Name: Jake Lopez
Occupation: Maintenance supervisor at La Casa de Buena Salud
Office: County Commissioner District 1
Party affiliation: Democrat
Elected offices held: city council, county commissioner
Why are you running for county commissioner?
I want to continue to help not only the people in my district, but the community as a whole. I served for 10 years (1990-2000) on the commission, and there were so many issues at that time that I wanted to see completed, but there was not enough time. A lot of these issues (such as road improvements, detention center, capital outlay) have been addressed since then, but there are still some unmet needs. I plan on working closely with my fellow commissioners to address these issues.
With state road money becoming tighter and tighter, what are your ideas for keeping pace with local road maintenance?
Even though state road monies are becoming tighter and tighter, I continue to feel that the key to maximizing monies from the state is to continue strong lobbying efforts from our commission. If we continue to address our needs and concerns throughout the year to our legislators, I feel we will be listened to and they will assist us to the best of their ability.
Overcrowding and general operation of the Roosevelt County Detention Center has been a major issue. With a new administrator being sought and a remodeled facility in place, what are your priorities for the jail?
If I am not mistaken, there is now a new jail administrator with extensive experience, which I feel is in the best interest of our jail at this point. As far as overcrowding, that is no longer an issue. With the expansion, our facility now has more than enough beds to accommodate our needs. With that said, my main priority would be to keep our detention center staffed with experienced personnel.
What improvements would you like to see at the courthouse and fairgrounds and how would you finance those improvements?
There have been ongoing projects at both the courthouse and fairgrounds for the last several years from legislative appropriations, and I feel the current administration has adequately utilized those funds to enhance both facilities. I would continue to lobby for future appropriations since there are many identified needs at both places that need to be addressed.
What is the biggest issue for county commissioners in the near future and how would you propose to deal with it?
I feel maintenance of roads and continued capital outlay projects will be some major issues in the near future. I will continue to work with my fellow commissioners to lobby the state for monies to keep up with the maintenance for the existing projects and any future projects our county may need to address.