Candidate Focus 2020: Bernalillo County Treasurer/Public Education Commissioner Priorities
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Candidate Focus 2020: Bernalillo County Treasurer/Public Education Commissioner Priorities

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Bernalillo County Treasurer

Nancy Marie Bearce 2020 Bernalillo Country Treasurer Candidate
Nancy Marie Bearce, 2020 Bernalillo Country Treasurer Candidate

Nancy Marie Bearce

Priorities

Business, Economy, and Revenue Sources

Protect taxpayers from high-interest bonds and debt by maintaining the highest AAA bond rating. My office collects tax funds to distribute to public beneficiaries, such as the County, City, APS, CNM, UNM Hospital, etc. I’ve reversed failed investment policies of my predecessors by earning over $24million in interest and grown the principle of our reserve funds by $156million or 66%.

I have and will:

  • Increase exemptions for low-income disabled persons.
  • Oppose inequitable tax legislation like those proposed on food. 
  • Expand safe investment opportunities for local governments. 
  • Enhance the local economy with deposits to Community Banks and, hopefully, a State Bank.

Labor

When I first arrived in office on January 1, 2017 County employees were subjected to a furlough. I’ve since transformed a failed investment policy with safe investments, which is why no Bernalillo County employee has been furloughed or laid-off during this COVID-19 emergency. The interest of over $24 million dollars represented real money the county used in their union negotiations two years ago. All Bernalillo County unions earned salary increases for their members and families and that’s financial security for working families. I’ll continue to do the same for the next 4 years.

Energy and Environment

Aside from already lobbying and initiating commercial PACE legislation (Property Assessed Clean Energy), I also intend to request legislation requiring a periodic State audit of self-reported business property, i.e., vehicles and equipment used by oil, gas and mining industries (including fracking) operating in New Mexico, to be paid for by those industries. A portion of any taxes assessed by the State upon those extractive energy industries should be distributed to each NM County, water authorities and municipalities impacted by extractive activities and used to protect their citizens from any harmful effects from those impacts.

Patrick J. Padilla 2020 Bernalillo Country Treasurer Candidate
Patrick J. Padilla, 2020 Bernalillo Country Treasurer Candidate

Patrick J. Padilla

Priorities

Business, Economy, and Revenue Sources

The Bernalillo County Treasurer is the custodian of County funds. The Treasurer collects property taxes and Bond Revenues payable to all Taxing Agencies per the mil levy approved by the Department of Finance and Administration. County government provides many essential services impacting every county resident.

The Treasurer invests and manages public funds in a manner that provides security of principal as well as achieving yield to meet the cash requirements and liquidity schedules of the County with transparency.

I will collect all Property taxes and meet the liquidity requirements and ensure that the county has sufficient funds to meet expenses.

Education

The Bernalillo County Treasurers’ office collects all property and business personal taxes which are in part used to fund our education system that includes UNM, APS, Charter Schools, and CNMCC. As your County Treasurer, I will invest all funds collected using the Prudent Person Rule of Safety, Liquidity, and Yield.

I will personally do everything possible to ensure our education system benefits all children regardless of race or social status. Our children are our future and should be afforded a great education from preschool through college.

Civil Rights

When elected, my staff and I will complete sensitivity and ethics training. We will treat every interface within the department and with our customers equitably, with dignity and respect, regardless of race, color, creed, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, physical ability, cognitive ability, or age. I will enforce a no-tolerance policy. I support the Democratic Party of New Mexico State Platform.

Bernadette Sanchez 2020 Bernalillo Country Treasurer Candidate
Bernadette Sanchez, 2020 Bernalillo Country Treasurer Candidate

Bernadette Sanchez

Priorities

Revenue Sources

Bernalillo County residents must have their property tax dollars invested safely with transparency. As Treasurer, I will adhere to the Prudent Investment Rule: Safety, Liquidity and Yield. Investments must be short term with mitigated risk. Invest in stable funds to maintain the principal and earn steady interest regardless of market changes. Funds must be available when needed. Investments will be done in collaboration with the Board of Finance. The Treasurer’s office budget, investments, contracts, and all spending will be transparent.

Ethics, Elections, and Politics

The Treasurer’s office bills, collects, safeguards, distributes, and invests taxpayers’ monies. Above all the Treasurer must be ethical avoiding any form of special interest influence.

I was one of the Senate Sponsors of the current campaign reforms. We need to have additional campaign reform measures as the demonstration of ethics begins as a candidate. I have not and will not accept contributions from employees at the Treasurer’s office, financial institutions, individuals, or businesses that have a contract with Bernalillo County. As a State Senator, I upheld the oath of office and will uphold it as Treasurer.

Education

Student financial education is a necessity for our youth’s economic prosperity and for the wellbeing of our society. The lack of financial understanding is a serious deficiency in our educational system. As a result, too often young adults get trapped in debt with predatory loans, credit cards, and over spending beyond their budget. I will use the Treasurer’s Office to promote financial literacy in our public high schools utilizing my state legislative finance and education experience.

Public Education Commissioner, District 1

Melissa Armijo

Priorities

Education

As a candidate for the New Mexico Public Education Commission, education is my top priority. All of the DPNM’s education goals align with mine. All New Mexico students and their families deserve a free and equitable education and as a commissioner, I will exercise the power of this office to ensure that this goal is attained by scrutinizing the current PEC policies and advocating for modifications that support these goals. One of the first items on my list would be to thoroughly review the recently published 2020 New School Application Kit and voice any concerns. I will work to ensure that charter schools meet the same expectations in the quality of education and opportunities provided to students as all other schools in the state.

Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice Reform and Education go hand in hand. For many students, the school to prison pipeline is inevitable due to a criminal justice system that is inherently biased and flawed in both laws and sentencing.

As a Public Education Commissioner, it would be my responsibility to help eliminate that pipeline. Key to this would be making sure schools provide an environment that embraces the diversity of students and creates space for those who are struggling. Many Charter Schools are currently embracing this philosophy. I would use the power of my position to implement peer and school mentorships which would allow the sharing of knowledge and best practices in a way that reaches students who are most in need of intervention.

Business, Economy, and Revenue Sources

New Mexico’s Business, Economy, and Revenue Sources are three of the biggest reasons why STEAM Education is vital for all New Mexico schools. All students should have access to STEAM curriculum/classes and all New Mexico High Schools should demonstrate partnerships with local Universities by offering dual credit for STEAM courses. I believe when children have access to learning in these areas from an early age, they are more likely to be aware of the job opportunities that exist outside of what is portrayed on TV. Although sometimes thought of as only sciences, STEAM education can be an introduction to fields like trades, coding, art, and teaching. All fields that need workers who will be part of the future that boosts the economy.

Ricardo Carlos Caballero 2020 Public Education Commissioner Candidate
Ricardo Carlos Caballero, 2020 Public Education Commissioner Candidate

Ricardo Carlos Caballero

Priorities

Education

Public Education is not only the most important driver of economic development but it dictates what the workforce is educated in. The Yazzie/Martinez lawsuit showed that poverty, language & culturally diverse children have not secured a good education. We must invest in education to ensure a healthy economy, cultural & language relevant instruction & that our state’s resources & tax dollars continue funding at adequate & parity levels. Since elected as Commissioner, I’ve advocated for social/cultural educational parity for students well before the landmark ruling. There must be a balance between traditional public education & charter schools’ resources & standards in order to preserve the right to an excellent education for all.

Criminal Justice Reform

States that have revamped their criminal justice systems have lowered their state spending in jails & prisons in order to invest in public education and other state public services. NM should continue its criminal justice & sentencing reform work. We must invest in educating and training our workforce to secure pathways to sustainable jobs & careers & increase our revenue streams to address critical life support such as food security, housing, healthcare & public safety. As Commissioner, I have continued to inform the legislature that education should be a funding priority instead of incarceration. The best policy is to invest in pipelines from education to career rather than in incarceration.

Business, Economy, and Revenue Sources

Nothing is more debilitating to a state’s economy than losing a bright young mind & shining star to another state to study or for a job because they, or their valuable skills & talents, are not welcome to stay. Both the private & public sectors must remove barriers, create pathways to viable employment with living wages, paid family leave & benefits for quality of living & welcome all communities, particularly those marginalized, to contribute their skills, knowledge & talents to New Mexico’s future. When re-elected I will continue to push for improved college & career preparedness in schools, balanced with a real opportunity to pursue a career of choice, with a maximum return on investment for the state.