Opinion: Barrone: Right mayor at the right time

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My name is Randy Parmer and I formerly served as the chief of police for the town of Taos. Many issues are being discussed in the campaign for mayor of Taos, and I wanted to let the community know what I learned about Mayor Barrone’s commitment to public safety while I served in that role. Mayor Barrone was very supportive of our efforts to make the community safe, and I always respected and appreciated his dedication to the citizens of Taos.

Mayor Barrone led the movement to improve the safety and security of the community by increasing the manpower of the police and fire departments while at the same time providing them with necessary and improved equipment to do their jobs in a more efficient manner. Mayor Barrone expanded community policing in the parks and downtown while also providing for an increased police and security presence at the growing number of events hosted by the town.

Under Mayor Barrone’s guidance the Taos Police Department now maintains a full-time detective division, a school resource officer, a domestic violence detective, and the town was recently accepted into the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program for the fight against illegal drugs. Under the mayor’s leadership, the police department improved wages and instituted a recruiting program to attract the most qualified applicants, with an emphasis on hiring individuals from within the community.

In addition, a new career ladder for full-time volunteer firefighters has been initiated, and a new fire marshall position was established for the safety of the public. And, more public safety initiatives are on the way. Under the mayor’s leadership, the town will be working with UNM-Taos to develop a regional public safety training academy where fire, law enforcement, and emergency management personnel will receive nationally accredited training to increase their job skills and be better prepared in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

Right now, I see Taos as a town at a crossroads. It is a town that is ready to go forward and be prosperous. It is a community that is ready for responsible growth, sustainable tourism, better infrastructure and economic diversification while still preserving the beauty, history and tradition of the town. Or, Taos could be a town ready to slide back into an economic shortfall and a stoppage of all efforts for progress and growth. Having a person who has been leading the town in the right direction and can continue to do so is extremely critical. Dan Barrone is the right mayor at the right time.

I am confident that Dan Barrone is the right choice for mayor in 2018. 

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