If you ask any of my three kids where they live they will shout “Mills, New Mexico” with all the gusto of a rodeo announcer. When we stop by the post office four miles down the road, the only business in Mills proper, the kids sometimes ask, “What town are we in?”. When I tell them we are in Mills they say, “No we’re not! WE live in Mills!” In their little minds, Mills ends at our fence line.
I’ve had the opportunity to venture away from Mills and travel around Harding County over the last several weeks and explore many of the nooks and crannies I had never been able to see up close before. Harding County is deep and wide, 2,138 square miles to be exact. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet or get reacquainted with fine folks everywhere from the Canadian River Canyon area to the high rolling plains of the east side to the sand hills “below the hill”. Each stop that I have made along the campaign trail has reiterated the fact that we live in an incredibly diverse segment of the world.
Our diverse terrain and and the many miles that separate the residents of Harding County makes our area special, beautiful, peaceful, and an ideal place to raise livestock (and kids, in my opinion). However, in visiting with residents from the farthest north end of the county to the farthest south stretches, it is apparent that our diversity also lends itself to some serious challenges for local government. There are a lot of concerns out there that are a function of being on the far edges of Harding County. Neglected mail and school bus routes, ambulance service issues, and 911 address concerns are just some examples of the legitimate problems brought up during my campaign tour of the county.
I am running for Harding County Commissioner. I am not a politician by nature. This is my very first go round with politics but I am savvy enough to know not to make promises or claim that I will be able to please everyone. But let me tell you something that even an someone with as little governmental experience as me can see with crystal clarity. There are some serious issues that need attention no matter the physical location of the problem or if the solution goes against the way things have always been done. I think that it is high time for a fresh perspective, some open and attentive ears, and a person with a healthy respect and appreciation for the diversity of Harding County.
Unlike my kids, we have to remember that the county does not end at the end of our driveway. Harding County is not just Mills, or Solono, or Gallegos, or Bueyeros, or Roy, or Mosquero, or any point in between. Harding County is an interesting and intricate combination of us all. I am not in this race to to give my personal neck of the woods an unfair leg up, for personal notoriety or power, to clear a personal vendetta, or reap the perks of the position. I don’t have a dog in the age old fight of “That’s the way it’s always been done so that’s the way it should always be done”. I am ready to SERVE, willing to SERVE, and equipped to SERVE. Will you help me be in a position to serve?
Remember to vote on June 5th and vote Rebecca K. Smith for Harding County Commissioner!