The BDD Board of Directors selected Denise Fort as the new citizen at-large member at the February board meeting. Her term will begin with the March board meeting.
“Ms. Fort brings a valued perspective, an extensive knowledge base and will be a great asset to the BDD Board”, quoted BDD Chair Liz Stefanics. She owns a private law practice, and is a professor emeritus at UNM School of Law. Ms. Fort has a deep interest of New Mexico water policy, and is an advocate for protection of the environment in Santa Fe and New Mexico. She is a longtime proponent of environmental flows for western rivers including the Santa Fe River and Gila River in Southwest New Mexico. Ms. Fort participates in the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club as the Energy Chair, and on UNM’s Council on Water Resources.
She is well versed in state government, state laws and financial policy. In Ms. Fort’s previous career history, she held position as NM Secretary of Finance and Administration, Director of NM Environmental Improvement Division, and was a member of the NM Water Trust Board.
The board also provisionally selected an alternate citizen board member to vote in the event that Ms. Fort is not able to attend the meetings. Mr. JC Helms was selected as the alternate citizen at-large member. The BDD Board requested an amendment to add the alternate position to the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) between the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County. This position will assist with fulfilling the voting quorum at the monthly meetings, and continue the flow of communication for the community’s voice on the BDD Board. Upon approval by both parties, Mr. Helms will begin attending board meetings in the formal capacity.
Vice Chair Carmichael Dominguez stated, “I’m excited to work with our new Citizen Board Members. Their experience and voice is paramount to ensuring a safe, adequate water supply for the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County.”
Mr. Helms currently runs his own business, New Mexico Companies, offering both residential and commercial construction. He has 43 years of construction and development industries experience, mainly in the Southwest, but has traveled nationally and internationally with contract development ventures for corporations such as Western Services Construction, Hunt Building Corporation, Gerald D. Hines Interests, Development Corporation of Iran, Linbeck Construction of Houston/Iran, and Knight, Frank, Rutley of London.
Mr. Helms grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has lived the past 27 years in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. He attended Harvard where he received his bachelor’s and doctorate, and also attended Eberhard-Karls Universitaet in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. As a native of Santa Fe and an area builder, he has a vested interest in water issues for the community and looks forward to participation on the BDD Board.