I can’t imagine I’m the only resident of Los Alamos troubled by repeated instances of Los Alamos County Councilors talking down to constituents. From a meeting in which one needlessly reminded residents what an elected representative is to another repeatedly engaging in “satire” that punches down, not up.
But most shocking of all was at a recent County Council meeting — the same in which the Art in Public Places Board was treated with such disrespect as to prompt a written apology — wherein Councilors refused public input on what to do with a surplus in funds.
“We don’t want a fishing expedition,” was the reason given. But why? What exactly is wrong with allowing a diverse community to be heard? Why would the Council believe that the seven of them have all possible thoughts and considerations of roughly 20,000 people covered? And what would be so wrong with receiving a hundred varied or even off-the-wall suggestions?
Though some councilors spoke in favor of letting the community contribute, the general view was that the public can’t be trusted and should instead be given a restricted list from the Council to choose from.
But however much the Councilors may wish otherwise, there is NOTHING stopping you or me from giving them our ideas for ways the surplus funds can be used. Want to yarn-bomb all the trees at Ashley Pond? Tell them. Want investments made to improve transparency? Tell them. Want to add weekend hours to the ACT? Tell them. And be persistent. They have a rather low rate of response to people not praising them.*
Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Public comments can be made at every Council meeting. Happy fishing.
*This is a personal opinion informed by reading thousands of emails furnished through IPRA.