Newly elected Socorro County Commissioner John Aguilar was sworn in Friday.
Cathy Cook | El Defensor Chieftain

From the Sheriff’s Department to the probate court, county officials were sworn into office in a ceremony Friday at the Socorro County Annex building.

Incoming Sheriff Lee Armijo was sworn in before he takes office January 1.

“I’d just like to thank everybody that supported me, and everybody else,” said Armijo. “I would like to put to them that I’m going to do a great job coming in. They made the right decision.”

The first thing Armijo will do in January is take a “deep, deep breath.”

“Then we’re going to implement a school resource officer,” said Armijo. “That will be the first of July. A full time, Socorro Consolidated Schools school resource officer.”

The Socorro Consolidated School District has two security guard positions, one at Sarracino Middle School and one at Parkview Elementary School, that are difficult to fill, the school district’s Executive Director of Finance Rhiannon Crespin said during Monday’s School Board meeting. So, the funds for those positions will be used to help fund one school resource officer position. The position will be housed at Socorro High School but respond to issues district wide. One of the high school security guard positions would be moved to the middle school, so the middle and high school would each still have a security guard.

The Sheriff’s Department is working with the school district already to provide deputies at the high school when they are available. The Department will help with the resource officer by handling the commission, said Armijo.

County Assessor Julie Griego was sworn in for her second term. The main project Griego and Deputy Assessor David Monette are focused on is getting the existing maps online, to make it easy for constituents to look up their own properties online.

County Commissioner Joe Gonzales was another elected official sworn in for a second term.

“I’m committing to four more years and then I’m done with my civic duties for the rest of my life,” said Gonzales.

In the coming term he hopes the commissioners can continue working on the pay structure and job descriptions for county employees, to create a more stable framework for county workers.

“Then of course all the other issues. Getting the state to give us more funding for a senior citizens center, that’s a big issue,” said Gonzales. “You work your whole life and then you get in your golden years, you should have a place where you want to go socialize, and it needs to be properly funded. It’s a burden on the county right now.”

One of the five Socorro County commissioners is leaving office. District 3 Commissioner Manuel Anaya did not run for reelection. The new District 3 Commissioner will be John Aguilar.

“It’s a new job to me, so I’m going to get acquainted with everybody and try to do my job to the best of my ability,” said Aguilar.

Socorro’s incoming probate judge Gilbert Peralta has already attended one training session before his first day on the job in January and will attend more in the coming months.

“I’m hoping to do well for the community, do justice for the community, and I’m just excited,” said Peralta.