Q&A with Charles Bennett

Editor’s note: The following is a profile and Q&A with Charles Bennett, Democratic candidate for Roosevelt County Commision. He faces Republican candidate Bill Cathey. in the November General Election for the seat currently held by Tom Clark. A profile on Cathey appeared in Wednesday’s issue of the PNT.

Name: Charles Bennett

Age: 54

Family: Beverly Bennett (wife), 3 children.

Political Experience: Two years chairman of the fair board, four on the Roosevelt County Hospital Board, six years Federal Land Bank Agriculture Lending institution.

Professional: Sells real-estate.

Q: Why are you running for county commissioner?
A: “I think that everybody should contribute time or talent to the community. This is my way of giving back, my kids are gone and so I have more time. I also think that it could be a great challenge, and I love challenges.”

Q: What is the biggest challenge currently facing the county?
A: “I think it is the same that it has always been, and that is getting the funds to do projects such as the roads or sheriffs department.”

Q: What is your vision for the types of projects the county should be undertaking?
A: “The last time that there was anything major done at the fairgrounds I was chairman and that was when the pavilion and the show arena were built. There is enough space to put up a fence and some bleachers to have motocross and demolition derby’s. The fairground board say that this makes most of the money, so we will not tear up the rodeo arena and have events going on at both places during the fair.
We need to seek more funds to caliche the roads so that there will not be too much maintenance. Now that we have the dairies we have the big trucks on the roads when it is wet as well as just more traffic the roads are falling apart.”

Q: How would you seek to address tight legislative funding in a time when our country is expected to grow?
A: “The first thing we need to do is start working with elected officials long before they leave for Santa Fe. We have hired lobbyists in the past, we need to stick with that as well as starting a letter-writing campaign before Santa Fe starts. We already have staff that can write grants, so we need to apply for grants and bring more money into the county, get more organized and tenacious for that money.”

Q: Describe how you will approach interaction with citizens in your district and county staff.
A: I make a living just negotiating with people and you have to establish a working relationship and be available. I have e-mail, telephone, and I carry a phone in my pocket all the time. I plan on holding meetings twice a year so that concerns can be voiced, and then we will see how those concern fit into the schedule and take care of them. My primary concern is the concerns of the people in district three. I have the experience to where I know how to deal with people.”