Independent candidate Mike Hayward announced on April 27 that he is challenging incumbent Clifford Lucero for his post as Archuleta County Commissioner for District 2.
Hayward said he tentatively decided to run for commissioner about a year ago, adding that he was hesitant to return to work after retiring, but, “didn’t like the way things were running.
“Well, it’s just all the stuff that’s happening,” Hayward said of choosing to run, adding that his interest piqued when the county began considering a long-term lease to a local nonprofit to place an entertainment pavilion on county-owned property.
Hayward said he sent e-mails to the commissioners concerning the decision (Lucero, Michael Whiting and John Ranson), with Whiting and Ranson responding, but with Lucero, representing his district, failing to respond.
At that time, Hayward said, he told his wife that if no one would run against Lucero, he would.
Hayward added that much has happened since, such as with the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation.
If elected, Hayward said he hopes to focus on three main components — transparency, giving back to the community and focusing more on the community.
Hayward’s first goal, he said, is transparency as far as why decisions are being made, listening to the community and involving the community in decision-making, without “shady, back-room deals.”
Secondly, Hayward said he hopes to give back to the community and involve the business community in developing the community and to increase how business-friendly the environment is.
In discussing the goal, Hayward cited the ongoing issue of paving parking lots — an issue currently being faced by Pagosa Brewing Company (Note: The matter was continued for 90 days for the business owner to explore alternatives to paving that would alleviate the county’s concerns. The commissioners have scheduled a work session on the topic for later this month).
Hayward said the county’s rules need to be analyzed to determine if they are doing what they were set to do, and to see if there are still valid reasons for the rules to be in place, adding that the business could use the money it would take to pave the parking lot to invest and grow the business and that businesses should not have to pave when the county is not actively paving its roads.
Thirdly, Hayward said he plans to focus more on the community, criticizing his opponent for discussing the lack of raises within the county when, likely, very few in community have been given raises in recent years and others have lost their jobs.
Hayward said the entire county budget should be looked at in terms of where money would be best spent, suggesting employees should receive raises based on performance.
Hayward added that, should he be elected, his paycheck would be given to charities chosen on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Hayward retired last July from Cisco Systems, Inc., where he said he worked in field operations and business development.
Hayward said his background and education are in business administration, business development and finance.
“I just want to be the change,” Hayward said.