The 2022 Clovis City Council race has a crowded field of candidates heading into the Nov. 8 election with nine candidates who are a mix of new and familiar faces and one incumbent seeking re-election.
The Clovis Roundup reached out to candidates for interviews and those that replied will be featured in upcoming articles. First to be featured is Matt Basgall.
Matt Basgall has been a resident of Clovis for 30 years and has had a career with the Clovis Police Department for approximately 29 of those years. During that time he took on positions such as canine handler, detective, and then Chief of Police for six years. Basgall credited his motivation to be more involved with the community and giving a focus to public safety as his catalyst for running for City Council.
“I’m a huge proponent and supporter of the police department. I know that the police department had its struggle with being able to get staffing and they are the same struggles I faced for all the years that I was involved and we’re constantly looking for creative ways to solve problems,” Basgall said.
School safety and a focus on bringing more businesses into Clovis, specifically the Sierra Vista Mall, which according to Basgall is “typically empty”, are issues Basgall said are his focus.
“I know there’s a new owner of it, but the Sierra Vista Mall had such a great opportunity. But yet the middle of it is still so empty, how do we fix that? We’ve built up from the corners, we’ve got the movie theater and those are all good but everything in between there is a ghost town and we got to figure that out,” Basgall said.
Basgall said he is an advocate for “responsible growth” in Clovis because, however the city is developed in the future, will be how Clovis is left for future generations.
“It needs to be organized and thought out and we need to do it in a systematic way that is best for our community,” Basgall said.
Set against a backdrop of a crowded field of candidates, Basgall said his perspective of living through similar issues facing many voters in Clovis paired with his experience as a member of the police department provides him with a unique perspective that he feels voters may appreciate.
“We may have to reevaluate how we do things and maybe we have to make some tough choices along the way. Currently I know everybody hates taxes, and right now we’re working on a hotel or transportation tax that will only apply to people who stay in hotel rooms…while this could generate up to $500,000…I think we could’ve done more with this particular initiative…”Basgall said.
Basgall said, in Clovis “we respond to everything, we take care of the little things before they become big things,” and Basgall added that as Clovis continues to grow it’ll become more difficult to maintain that standard if the right resources and support don’t make it to where they are needed in order to get Clovis back to a point where Clovis can “respond to everything”.