Running unopposed in the Nov. 2 Carlsbad City Council elections, Ward 4 Councilor Mark Walterscheid said traffic on the community’s south side was a vital focus for his next term.
Two crucial U.S. highways: 285 and 62/180, were based in Walterscheid’ s district which he was elected to represent in 2018.
“The biggest issue in my ward is traffic going through the city,” he said. “The south side of town needs to streamline traffic and traffic lights. I am an advocate of rerouting traffic via loop roads presently under construction.”
Work continued on the city’s southeast loop road, which connects both major U.S. highways. The west bypass connects West Lea Street with Corrales Road.
The City of Carlsbad partnered with Eddy County on both projects.
Born and raised in Carlsbad, Walterscheid graduated from Carlsbad High School, attended a trade school in Denver and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
He ran a family farm in Carlsbad and then started the Garden Mart nearly 40 years ago.
Walterscheid said being a businessperson and Carlsbad native provides experience for the City Council.
“Being born and raised in Carlsbad it is important for me to make it a great place to live,” he said.
Growth in Carlsbad and Eddy County is a major issue for government leaders as the City and County grew from 2010 to 2020, read U.S. Census data.
Eddy County’s population grew 15.8 percent and Carlsbad’s population increased from 27,000 in 2010 to 32,238 in 2020, per Census figures.
Walterscheid said controlled growth, planning and proper services were some of the challenges facing city leaders, along with housing and employment.
“Offer affordable housing incentives for teachers and dormitories for college students so they can not only get an education but experience independent living,” he said of Carlsbad’s future housing needs.
Walterscheid complimented the Carlsbad Department of Development (CDOD) for addressing economic growth in Carlsbad and Eddy County, but called for more entertainment options in the city.
“We do need more entertainment in our city to keep our residents from looking for concerts, plays, theater out of town,” he said.
Absentee voting for the Carlsbad City Council election starts Oct. 5 and ends Oct. 15 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and early voting starts Oct. 16 and concludes Oct. 29, said Eddy County Clerk Darlene Rosprim.
“Although I am running unopposed my pledge is to continue to improve quality of life for residents by giving them the peace of mind, they are safe with less crime, and supporting our law enforcement,” Walterscheid said.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.