Candidate for Los Alamos County Council Randall Ryti speaks at a recent candidates’ forum. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council candidate Randall Ryti said he moved to Los Alamos in 1992 to start a small business. He said he had the pleasure of being a leader in that company over the years and getting involved in various community activities. Retired from that company, Ryti says he has the time, interest and enthusiasm to serve as County Councilor.
“I am running for Council because I’ve seen how I can make a difference by being an active participant and leader in my company as well as local organizations,” he said.
Ryti served on the Pajarito Environmental Education Center board for a number of years when it was a fledgling organization. He said he developed a business plan for PEEC and also served as it’s president. He was on the District Science Fair committee for more than 10 years and helped coordinate judges. He also served on the County Transportation board for four years, including two years as chair.
Ryti said it has been rewarding to walk the neighbors meeting residents and hearing their issues and concerns.
“One topic that has come up, particularly for people new to the County, is the unavailability of housing,” he said. “We should have housing available for a variety of income levels and stages in life.”
He mentioned that students at UNM-LA could benefit from such housing which would allow them to occupy affordable student housing in lieu of commuting long distances.
“This would allow more time for their studies or a part-time job, indirectly helping local businesses who struggle to find employees,” Ryti said. “Another group that would benefit is retirees. Perhaps they would like to stay in the County and downsize but currently their options are limited.”
He said he would like to see the County consider ways to redevelop underutilized land or develop vacant properties for housing or commercial uses.
“Expanded housing options should help Los Alamos National Laboratory attract new hires and also help the County attract new companies. Diversifying and expanding our local businesses, in particular small businesses, would provide an expanded arrays of goods and services to residents and visitors and also help to broaden the tax base,” Ryti said.
Ryti also believes community health services is an area where County funds can produce the largest effect for vulnerable populations.
“Improved mental health and substance abuse treatments are a priority to me. We also need to continue to remove stigmas associated with such illnesses. I encourage the community to invest our time and our resources in out youth for suicide prevention and other mental health problems,” he said.