BY GRANT HARDING
As many here in Los Alamos County know, I’ve spoken up during Council sessions recently to expose triangulation of public policy against small business and local entrepreneurs, but this demands some explanation.
What is triangulation in this regard? It’s a plan, the force of law to ensure it, and it’s a funding source to finance it. These are, in real life here, the Downtown Master Plan, the County Code Chapter 16 re-write, and Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) + Metropolitan Redevelopment Area (MRA).
If you’re not Marriott, Kroger, or an outside investor, good luck getting through that triangulation.
Whether it be public land being given away, or any sort of parity with your landlord, you will not be given equal access to the market in Los Alamos.
Council has not deviated from its course in crystallizing this trend, as is evidenced in the particulars of the adoption of the LEDA expansion to include retail business, without a single restriction on itself to give deference to our local entrepreneurs, the rejection of zoning favorable to local retail (an overlay to be used as a tool at some point – not right this moment), and a master plan with no carve-out for our community businesses.
Landlords, who stand to gain the most under any version of the Master Plan, are, as some at Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation have stated, “businesses too”, while polyopoly distortion on the rental market is ignored, as is the primary distortion: Los Alamos National Laboratory subcontractors.
All this is amplified through force of law. Renters are at the whim of landlords, and enjoy no legal protections that would create a semblance of balance, much less deference or assistance from the local government. They speak of how they’ve been abused only in safe and private venues, in fear of retaliation, until they’re free of this monstrous triangulation they’ve endured.
Sometimes a governmental body just needs a wake-up call to change course. Sometimes, usually, the “centrists” preserving the status quo just need to be expelled. I’m finding few, thin arguments against the latter.