Sara Scott, candidate for Los Alamos County Council, speaks at a recent candidates’ forum at the American Legion Post. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council candidate Sara Scott began her talk at the recent candidates’ forum at the American Legion Post by taking the audience back with her to a meeting in the mid-90s at a nuclear facility in Siberia, Russia.
She said the facility was a real mystery because it was hidden in a granite mountain during the Cold War. Scott said she was leading a team of U.S. technical experts and they were there to identify and implement measures to protect weapons grade plutonium, which at that point was being produced at a rate of 1/2 ton per year.
“It was a three-day trip, away from our families and for me, small children, to get to this meeting room, which looked, felt and actually had a very unique smell different from anything I’d experienced before. As I sat at the table with my counterpart – the deputy chief engineer of this facility and his technical experts – we overcame cultural, language and technical challenges to hammer out a plan that identified the scope of what needed to be protected, the most important materials/locations to address first, and which approaches and technologies would be the most appropriate for this particular set of materials and facility,” Scott said.
She said as the meeting was wrapping up, she was asked for an interview that would appear on the local television station and that during the interview, she was asked about the shared vision they all had for improving the security of weapons grade materials, what it was like to be a woman leading the delegation, and the progress they had made towards our goals.
“It really drove home for me why all the hard work and challenges of the week’s work were so important, not just to the U.S. but for Russia and the citizens of this Siberian town as well,” Scott said. “So why do I tell this story? Because I learned a lot in this effort, and many other programs, initiatives, and organizations that I’ve contributed to over that past years, that I can put to work for Los Alamos County.”
She said what she has learned includes how to manage large and complex organizations, how to identify key priorities, how to develop and implement meaningful new initiatives and programs, and how to effectively communicate with folks from diverse views and backgrounds to achieve a common goal.
“I’ll also bring my broad perspective that comes from participating in this community as a parent, scientist, volunteer, and consumer, and my passion for using my energy and skills to make a real difference. I care deeply about Los Alamos and feel that in the coming years we’ll be facing changes that could provide challenges but most importantly opportunities for making us stronger,” Scott said.
To address this, she said she proposes to make change work for the County by supporting the growth and health of businesses and tourism to provide some economic diversification and help assure that Los Alamos and White Rock remain attractive places to live. She said she will work to protect the open spaces that are “held so dearly” and continue to advance the County’s environmental objectives such as the carbon neutral goal.
Scott said she will also work to address the range of housing and service needs with those coming to work in our community and the growing number of folks choosing to retire in Los Alamos County while not forgetting the growing number of those struggling and in need in the community.