Vote here sign, cc from Sandoval County E. Hersman, Flickr

It’s pretty much status quo for the Village of Corrales after election night. To no one’s surprise, incumbent village councilors Bill Woldman (District 2), Zach Burkett (District 5) and Stuart Murray (District 6) and Magistrate Judge Michelle Frechette won their respective races by wide margins in the Village of Corrales’ municipal election. Each of them ran unopposed. The Corrales election is non partisan.

For the record, Woldman got 228 votes in his district, Burkett got 186 votes, and Murray finished with 187 votes. Frechette received 1,301 votes.

Corrales voters also approved three General Obligation Bonds by wide margins – each getting about 80% approval – according to unofficial results posted on the Secretary of State’s website.

Bonds Pass With Flying Colors

One approved bond question directs Village administration to purchase $2 million in bonds to protect farmland and open space conservation easements. The measure allows the Village to purchase conservation easements that can be farmed or kept as open space. The Village won’t own the property. Under such easement acquisitions, landowners agree not to build, subdivide, or sell water rights on their property. 

Priding itself on its agricultural and semi-rural identity, 1,335 Village voters, or 80%, supported the farmland preservation and open space bond.

A second bond approved authorizes $1 million to complete Fire Station No. 3. The money will be used to both complete structural work at the facility and buy equipment. That question won 81% support from Corrales voters.

A third bond question, won approval with 78% of the vote. It provides $1 million for road repairs and flood control.

All three bonds are issued for four years. Their approval does not raise taxes.

Councilor Murray said in an email that the Governing Body will now have to figure out where best to spend the money for open space and farmland preservation. The ability to purchase easements for available properties gives the Village options, he said.

Asked his priorities for his next four-year term, Murray mentioned taking steps to improve safety along road ways for bicyclists, pedestrians and equestrians, including measures to curb speeding. He said he supports a multi-use facility “that is equable for all Village residents to use,” and an incubator/commercial kitchen where residents can process food in bulk and entrepreneurs can develop products.

Burkett said issues he’ll prioritize include preserving agriculture and open space, protecting irrigation and groundwater, improving walkability and rideability in the village, and long-term planning that addresses quality of life, traffic, zoning and thoughtful growth.

Woldman and Frechette did not respond as of press time.

The newly elected village councilors and judge will also get a raise. The Village Council voted earlier this year to increase councilor’s pay to $600 per month, and the municipal judge’s compensation to $1,200 per month. Winners of the next council election in Districts 1, 3 and 4 in 2025 will be compensated at the new rate, along with whoever is elected in the mayor’s race that year. The mayor’s position will then also pay $1,200 per month.

Departing from past years, Corrales’ municipal election was held in November this year. The Village Council voted earlier this year to opt-in to the state’s Local Elections Act, which in part is intended to combat voter fatigue by reducing the number of elections. In the past, the Village held municipal elections in March of even numbered years. From now on, they are held in November of odd numbered years in conjunction with local school board elections, as well as those held for soil and water and conservation districts.

TS Last, editor

TS Last is the editor of the Corrales Comment and senior contributor to the Sandoval Signpost. A 25-year veteran of New Mexico news, he previously served as the editor of the Journal North in Santa Fe and has worked in the newsrooms of the El Defensor Chieftan and Valencia News Bulletin.

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