3-man race for District 4 seat
By Brook Stockberger
Las Cruces Bulletin
When two-term City Councillor Nathan Small announced he would not seek a third goround to represent District 4, three potential replacements threw their hats into the ring.
Businessman Richard Hall, business consultant Jack Eakman and Gilbert Vasquez, a former sprinkler fitter for fire
VASQUEZ suppression systems who currently works at True Value Hardware, are all on the ballot.
District 4 includes parts of western Las Cruces as well as the West Mesa Industrial Complex. To read more about the district and to access an interactive map of council districts, go online to www. las-cruces.org/departments/ city-council/district-4.
“Everywhere I look, I see opportunity and I want to be a part of realizing our great potential as a city,” Eakman said.
Eakman reports he spent 31 years in health care management, 18 of those as senior administrative officer for a large hospital system in North Dakota. He is currently a consultant for business, government and nonprofits, specializing in strategic planning and organizational support.
Eakman has been active in community service in the Las Cruces area, most recently as an organizer of the Behavioral Health Care Summit, designed to develop coordinated behavioral health services for city and county residents.
He said he is an advocate for well-managed growth for the city, including through the development of vacant and under-utilized land within the city limits and a strong commitment to existing neighborhoods. He is a supporter of workforce development and the many economic development projects currently under way in District 4.
Eakman lives with his wife Delilah in the Tierra Verde area. They have three sons.
Hall said he does “small, light construction” and feels the city needs to be doing a better job for businesses.
“Taxes are high and regulations are kind of strangling business,” Hall said.
He reports he has lived in District 4 with his wife and stepson for almost two decades and has been involved in the nonprofit community as well as tended to his business. He has coached gymnastics for 40 years.
Hall said the gross receipts taxes are higher than they should be and impact fees are uneven.
“It depends on location,” he said. “Why waive (a fee) in one area and not in another area?”
On his campaign webpage, www.hall4cc.com, he calls for a step back from impact fees, at least until the housing market improves.
“We continue to see steady declines in the number of new building permits issued,” he said. “We need to jump start our housing market, make Las Cruces more attractive for future residents, and reverse this downward trend.
“Let’s rescind the current
impact fees until our housing market recovers and then re-evaluate such fees.”
Vasquez said he was waiting to see someone “step up that I could support.”
When that did not happen to his satisfaction, he decided to run himself.
A native Las Crucen, Vasquez lived in Los Angeles and worked there in fire protection for 23 years. Upon retirement, he returned to Las Cruces to be near his parents and raise his youngest son, who is currently a student with Las Cruces Public Schools.
Vasquez reports he stays active as a volunteer at his church. He also supported the initiative to raise the minimum wage last year.
“I want to speak for neglected communities,” he said. “I want to talk solutions and listen to people.”
Vasquez said, if elected, he will rent the Henry R Benavidez Center on McClure Road once a month to “hear their solutions.”
Brook Stockberger may be reached at 680-1977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.