The way Nick Castaneda sees it, eight years is long enough for anyone to serve as an elected official and that being the case, it’s time for a change on the Greenlee County Board of Supervisors.
Castaneda, a 70-year-old Army veteran who served during Viet Nam and retired Phelps Dodge employee, hopes to unseat incumbent Democrat David Gomez during the primary election Aug. 4.
He’s been going door-to-door dropping off more than 1,500 flyers.
“If you look at the current board they’ve been there a lot of years and they may have gotten tunnel vision,” Castaneda said. “I feel that our county is due for a change and I’m the person to fit the bill.”
Castaneda is a Clifton native. After retiring from Phelps Dodge in 2001 at the age of 51, he was appointed to the Clifton Unified School District governing board. He also ran twice for the board and served roughly 10 years.
He also served as a Greenlee County constable for 11 years. He was appointed once and ran twice.
For the last 12 years,he’s owned and operated El Corralito with Nora Garza, but said if county residents need him eight hours a day he’ll be there.
“This isn’t about money for me, it’s about doing the right thing for the county,” he said.
Housing is at the top of his priority list, he said. Although he didn’t want to give details, he’s got a plan.
“I’d like to see our housing projects go through. So many have failed,” he said. “I know construction and I have a plan in mind that will work for the younger generation.”
County employees and the elderly are also weighing on his mind, Castaneda said.
“I’d like to make sure our county employees are taken care of financially and medically so they don’t venture out of the county or to the mines,” he said. “If they’re not getting paid what they should be, I’d like to look into that.”
The elderly residents of Greenlee County took care of the younger generations and now it’s time for them to be taken care, Castaneda said.
The father of three daughters said roads and playground facilities are also on the top of his priority list.
The county needs to make sure residents aren’t tempted to leave, he said.
“I was born and raised here and I know what the rancher need. I know what the public needs and I know what businesses need as far as boosting the economy,” Castaneda said.