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 V.17 No.44 | October 30 - November 5, 2008 
Alibi’s Online Election Guide

Feature

Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority

Job Description: Builds and maintains flood control structures to alleviate flooding problems within Greater Albuquerque.

Term: Six years (no term limit)

Salary: none (directors may choose to accept a per diem of $95 a day when conducting AMAFCA business)

Danny Hernandez (Incumbent)

District 1
Includes Old Town, Downtown and the South Valley

Website: dannyhernandez.org

1) What experience makes you qualified for this position.

Nearly 10 years on the AMAFCA Board of Directors, including two years as chair and one as vice chair, makes me uniquely qualified to understand all the intricacies surrounding drainage issues in the region. In addition, I’ve educated myself on water issues by being an active member of the Water Assembly and the MRCOG Water Resources Board as well as by regularly attending water conferences.

2) What projects do you think should be a priority for AMAFCA?

Continuing valley flood reduction (South Valley, North Vally and mid-valley—Barelas/Martineztown) dealing with post-Katrina FEMA levee requirements and continuing to encourage recreational multiple use of AMAFCA facilities are my top four priorities. As more people take to their bicycles for transportation, I want to focus on expanding the trail system along our right-of-way. Much has been accomplished, but a lot more can be done. I plan to accomplish all of this with continued strong, cooperative partnerships among our U.S. Congressional Delegation, the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, the Army Corps of Engineers, the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the MRGCD and AMAFCA.

3) What would you do to help ensure funding for AMAFCA?

The AMAFCA project schedule is fully funded as long as our $20M bond authorization passes on Nov. 4. AMAFCA’s bond rating is a double AAA—which is the highest in NM, and we’re one of a handful of small agencies in the country with this highest possible rating. What this means is that we get low interest rates (we’re paying less than 3 percent for the last bond we sold), which saves taxpayers money. We never ask the Legislature for money. In addition, our mill levies (property taxes) have steadily decreased since my election. We’re good at living within our means.

4) Do you believe enough water quality control measures are in place? What, if anything, would you do to increase them?

Our EPA storm water discharge permits require that we continue to improve our water quality control measures. AMAFCA takes this task to heart. Our water quality facilities are recognized nationwide as being cutting-edge.

Storm water quality depends on what people leave on our streets, parks, parking lots and driveways. The bulk of that is plastics and cigarette butts.

I’d like to continue to improve the quality of the water coming in and out of our system. I’d like to see the North Diversion Channel outlet, at the southern edge of Sandia Pueblo’s bosque, redesigned.

5) What issue is most important to your district, and what would you do to address it?

I plan to continue to chip away at the South Valley flood reduction projects, create more storage volume to further reduce flooding in the Barelas/Martineztown system and start working toward addressing the near-future FEMA decertification of the Albuquerque levee system. The latter is out of AMAFCA’s control, but if something isn’t done soon, this planned FEMA action will completely neutralize all the good flood reduction work done on the valley floor to date. The consequences of FEMA’s future actions will place the entire valley floor, including downtown Albuquerque, in the floodplains. Stay tuned!

Jeffrey Rich

District 1
Includes Old Town, Downtown and the South Valley

Website: none

Did not respond to questionnaire.

Dan Lyon (Incumbent)

District 2
Includes the Westside and Rio Rancho

Website: none.

1) What experience makes you qualified for this position.

AMAFCA is a small governmental authority. It has a five-member, non-paid board and 20 employees, more than half of which are construction or clerical workers. The others are primarily engineers. Realistically, the board needs diversification in the form of at least one attorney. I have been a member of the Bar for 41 years. It is one reason I ran the first time. I have a working knowledge in water law, taught property law, was a real estate broker and a former state legislator, and chaired several major boards and commissions. A proven six-year track record, as the incumbent, hopefully counts for something, also.

2) What projects do you think should be a priority for AMAFCA?

There are organization and construction priorities!

Numerous drainage and flood management entities exist. Does your arroyo and/or gutter belong to the city, county, developer, AMAFCA, MRGCD or some other entity? Consolidation takes a dedicated, no turf commitment by all parties as well as the Legislature, with objective funding considerations. Will it happen?

AMAFCA is recognized as the “physical backbone.” Old levees along the Rio Grande River are being addressed. Finishing the Westside I-40 diversion channel is important, and will happen. During my first term, 46 percent of our construction dollars went to District 2. We have a public input five-year plan.

3) What would you do to help ensure funding for AMAFCA?

Remain fiscally responsible and maintain voters’ confidence. We earned a double AAA bond rating. This is the highest in New Mexico. That means less of the taxpayers’ dollars go to interest and more go to infrastructure. Voters have always supported our bond issues. However, when AMAFCA passes one they must repay it, i.e., debt service has been created. The operating mill levy is an ad valorem tax on property within their boundaries. It does not have to be repaid. Most of our projects are cost shared with funds pooled with other governmental entities and/or developers, which must be maximized.

4) Do you believe enough water quality control measures are in place? What, if anything, would you do to increase them?

Water is a fragile and finite resource. One probably will never afford to have enough quality control measures like our North Diversion Channel Storm Water Quality Facility. There we attempt to remove debris and other pollutants from storm water before discharge into the Rio Grande River. Providing, compliance with the current and upcoming EPA MS-4 permit renewal helps keep this issue on the front burner. We must support our existing, and the updating of, regional water plans. I also fully support MRCOG in its ongoing efforts, as well as continued state legislative funding ($400,000 annually) for the Interstate Stream Commission.

5) What issue is most important to your district, and what would you do to address it?

Honest, open, cost effective, intelligent, nonpartisan government remains the most important issue in my district, city, county, state and nation to strive for. You address it by facing it head on and setting a personal example. For example, is it a good, needed, affordable project or not? An unconcerned electorate does not help in this battle. As a legislator, I sponsored the state’s open meetings law. We still need to open conference committees. I carried the equal rights constitutional amendment. Why? Because it was and is right! “Pork” should not be allowed in a politician’s or constituent’s vocabulary.

Kris McNeil

District 2
Includes the Westside and Rio Rancho

Website: krismcneil.org

Did not respond to questionnaire.

 

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