White Sands Missile Range Housing Mayor's program helps with communication
October 4, 2012
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M., Oct. 4, 2012 - The White Sands Missile Range housing community has reorganized a committee to create a voice for community members represented by district Mayors with the help of Balfour Beatty and the Garrison Command.
The housing areas have been separated into eight separate districts with a Mayor for each district. The Mayor, who resides within the same district, is responsible for making the process of addressing an issue a community member may have a lot easier.
"The general idea is to have community members who are able to be a liaison between the community, Balfour Beatty and the Garrison Command," said Julia Armstrong, volunteer coordinator for the Mayor Program. "If there are questions or issues or information that needs to be disseminated or asked and the community member doesn't know how to go about that, the Mayor can act as a liaison.
There are currently seven Mayors who volunteered for the position by self-nominating themselves and who went through a panel interview. The panel interview consisted of representatives from Balfour Beatty and the Garrison Command. The panel would determine why the individual would want the position as mayor and if the individual would be a good fit for the position. The mission statement for the program is to provide an opportunity for community members to make a difference and help improve the quality of life for all of White Sands.
The Mayors are: Roger Ramirez Jr., Trinity 1 Mayor, Ryan Magnuson, Columbia 1 Mayor, Ashley Mitchell, Columbia 2 Mayor, Lynn Westberg, Pershing 1 Mayor, Stephanie David, Patriot 2 Mayor, Patrick McCallahan, Pershing 1 Mayor and Tiffani Brooke Crome (not in photo) Trinity 1 Mayor.
"I decided to throw my hat in the ring as a mayoral candidate to become more active in the Pershing 2 community. I would like to foster improved communication between the residents, Balfour Beatty and the Garrison and help build a sense of 'pride of ownership' among residents," said Lynn Westberg, mayor of Pershing II.
Once selected for the position, the Mayor's must attend a monthly mayor steering committee to discuss ideas to better the community. The committee consists of Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Glenn D. Robinson, Balfour Beatty Housing Manager, Deborah O'Brien, Dawn Pullar, who will assist with the Garrison voice, Philip Chang, outreach coordinator, and Armstrong. Balfour Beatty runs the meeting with a prepared agenda and Robinson chairs the meetings. Robinson was credited for spearheading the reimplementation of the program.
"The reason I wanted to restart the Mayor Program is to allow the community to have a voice and with the Mayor Program I have eight voices that I know have 50 to 100 people behind them," Robinson said. "It will help improve the beauty and health and welfare of the community."
The committee has already brought about some positive changes, to include the implementation of a community notice board connected to the mailboxes within each of the eight districts. The notice boards are meant to notify community members about activities and events on post. Community members can also post their own flyers on the board. The subjects for future meetings consist of activities for the upcoming holidays, Halloween safety tips and meeting with the Department of Emergency Services to help increase community awareness.
Housing community members are encouraged to contact their Mayors if they have an issue they would like to discuss. Each mayor has a designated e-mail that can be obtained at the Balfour Beatty front office. The Mayors may also hold district block parties, smaller district meetings or communicate through e-mail to reach out to their fellow housing residents.
"Part of the reason we have the Mayor Program is to give the community members a voice," Pullar said.
"It also helps community members get to know each other, get to know their neighbor," Armstrong added.
The Patriot 1 district is still looking for a mayor, the position is open to any community member living in that area. Mayors are also seeking assistant mayors to conduct mayoral duties during a mayor's absence. If you are interested in a position please visit the Balfour Beatty office or contact your community mayor.