Kenneth Eichwald said goodbye to the Sandoval County Commission last month after representing District 5 for the past six years. He is leaving the commission after being elected magistrate judge in Cuba, a position he held for more than two decades before becoming commissioner. 

“I want to say thank you to the people of Sandoval County. They’ve always been so great with me,” Eichwald said during his last county commission meeting on Dec. 14. “I was a judge for 24 years and now I’ve served the commission for six years and now I’m going back to my former job of magistrate.” 

With Eichwald’s leave, the Governor’s office is charged with filling the vacancy.

“The county got a letter from Santa Fe saying that they fully intend on having someone selected and put in by January 13th,” Chairman Michael Meek said. 

According to Meek, the Governor’s office has not indicated who they are considering to fill the position. However, applicants must reside in District 5. 

Eichwald represented District 5, the geographically the largest district by far. The district makes up the northwest part of the county, including the communities of Cuba, San Ysidro, Jemez Springs, La Cueva, Jemez and Zia pueblos and portions of Cochiti and Santo Domingo pueblos.

According to Eichwald’s profile on the county website, he initially ran for office to help with various road issues that were present in his district. 

“The commission has been an eye opener for me, we’ve dealt with things at the commission that a lot of people don’t even see and we have some great people that work in Sandoval County,” Eichwald said. 

Eichwald was not the first in his family to enter the political realm. The former-commisoner’s grandfather, Aaron Augstine, a German immigrant, was a New Mexico State Senator and Sandavol County Commissioner in the 1920’s. 

Commissioner Dave Heil, who was elected the same year as Eichwald, said that he was sad to see Eichwald leave, but said that Eichwald would be moving on to “bigger and better things.” 

Commissioner Katherine Bruch said Eichwald was a valuable resource for her when she joined the commission.

“I have personally benefited so greatly from you, commissioner, being here with me. I look forward to whatever the future brings for the commission,” she said to Eichwald during the Dec. 14 meeting.

Eichwald was presented with a plaque recognizing his service to the county at that meeting.

In his final remarks, Eichwald reminded County Manager Wayne Johnson not to forget about District 5. 

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