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Farmington mayor named 2021 Regional Champion

Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments selecte Nate Duckett as the recipient of title
Farmington Assistant City Manager Julie Baird, McKinley County Commissioner and Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments Board Chairman Billy Moore and Mayor Nate Duckett are seen at the annual board meeting and luncheon. Duckett was named 2021 Regional Champion. (Courtesy of city of Farmington)

FARMINGTON – Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett was named the 2021 Regional Champion by the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments this week at the annual board meeting and luncheon.

“I am humbled by this award and thankful for the opportunity my community has given me to serve our city,” Duckett said at the luncheon.

According to the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments website, the NMCOG has a “duel (sic) designation” under regional and quasi-governmental planning for northwest New Mexico through local governments.

“The NMCOG works on behalf of its member governments and their customized annual work plans to uplift the region through coordination,” the site reads.

The Regional Champions award is based on leadership, according to the NMCOG website, and people “who have resided with purpose to make the region better.”

The values understood by a Regional Champion include: what is good for one, is good for all; can work faster together than alone; thinking big and acting small and vice versa; and strength in numbers.

“Champions must demonstrate regional leadership, collaboration and service to northwest New Mexico by fostering partnerships with COG and local communities,” the site said. “Champions will also demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of life, economy, environment and overall development of the region.”

San Juan County Commission Chairman John Beckstead said Friday that the city and county are “fortunate to have Mayor Duckett working and fighting for our region.”

“Because of his efforts, the county and city have been able to work together and support each other on many projects to benefit all the citizens of San Juan County,” Beckstead said.

According to a release sent by the city of Farmington, Duckett earned the title for “his leadership and dedication to public service and the betterment of his community and the region.”

“Since entering public service in 2014 as a Farmington City Councilor, Duckett has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for his citizens, diversify the local economy and save jobs and the tax base that our schools depend on for funding,” the release said.

Duckett is also credited with pursuing carbon-capture technology at the San Juan Generating Station, which the news release said will reduce the station’s statewide carbon dioxide output, which in turn will keep it running.

“The plant’s existence is crucial to the health of New Mexico’s economy,” the release said. “It will save over 1,500 jobs in San Juan County and the Navajo Nation and provide reliable, low-cost and extremely low-emission wholesale electricity.”

The release also credits Duckett for his fight to reopen the economy. According to the release, he was on the phone with officials, doctors and businesses to try to come up with a better solution to approach COVID-19 from the local standpoint.

“We are enjoying improved economic standing right now but cannot lose sight of the regional challenges that we face,” Duckett said. “It will take the collaborative efforts of each of us to retain and attract private investments in industries that support high-paying jobs and sustainable economic development. I have faith in the people of the Four Corners and will do all I can to grow the quality of life here.”

mmitchell@durangoherald.com

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