Dawn Trujillo Voss speaks to attendees at Saturday’s candidates’ event at the American Legion. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Dawn Trujillo Voss, candidate for Los Alamos County Council, told the audience at Saturday’sevent at the American Legion and Monday evening’s candates forum at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post that she grew up in Chimayo and Truchas and graduated from Espanola Valley High School. She has Associate’s degrees in Biotechnology and Medical Radiography and just completed a degree in Project Management.
“The reason I decided to pursue a degree at 42 years of age, is because I wasn’t happy where I was and I wanted to make a change and that change was my responsibility and nobody else’s responsibility. So, I went to work and came home and made sure the family was fed and everyone where they needed to be and then I went to the library to work on completing my degree. With that, I bring to you an attitude of, “Let’s get it done, let’s make a change and let’s move forward” instead of staying stagnant, Voss said.
She said the reason she decided to run for Council is that her 70-year old father-in-law received a notice of violation last winter. When that started happening, I was busy with school. I wasn’t paying attention. When I finished school my husband said let’s go this County Council meeting and when I got there I was surprised at how full the room was, how many people were standing up to speak up, to fight for their rights, to be respected,” Voss said. “The lack of empathy that was given to everyone and the amount of energy and work the community put into making a change was amazing but it kept falling on deaf ears. So that started my fire. That ignited me to stand up and say let’s make a change.”
One of the items that is important to her is having a teen center for the middle schoolers,” Voss said.
“The middle schoolers are left out. They don’t have a place to go. They can go to the Youth Activity Center, however the YAC is from third to eighth grade. Middle schoolers don’t want to hang out with third graders. Parents of third graders don’t want to have middle schoolers there. Middle schoolers have to check in their phone. Middle schoolers are not old enough to attend the Teen Center because it’s not appropriate to have middle schoolers and high schoolers together in the same environment,” Voss said.
She said when she goes to pick up her daughter from downtown, she sees middle schoolers hanging out in the parking lot by Starbucks.
“I saw a fistfight two weeks ago, and we don’t have a library open right now. So where are these kids going and what are they doing? That sixth to seventh grade jump in development is crucial and we need to capture that and make sure that we’re taking care of our youth.”
Voss said the next item that floats for her is taking care of small businesses in town.
“We need to be allies to our small businesses. Today, I had a very lengthy conversation about how difficult it is to work through the building codes in this County. It seems like the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. One inspector comes and interprets a code this way and another inspector comes and interprets a code a different way.,” she said. “If somebody goes on vacation and duties are delegated then the person that is left to cover the job doesn’t feel that they have the authority to make any decisions or sign off on paperwork,”
Voss said with all of this happening going back and forth small business owners are losing money.
“They’re not a big corporation. They don’t have a big bank account. $13,000 is very steep and if you’re held up on codes for one month, you’re $13,000 behind,” she said.