Editor’s Note: The following responses were sent to the Carlsbad Local in response to questions that were not asked during the Oct. 14 candidate forum. Southeast New Mexico College Board Q: What would SENMC do to increase enrollment as an independent community college? Candidate: Tiffany Frintz: A: We had a 13% increase in enrollment this year, highest of all the satellite branches of NMSU. In order to continue that trend for SENMC, we’ll have to increase awareness and market heavily for Fall 2022 classes. I feel we need dynamic engagement strategies that will attract learners of all ages. We need to take a look at what social media platforms we can leverage, and consider a mobile application process. I would like to see our marketing team improve our visibility with SEO, and current enrollment analytics. Increasing the diversity of our classes, degrees, and certification programs will also benefit enrollment. We can start encouraging campus visits for our middle school students to increase awareness of the Early College Program. Enrollment is a moving target, and we’ll have to stay vigilant with our students, staff and the community and be willing to continue what’s working and change what’s not. Carlsbad Municipal SchoolsQ: What do you feel your relationship should be with the Teachers Union? Candidate: Jason Burns A: Like we have discussed, good communication is key to success. So I feel that open lines of communication with the Teachers Union will be critical to hearing the feedback from our “boots on the ground.” A good and honest working relationship with the union will be mutually beneficial to both parties. But my expectation will be for this relationship to be fostered and nurtured by the Superintendent. As I stated during the forum, the board’s responsibility is to develop policy, review and approve the budget, and oversee the superintendent. I will ensure that lines of communication are open so that all parties are heard and that the decisions we make as a school board are informed and supported by our teachers and the union. Q: What big investments should the school spend money on? A: I would like to see an overall multi-year Maintenance Construction Improvement Plan be developed or presented. I feel like every few years the school district changes it’s direction or plan for which students will attend where. This is counter productive and does not foster good learning environment for teachers or students. I feel like the schools infrastructure is critical, and must be maintained and new buildings are needed for the increasing number of students, but we need a good plan to ensure we making the right decisions and moving in a positive direction. I would also like to see a analysis on new buildings vs remodeling and repurposing the existing building already owned by the district. There is plenty of work that needs to be done in the district, we as a board need to make sure that the money is being invested wisely, so that we get the best return on the tax dollars spent. Carlsbad City Council Candidate: Eddie Rodriguez Regarding economic development:
•We work with the Carlsbad Department of Development for recruitment of businesses to Carlsbad, and with the Chamber of Commerce for retention and support of local businesses. We have the munder contract for these services to benefit not only the city of Carlsbad but Eddy County as well. Regarding partnering with community organizations the City of Carlsbad provides funding to:•Carlsbad Main Street•Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce -Retirement•Carlsbad Community of Hope Center•Carlsbad Community Coalition -Teen Court•Carlsbad Transitional Housing & Homeless Shelter•Cavern City Child Advocacy Center•Eddy/Lea Energy Alliance•Southeast NM Community Action Corporation•SoutheasternNM Economic Development Department•Boys and Girls Club of Carlsbad•Creative Carlsbad•Tennis at the River•Noah’s Arc•Carlsbad Schools As you can see, we do have the entire community in mind, year in, year out. Candidate: Karla Hamel Niemeier Howdo you see the role of the City in recruiting and supporting economic development? The city’s role in recruiting and supporting economic development is through the city’s continued partnerships with the organization already established in Carlsbad. The Carlsbad Department of Development is a crucial partner for the growth of Carlsbad through recruiting and supporting businesses that want to plant their roots in Carlsbad. Another partner is Carlsbad MainStreet, the organization that has continued the economic growth downtown demonstrated during my tenure as the Executive Director. After businesses have established themselves in Carlsbad, the Chamber of Commerce supports and fosters their businesses as they thrive in our community. Having city representation at large events like New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, New Mexico Municipal League, New Mexico Counties, and events that recruit new businesses is vital to our growth. What are your thoughts on City partnerships with community organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club, etc...As stated above, I believe the partnerships with organizations like the CDOD, MainStreet, and the chamber are vital to economic development. I believe in partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club, Anti-Drug/Gang Coalition, Carlsbad Literacy, Packs for Hunger. Carlsbad Schools, South East New Mexico College/NMSU, the Halagueno Arts Park, Keep Carlsbad Beautiful, and the many other organization is vital in the quality of life for our community and visitors alike.