It’s time to step up


2022 is an election year for both the Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County.

There are numerous county offices up for election, and the town will welcome a new mayor in April and there are three open seats for council members.

If you have been a resident of the town for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the election; haven’t been convicted of a felony; and you are interested in making our community a better place to live, work and play, you need to pick up a candidate petition packet at Town Hall. 

Don’t procrastinate; the deadline to file your petition is Jan. 24. 

Several offices are up for election in the county this year, with candidates filing affidavits showing their intent to run for office on the state’s TRACER website.

Kristy Archuleta is running again for clerk and recorder. Brandon Bishop has filed for county coroner. Elsa White is running for treasurer. Johanna Tully-Elliott filed her affidavit to run for county assessor, she has been the assessor since Natalie Woodruff resigned due to leaving Pagosa earlier this year. So far, none of these positions are contested. 

So far, there are two people are vying for commissioner for District 3: Veronica Medina and incumbent Alvin Schaaf. 

There are three names listed on TRACER for the sheriff’s race: William Bryant, Michael Le Roux and Boyd Neagle. 

The candidates listed above are running as Republicans with the exception of Bryant, who is listed as unaffiliated.

There is typically no lack of active and engaged residents who have experience in community service and who are passionate about Pagosa Country. We hope some of those people will consider running for office.

It is nice to have some competition and challenge for positions and there is still time to get your name on the ballot and get involved. If you feel that you can bring improvement to the leadership and decision-making process in our community, this is your time to commit to make a difference. 

Voters appreciate having a real choice in who represents them. 

When candidates have competition, they have to create a platform and campaign. It gives us, as citizens, the opportunity to understand what they will do for our community and why we should or should not vote for them. 

Once in office, you will be held accountable. You must declare any conflicts of interest. You have to actually show up to work and take responsibility. 

Holding office is real work. Elected officials should be prepared to plow through sometimes hundreds of pages of agenda briefs before each meeting and show up to the meeting with knowledge about which item they are actually making a motion to adopt. They should be able to follow agendas and have an understanding of public meetings. 

There are serious issues facing our community right now. 

Back in 2015, the town and county were holding collaborative meetings and established three joint strategic priorities and interests: workforce housing, broadband and early childhood development. These are still pertinent issues, with some being considered a crisis in this community years after the priorities were first identified.

Do you have the individual conviction to stand alone and vote your conscious without bowing to the pressure of outside influences? Are you able to deal with the wrath of an angry electorate? 

We need strong and effective leaders who are not afraid to make tough decisions, who don’t go with the status quo and can take criticism from all directions. 

We need leaders who are willing to tackle learning about challenging subjects, such as audits, which are required by state law for local governments. 

We need a balance. We need diversity. That can only happen when people come forward to serve.

It’s time to step up. 

Terri Lynn Oldham House