"I'm not one to sit in the back seat; I’m always ready to drive if there’s something that has to get done."
Charlotte brings 25 years of New Mexico public service experience to the Claims Office. She served two terms as the Mora County Clerk and four years at the state Public Regulation Commission. She enjoys spending time with her family and watching her grandchildren play sports.
What motivated you to apply for this position?
My dad’s from Holman, my mom from Cleveland. My grandparents have been here forever. It was devastating when it first started, but we didn’t anticipate what it was going to become. They always do prescribed burns. It was just something that blew up. It took everyone by surprise. As time was going on, we never thought the whole county of Mora was going to leave, leave our homes. To this day, people are still trying to deal with what they went through.
We had no idea what we were going to come back to. We had no clue. We didn’t know if it was going to take the whole town. Even though I didn’t lose my home, thank God, being from here and having friends that did lose their home, I just felt if there’s anything I can do to help my people I want to do it.
What's the most important thing you want people to know?
That we’re here to help. I’m going to be there for them every step of the way, be there to support them—all they need to do is call the office, come by, and see me, I’m here for them. Sometimes my kids tell me ‘You gotta rest, Mom,’ and I say no, there’s no time for rest. But you know what? I love it, I love talking to people, just hearing their stories.
When I call some people, they say ‘Charlotte Duran? Charlotte Vigil Duran? The county clerk with the long hair? I thought you were retired! You’re still working?’ and I say ‘yes...it’s me.’ Because I know the people, it’s easy for me to talk to them. People feel comfortable knowing that the work is being done by somebody from here, somebody that knows them, and they can relate to. It makes a difference when people hear that you care and you’re not being cold. I’ve had people on the phone tell me ‘Just talking to you has helped, just knowing you’re there.’
Which Claims Office core value do you resonate with the most?
Respect. The fact that FEMA is here and they’re not giving up on us, that they helped a year ago but they’re back again, that shows respect. They could have left, and they didn’t. In order to get respect, you have to give respect. We give respect by seeing our commitments through. I’m going to be there from the start to end. Whatever claimants need I’ll be there for them.