Mayoral candidates answer communities’ questions at city, village public forums

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Socorro mayoral candidates Ravi Bhasker and Michael Olguin, Jr., went back and forth answering a variety of questions during a public forum Feb. 20 at the county annex.

Bhasker and Olguin related many questions back to their individual platforms — quality of life and economic development were both hot topics.

Bhasker reiterated that keeping the budget in line, unemployment rates low and prices of utilities down are all important to the future of Socorro; and said, as mayor, he has experience in all of the above.

Olguin promoted the need for a skilled workforce and attracting new industry, and emphasized the significance of creating “an outline as to where we stand as a community — strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.”

The candidates agreed on certain challenges the city faces — including the drug problem — but their answers were black and white on other issues. While Olguin said he would like to find the funds and a location for a dog park, Bhasker said he did not see one in Socorro’s future.

The hour-long forum brought in about 100 attendees.

The two Magdalena mayoral candidates — Diego Montoya and Tommy Torres — answered a variety of questions from voters in a public forum Feb. 19 at Magdalena Schools’ Fine Arts Center. Also on hand was Richard “ZW Farnsworth” Rumpf, who is running unopposed as a write-in for one of the two open trustee positions.

The hour-long forum, moderated by Magdalena High School students, was attended by about four dozen residents who asked the candidates a variety of questions. The needs of the village were apparent as the questions from the audience addressed business and economic development.

Both Montoya and Torres emphasized the necessity of applying for grants and small business loans. Rumpf added that the next mayor could work more closely with the Magdalena Chamber of Commerce in attracting more business and finding money to promote the village through advertising.

Montoya said he has been working with the Old Timers committee and sees the event this year as a great opportunity to promote the village.

Torres said he would work to find a way to bring a grocery store back to Magdalena.