Grant County Commission: Alicia Edwards, Marilyn Alcorn, Harry Browne
In Grant County, voters have a great opportunity to elect a county commission that could swing the commission to a pro-environment — and pro-Gila River — majority.
Alicia Edwards, Marilyn Alcorn and Harry Browne are all committed conservationists who have pledged to preserve Southwestern New Mexico’s unique treasures and resources.
Edwards is running in District 3; Alcorn is vying for the District 4 seat; and Browne is running in District 5.
All three candidates oppose the billion-dollar Gila River diversion plan that experts have called infeasible. Instead, these candidates advocate for much more cost-effective alternatives to meet Grant County’s future water needs.
Browne is one of the founders of the Aldo Leopold Charter School. He is also the former executive director and a current board member for Gila Resources Information Project, the organization at the forefront of protecting the Gila River and fighting the state Copper Rule (see Page 5), which is a wish list for mining giant Freeport McMoRan and allows contamination of groundwater underneath mines.
Edwards is the founder of the Grant County Volunteer Center and the founding director of the Commons Center for Food Security and Sustainability. She is also the county Healthy Kids-Healthy Communities coordinator.
Alcorn, a Navy veteran and former teacher, is the board president of Silver Adult Care Services, a nonprofit she founded in 2009.
Los Alamos County Council: Peter Sheehey
Pete Sheehey is an incumbent on the Los Alamos County Council and is among six candidates running for three spots on the council.
Sheehey is an oustpoken defender of the environment on the council and consistently supports Los Alamos conservation and climate efforts, including the Carbon Neutral 2040 initiative, a suite of innovative goals, plans and benchmarks for Los Alamos to be carbon-neutral by 2040.
Sheehey also championed curbside recycling of lawn waste and was a driving force behind the “walkable Los Alamos” initiative that supports downtown development and a more walkable city.
Sheehey publicly supported amenities to get people outdoors. These include the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, the walking paths and Atomic City Transit.
Sheehey was also an advocate of the campaign to transfer the Valles Caldera Preserve to National Parks ownership, a key local victory for the public.
Sheehey supports the citizen-developed Comprehensive Plan in making decisions. He was formerly a member of the Planning and Zoning Committee and championed publicly supported amenities — including the huge town system of trails, the municipal swimming pool, the golf course and tennis courts and expanding bike trails on upgraded road plans.
And Sheehey walks (or buses) his talk: He takes the local bus whenever he can, including to the Los Alamos Co-op, which is very inconveniently located two miles out of town.
Sandoval County Commission: Alexis Jimenez
This Sandoval County Commission District 4 seat is critical because the county is facing an increased threat of fracking and has no ordinances in place to address the dangers to water, health, cultural values and infrastructure that oil and gas drilling bring.
Alexis Jimenez supports a moratorium on exploration and drilling while the county draws up and discusses ordinances “to keep the water and air and land as safe and healthy as possible.”
The current draft ordinance, guided by mining school New Mexico Tech, is woefully inadequate, and in the meantime the county is vulnerable to developers who want to drill near Rio Rancho. The current commission has dragged its feet on a moratorium. Electing commissioners who will put residents’ health and safety first is crucial.
Jimenez’s brother is former Indian Affairs Secretary Kevin Gover.
NM flag image from NewsCastic.