By Sandoval County Assessor Linda Gallegos as told to June Anglin, Chair, Precinct 146, DPSC
Linda Davide Gallegos is an incumbent running for re-election as Sandoval County Assessor. She is a dedicated public servant who has brought transparency and accountability to the Assessor’s Office. With 30 years of banking, investment, and management experience, she is uniquely qualified for her job. A wife, and mother of three grown children, she has devoted years of community service at her children’s schools and in a variety of non-profit organizations.
We met Linda Gallegos on a bustling sunny morning at the Flying Star in Corrales. Her energy and her stories were compelling. Here are some highlights.
What is your philosophy of government service?
I believe a public servant should always be open to learning and to taking on a task for the public good. In government, ideally, the public servant acts on behalf of the people for the common good. This is my constant goal.
In government service, it is the results of our actions that matter. I am happy to say that I have kept my promises in office. I have been a full time assessor who has set and achieved goals, fixed budget issues, and removed unfair discounts previously given to select landowners.
What did you learn in your first term as Sandoval County Assessor that will support you in your second term?
That is a long list! From the person to contact to get something done, to which budget line item is permissible, and everything in between. I have learned from the existing staff how things work in the county, and the office has benefited from my private industry experience.
I have developed important working relationships within Sandoval County and with other counties. I have successfully completed all courses to be a Certified Public Official and a New Mexico Certified Appraiser.
What would you like to see from the state legislature to support county assessors or property owners?
Sandoval County and its taxpayers both would benefit from reforming how formal protests are handled. As the law stands, there is waste in excessive postage, time, and wages.
Upon protest, we must schedule and conduct a formal hearing. We gather employees of our office and the Taxation and Revenue Department as well as two paid community members, we provide the data on the valuations, we make five copies of every packet, and we appear together and wait. Often, the protestant wished to drop the protest, or has ceased communications, but the law requires us to set and hold the hearing.
We should streamline the process and require that a protestant participate in some way prior to scheduling a hearing. If the protestant no longer wishes to protest, we should be able to document that and cancel the proceeding. This waste of time and resources happens too often, and it could be prevented with minor changes to the law.
Do you have anything to say to your critic from the other party?
I sleep well at night knowing this office is better than when I started serving almost four years ago. I do not take all the credit. I was fortunate to find in the assessor’s office an experienced and hard-working staff that work well together.
Part of my job is to supply them with the tools they need, but they are the ones that meet the goals. I am lucky to be part of this team!
Please go to my website to learn more about me. Also, please donate and volunteer.