Los Alamos County Council candidate Helen Milenski speaks at a recent candidates’ forum. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council candidate Libertarian Helen Milenski said she is running for the position because she was asked to run.
Milenski said she became very involved with the struggle with Los Alamos County’s Community Development Department on the issue of code enforcement notices of violation and citations.
“I believe I gained some notoriety when I stepped up before the County Council on this issue because people hadn’t seen many people get that far with the issue,” she said. “Many people came forward and asked me to run.”
She discussed how she communicated with the public a lot on social media about the code enforcement and although she likes how the conversation works, she doesn’t like what she called the “dark side” of social media.
Milenski said she was happy with the outcome of the interaction with the County Council which resulted in the establishment of the Community Development Advisory Board which she said is comprised of a good mix of folks who are looking at the issue from a reasonable perspective.
Two vital issues are in her sights, Milenski said. The first is the County’s Department of Public Utilities. She said she intends if elected to demand more accountability from the upper management of DPU and that she has had serious issues with recent presentations made to the County Council by DPU. She said she takes issue with DPU overrunning its budget and moving money around and is against what she called DPU’s “fly, fix, fly” approach.
Her second main issue Milenski said is taking people’s concerns in the community more seriously. She said she pledges to do her homework and that after campaigning which she called “an extended application and interview for the job”, she promises not to shirk the duties of the job.
Milenski is also concerned about business diversity which she said has been an issue in varying degrees since Los Alamos was a closed city.
“We’re still a company town trying to become a ‘town’ town,” she said. She believes Los Alamos needs to look at other small towns and see how they encourage both their existing small businesses and those new businesses wanting to set up here.
“I believe we need to getting all the groups involved in business and economic development sitting down together and simple brainstorming including the County and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. We have to have solutions,” she said.