparing to run for city council, Arnold said she has met with city administers, economic development officials and community nonprofits to gauge where the city is on her three focus areas now.

“It’s a lot different than where we were in 2019 and 2020 when I ran last time, so I had to assess our new placement,” she said.

“I will say I see progress in the issues that I raised last time,” she said.

She said those areas will continue to be her focus if elected, but from the standpoint of how to best offer support for continued improvement.

Arnold has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and has worked as a compliance paralegal. She said her passion for law, public policy and public administration will be beneficial in dealing with issues before the city council.

“It’s very important to understand if the issues are because of people not doing their job or because of the application of law. Sometimes things we want don’t measure up to what we can do according to the law,” she said.

Regarding infrastructure, Arnold said the city needs a plan of action for fixing roads and water and sewer lines. She said she plans to meet with the city engineer to see what already is in place.

Crime continues to be a problem, but Arnold said the Roswell Police Department and courts are doing the best they can, as the problem stems from state-level issues.

“Many New Mexicans voted for a constitutional amendment for criminal justice reform that really created a revolving door or catch-and-release, and our prosecutors have their hands tied,” she said.

“What we really need to do is make sure that our police department has the support from the city council, which I plan to continue with what I’ve seen so far, and then figure out how to work with organizations that can assist in lobbying to make a change to that revolving door,” she said.

She said she is impressed with the residential development and new restaurants that are expected for Roswell, but would like to see more industrial growth.

“I know that there is projected growth at the air center, but we need a little more industry to come in here to create the long-term income for our families. When they’re prospering, our community prospers as well,” she said.

The role of local government is to make it easier for businesses to start here, she said.

“I don’t really know that government creates business. What I believe it should do is get out of the way so business can naturally grow. As a city councilor it would, of course, be my goal to support people who are coming in to invest in our community and to make sure that there weren’t hinderances and to try to assist in keeping things flowing so that we have rapid responses to getting businesses up and moving,” she said.

With the city working to develop business at the Roswell Air Center, Arnold said it also needs to encourage growth in the southern part of the city.

“It doesn’t have to be just subdivisions, it can be retail growth. It’s really primed for growth out there,” she said.

She supports lawful, responsible cannabis use and believes because the region is agricultural, its growth and production could be part of the economy here. But she said it’s also important for the city council to listen to constituents to make sure they are comfortable with the regulations that it passes.

Early voting in the municipal elections start Feb. 1, with Election Day on March 1.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

To keep up with coverage of this and other elections of local and regional interest, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/elections/.

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