Pojoaque school board prepares for local election

By: - May 16, 2023 4:00 am

New Mexico will hold a regular local election on Nov. 7, 2023. (Photo by Gino Gutierrez / Source NM)

The Board of Education for the Pojoaque Valley School District on May 10 made preparations for the local election happening this fall.

Board members approved a resolution notifying the Santa Fe County Clerk there will be three positions on the board which will come up for election this year.

New Mexico’s local election will be held on Nov. 7. The four-year terms for three seats on the board will end on Dec. 31.

People interested in running for office must formally declare their candidacy between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29, according to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office.

The positions opening up this year are currently held by three people that won their seats in 2019. Toby Velasquez, who ran unopposed, Felix Benavidez, who defeated Jeffrey Atencio; and Adam Muller, who defeated Fernando Quintana.

Board members also approved a resolution proposing a ballot question to set aside tax revenue for capital improvements.

A representative from Cuddy & McCarthy, LLP told board members the ballot question, if passed by voters, would set aside $2 per $1,000 in value of taxable property.

The last renewal was in 2019, they said. 68% of voters living in the school district’s boundaries voted in favor of a similar ballot question that year, according to official voting results.

The district could use the revenue from the property taxes for buildings, teacher housing, technical training and school buses.

The new ballot question would cover the tax years 2025 through 2030.

“We do that now so that in the event you don’t have a successful election, you do have the time to go back and try again, before you don’t have money,” the attorney told the school board.

The district has not posted copies of the resolutions on its website, and a representative for the school board did not respond to a written request for them.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Austin Fisher
Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.