By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer
Portales mayoral candidates expressed their views on youth activities, affordable housing, water and more during a forum Thursday night at the Memorial Building.
Radio station 105.9 KSEL Country hosted the event. Members of the public submitted questions online and at the forum, and each candidate had 90 seconds to answer.
On bringing in weekend youth activities:
Candidate Dennis Lopez: The biggest barrier for bringing in activities for youth is money, and children also need things to do at times besides weekends. He proposed forming a committee and working to get a football stadium in town.
Candidate Gary Watkins: “We do have a lot of programs for our kids to do,” he said, naming sports and the Portales Recreation Center.
The city doesn’t have money for more youth activities and suggested finding Eastern New Mexico University students to work at the rec center on weekends.
Candidate Steven Davis: City and volunteer programs for children are operating. However, the community would probably need more programs and so more volunteers.
“As citizens, we’re going to have to become more involved,” he said.
Candidate Sharon King: Look to private businesses for youth activities. The city can’t provide more for children to do and the citizens shouldn’t expect it from the city.