Tabitha Denny is running for City Council in Ward 5. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)
Tabitha Denny speaks from the heart, she said. She’s not a politician but decided that to make a difference in the community, she needed to take a stand.
“I want to be realistic. I want at least for it to be known that I tried,” Denny said. “I can’t expect that change to happen if I don’t try to make that change. I’m running because I care.”
Denny filed to run for City Council in Ward 5 against incumbent Barry Foster.
A New Mexico native of Tucumcari, Denny grew up in Roswell. She left after graduating from Goddard High School and decided to return two years ago.
Denny, who lives with her husband, Shawn, a New Mexico Game and Fish game warden, owns Crossfit Vision and co-owns The Scuba Shop with her father, Gale Yocom.
As a small-business owner, Denny said she hopes to bring more jobs to Roswell by encouraging small-business growth.
“By bringing more economic development, that will work towards reducing crime,” Denny said. Crime, “has been ongoing ever since I can remember. It played a big part in why I didn’t come back earlier.”
Several factors are discouraging small-business people from getting a chance to open, and make their dreams a reality, Denny said.
“There’s not enough support, in general. Not just from the government level, but from our local banks and from citizens,” Denny said. “I want to make sure we work with small businesses and try to support them. I went through an issue with that. That’s why it’s important to me.”
Denny said she hopes to grow those businesses, as they are as vital as larger companies in drawing jobs to the area. One section of the city she would like to see improved would be Main Street and West Second.
“There are two extremes in Roswell — Main and West Second,” she said. “We bring in all our alien (UFO) tourists and that’s the first thing they see. There’s duct tape on the windows. There are several things that need to be worked on. We need to pick something. Nothing’s going to change overnight.”
Another issue she would focus on, she said, would be to create more activities for children and families.
“We need to create more to get them involved in activities other than sports,” she said. “We need the kids and the younger generation to get involved to where they want to stay and they want to raise their kids here. It is important.”
The Yucca Recreation Center needs to be updated, she said. More family-oriented activities need to be available for families to be able to spend time together.
If she is elected, Denny said she would treat her position as she does her business. She is realistic and cares about customer service.
“I want to always kind of speak from the heart,” Denny said. “It’s amazing the things I’ve learned over the last month. I want to be me, period. And I want to be able to go to sleep at night and go, ‘I made the right decision.’”
She also wants to connect directly with her constituents by holding town hall meetings, reaching out by texting and returning calls directly, she said.
“I’m like that with my customers,” she said. “When you’re a City Council person, you’re in customer service. The customer service in this town sucks.”