Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie



March 16, 2018

"The arterial route is the lynchpin for all the other projects we're trying to do in Aztec, because if you get all the heavy plate glass window, foundation shaking big truck traffic detoured around downtown then things like the Metropolitan Revitalization Area (MRA) plan can be implemented," said newly appointed Mayor Victor Snover. The TALON caught up with Snover as classes were letting out at AHS where he has been the JROTC instructor for over three years. As students stream by they greet him with, "Have a good afternoon First Sargent."

Snover plans on using the foundation left by his predessessor Sally Burbridge to facilitate his agenda moving forward, "Well, I think as we are all transitioning into our new roles the trick is not to get too crazy and get our legs under us for one, a lot of the big future projects are already in the works." As for taking on the challenges of his new office Snover has hit the ground running, "I met with the (interim) city manager, Steve Mueller yesterday about funding and the fazes that different projects are in and so on...we've got a few things going on that are already in place, I think it's important to keep applying steady pressure where necessary to keep funding in place and make sure that all the specific details are being taken care of, things like enviromental impact studies for the arterial route for example." Snover believes that one of the most important tasks that the new commission needs to address is finding a new city manager, "That's huge, the city manager essentially drives the government, it's a city manager, city commission type of government and I think Mr. Mueller has been doing a great job."

Elected to the City Commission on March 6, Snover then went on to be appointed mayor by his fellow commissioners on Monday March 12. Snover relates that he was inspired to become involved in politics by former President Obama's farewell address, particularily when Obama challenged people to become involved in local politics instead of, 'sitting at home screaming at their television sets'. "For me the words that Obama spoke that day really hit home...then I ran for Chair of the democratic party and won that, and then for the city commission, I was fortunate to run unopposed and I won that and then heck, I was appointed mayor it's all happened really quickly."

Snover wanted to thank his long-time friend and supervisor, Colonel Berris Samples, "I owe alot to him...He really showed me the ropes...and he's just really easy to work with, we make a great team...there are so many folks I'd like to give credit to, especially my wife Camillia. Everybody experiences doubts about whether we are up to the challenge but with her steady reassurances, helping me along the way,..I couldn't even imagine doing it myself, she's just a steady amazing presence in my life."

Snover, 48, is a husband and father of four, a JROTC instructor at AHS and has served 22 years in the army national guard and the navy (retired), "I did four overseas deployments with the navy, I do have a combat action ribbon (Desert Storm '91) but let me be clear I wasn't gettin shot at, I was never under fire, heck I was on a ship."

Snover did not mince words when it comes to the subject of arming teachers on campus, "I am 100% opposed to arming teachers in schools," he stated, "In my humble opinion more guns is not going to solve the problem, that's just how I feel."

Snover was at AHS on December 7 and related his experience that day, "It was a little different for me than alot of the other people, I was in planning period so I didn't have any students in my class." At first Snover thought the lock down was, "just another drill" until he was informed by text of the shooting. Snover, some staff members and some basketball players were rounded up and "patted down by police" Snover said, "I just kind of jumped in and helped out wherever they needed me, so that was really the extent of my experience that day." Snover believes that even if he had, had a weapon that day, he would not have done anything different, "If I had been armed I would have stayed locked down as I was told to. You have to follow the protocal and do what that mandates you to do."

Like people across the nation, Snover has been considering how to address the problem of school shootings, "It's easy to knee-jerk this thing, I have four kids and they used to fight like cats and dogs, they would hit each other with sticks, but I didn't give all the other kids sticks and say, 'hey, here you go fight it out' I took the sticks away from them." Snover said, "I don't mean to sound crass or flipant or anything because we lost two people and those parents...I can't imagine what it feels like to lose a kid, but violence is not the answer to violence in my opinion." Snover slowly shook his head, "I don't have the answer to this problem and unfortunately there is nothing we can probably do in a free society that would completely eliminate the chance of this ever happening again. I do think there are some common sense things we can do to limit access to firearms that would at least lessen the chances of this happening again." Snover conceded that the problem was not going to be solved by a couple of bills introduced at a legislative session. "It's gonna require alot of investment of money, time and resources to number one, to get to the root cause of what makes people to want to shoot people with automatic weapons." For the short term Snover agrees that raising the age to 21 for purchasing firearms and ammunition is a step in the right direction. "I think our priorities are kind of out of whack when we can go buy a AR 15 military style assault weapon and as much ammunition as you can afford but you can't go to a convenience store and buy a six pack of beer." Snover believes that outside of a military setting no 18-year-old person should,"be walking around with an AR 15 or honestly any weapon."


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