BY MAIRE O’NEILL
It’s that time once again for the annual special session of Los Alamos County Council to discuss its strategic priorities for the coming year which is slated for Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. via Zoom.
Although public comment is listed on the agenda for the beginning and end of the meeting, it is not clear how the public can realistically weigh in on the discussion within the constraints of the Council’s Zoom format. The agenda packet posted on the County website indicates that the evening’s discussion will begin with a review of the 2020 Strategic Leadership Plan, followed by consideration of that plan relative to the County’s 2020 accomplishments. Council will then discuss any potential additions or deletions to the 2020 plan. No vote will be taken Tuesday on the updated plan which will be brought back to Council for approval at a subsequent meeting.
Among the items expected to be discussed by Council during the special session are: currently budgeted capital expenditures and potential projects to be considered during the upcoming budget cycle; communications with the public; succession planning; and facilitating broadband access.
The agenda packet for the meeting, including supporting documents may be viewed at : https://losalamos.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=825358&GUID=11FEE219-AA9A-4D72-AB57-EED86BEDE386&Options=info|&Search=
Last year’s Strategic Leadership Plan included the following:
Increasing the amount and types of housing options: This includes a variety of housing options for all segments of the community, from affordable to new options for those interested in downsizing or moving closer to central areas of the community. The 2019 Housing Market Needs Analysis identified that needs are distributed among all income ranges but that it is particularly acute for middle- and lower-income households.
Protecting, maintaining and improving our open spaces, recreational,
and cultural amenities: Los Alamos County open spaces and cultural attractions are greatly valued by the community and provide opportunities for recreational and economic growth; appropriately allocating resources to ensure their health and sustainability is important to our citizens.
Enhancing support and opportunities for the local business environment: This includes appropriate support for existing businesses, growing new businesses, and supporting technology start-ups and spin-offs.
Improve utilization and aesthetics of vacant buildings and properties: Land availability in Los Alamos County, and in particular in the downtown areas, is limited and there is a desire to work towards better utilization, opportunities for new businesses, and improved aesthetics.
Supporting social services improvement: Behavioral, mental and physical health and social services are important quality of life components; there are key areas where appropriate types and levels of county support could help address current needs.
Expand transportation and mobility options and address parking challenges: Work with regional partners and the Laboratory to consider holistic solutions for the needs and challenges facing Los Alamos and White Rock in the context of expanded housing and employment in the County and the desire to create a walk-, ride-, and environmentally-friendly community.
Investing in infrastructure: Appropriately balancing maintenance of existing infrastructure with new investments in county utilities, roads, facilities and amenities, which will help improve environmental stewardship, sustainability, and quality of life, while allowing for sustainable growth.
Members of the public can also join this meeting session to make public comment via Zoom by pasting into their browser the following:
https://zoom.us/j/97977687942 once the session has started or by telephone:
US: +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 or
+1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099