New-elected Los Alamos County Council Chair Councilor Sara Scott chats with new Vice Chair Councilor Pete Sheehey and outgoing chair Councilor David Izraelevitz at Tuesday evening’s Council meeting. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Councilor Sara Scott is the new chair of the Los Alamos County Council. Vice chair is Councilor Pete Sheehey.
At the Council’s first meeting of the year Tuesday evening, Councilor Antonio Maggiore nominated Sheehey for chair and Councilor Randy Ryti nominated Scott. At that point Sheehy asked for if he and Scott could say a few words about their vision for the job.
Sheehey went on to say that chair of the County Council is a rather unique job.
“There’s a management aspect to it but the chair is not managing the County. We have a very able County management team. What you are managing is the democratic process of the County. This something I believe has to be done fairly and impartially. If I, for instance, as chair had a particular item I wanted to push, I would ask the vice chair to preside when I was arguing in favor of an item,” he said. “Everyone of us has been elected on the basis of our ideas and our background. It’s all a little different. We all bring a little different agenda, but the chair should not have an agenda. The chair’s agenda is to get this Council to work as the democratic voice of the people of Los Alamos and make the best decisions for all of us.”
Sheehey said experience counts.
“Not just management experience, but experience in the Council job where you’re dealing with a lot of people – internal and external – experience down at the Roundhouse. We’re going to have a very serious job to do down there this year. I’ve observed several chairs. The process is always a little different. I believe I can take the best of what I’ve seen and make this a very functional Council,” he said.
Scott said as Council chair she would seek to assure “open discussion, comment and effective decision-making” in an efficient way to the best interest of the community and the citizens.
When the roll was called, Maggiore and Sheehey voted for Sheehy and the remainder of the Council voted for Scott.
Los Alamos County Council members move to their new seats following the election of the new chair and vice chair Tuesday evening. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Councilor James Robinson nominated Sheehey for vice chair and he was appointed by acclamation.
Under the Council Chair Report on the agenda Scott said she is really committed in her new role to work hard to seek out diversity of opinion as the Council works together towards inclusivity.
“That goes for the opinion of the Council members as well as the community and I will look forward to the support in doing this role from all of you, so thank you for future help in that area,” Scott said.
Sheehey said he and Scott had previously discussed the role of the chair for the Council and are in agreement on most points.
“ I think you will see a number of changes that we will bring forward that are aimed as Councilor Scott said at inclusivity, diversity of opinion and making the democratic process work better in this community so I’m committed to working with Councilor Scott and the entire rest of the Council,” he said.
Outgoing chair Council David Izraelevitz said he just wanted to briefly thank his fellow councilors for the terms he has had as chair.
“It was an honor and very enjoyable. I also want to thank staff for their support and advice over the last two years. I think whatever success or good decisions might be attributed to any type of chair participation really was based on staff and fellow councilors and I also want to express my confidence in the new leadership team. I think we’re going in for a very good year,” he said.
Newly-elected Los Alamos County Council Chair Sara Scott speaks Tuesday evening with County Manager Harry Burgess following the first Council meeting of 2019. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com