Becoming mayor of a small rural town is a rewarding and challenging experience. It requires a deep understanding of the community, the ability to make tough decisions, and the willingness to work tirelessly to serve the needs of the town's residents. The first step to becoming mayor in a small rural town is to become involved in the community. This could mean volunteering for local organizations, attending town meetings, and getting to know the residents and their needs. You'll be better equipped to serve as mayor by building relationships and understanding the community. Pascual Maestas is the Mayor of Taos and took office at the beginning of this year. Pascual has deep roots here in Taos, dating a few years back, but he grew up worldwide. Pascual spent time in places like Panama, Florida, and North Korea growing up. Though Pascual has traveled to many places and had extensive worldly experience, he graduated from Taos High School. After, he joined the Navy and was stationed in Florida, where he received his undergraduate degree in economics and international studies from the University of South Florida. When Pascual arrived back in Taos, it was supposed to be only a year break before he would go to grad school. However, that stay turned into a ten-year hiatus. Furthermore, Pascual did not feel lost because Taos was always home for him, a place he felt most connected and grounded to, and he would get his energy back.
Pascual comes from a family of teachers. His grandfather was a well-known Spanish teacher and had an aunt who was also a teacher. So teaching is something that Pascual always felt was in his blood. Pascual worked at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, teaching life skills through service learning, and then became a high school teacher. During the pandemic, Pascual was teaching at Taos High School when the enrollment numbers started to decline. He saw this as an opportunity to return to school and started a new online program offered by New Mexico State in their Economics masters program. Pascual took the chance and was the first to graduate from the program.
Before running for mayor, Pascual served on the Taos council for four years. Pascual ran for mayor because he wanted positive changes in his hometown. He noticed changes that could have been better, stores closing down, lack of economic progression, and new or better jobs. Pascual remembers on the campaign trail how people would ask him what's the best-case scenario, talking about who would win for council or mayor, all these different scenarios. He thought the best-case scenario had a government that worked and functioned well for the people, and maybe he didn't have to be involved in it as long as it would work for the people. Pascual believes that people in the community spent the last couple of years thinking about not just themselves but others and how our community spends its money. During the campaign, he was able to tap into his teaching skills and help teach the community about politics and how important they are, and why it's essential to get involved. Since becoming mayor, Pascual is most proud of taking care of staff by raising salary by $1 an hour and a retention incentive of $1000. Pascual discussed this during his campaign and held to the promise.
One of Pascal's recent initiatives is to provide more safety for the people of Taos. To do this, he has been working with local officials to install more cameras in public areas. These cameras will help deter crime and make people feel more secure in their neighborhoods. In addition to providing more safety, Pascual has also been focusing on improving housing in the area. This includes working with local organizations to develop more affordable housing options for those in need. He has also been working with elected officials to help ensure that they can make informed decisions when it comes to allocating funds for these projects and keeping them affordable.Becoming mayor of a small rural town means being a role model and representing the town in a positive light. This means being accessible and approachable, transparent and honest, and working tirelessly to serve the community's needs. Pascual hopes others consider running for a local office, such as a town council member, or staying up to date with the town agendas. This will allow you to gain experience in local government and develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become more informed and involved.