BY ANNA DILLANE
Former CDAB member (2 years)
Homeowner (15 years)
Business owner (20 years)
County Council of Los Alamos, community members and neighbors,
As you probably know, a rewrite of the ordinances that deal with weeds, outdoor storage, property maintenance and “nuisance” is happening right now in our town. A consultant has been hired for this task. Part of the consultants job is gather community input about the code to assess what WE might like changed. One mechanism they have chosen is a community survey.
I took this survey and I am APPALLED. The survey contains questions that are COMPLETELY BIASED in favor of code enforcement. I literally couldn’t even answer at least 30% for fear that my answers would be perverted into being in favor of code enforcement (which I am not). We are a community of highly educated people. We can tell what a LEADING question looks like. Our intelligence is insulted by a survey that is skewed to force us to appear to be in favor of codes that restrict the use of our personal property. We trust our elected officials to offer us REAL opportunities to give our opinion, not manipulate us and the outcome to appease their own agenda. While I am opposed to living in a town that is run like an HOA personally, I respect democracy. I would truly like to know if I am outnumbered by neighbors that do want that. Unfortunately, this survey cannot and will not assess this AT ALL!
Also, the survey contains photos of community members properties that are easily identifiable. This lack of proper photo obscuring techniques leave our county open to lawsuit and is unacceptable conduct for a supposedly professional consultant to disseminate to the public. In fact, Antonio Maggiore came to a CDAB meeting last night to express his outrage that his home is featured in the survey without his permission. This is unacceptable behavior for a supposedly professional consultant.
There is no way in which the results of this survey can be used to capture our communities REAL opinions about code enforcement. This survey is therefore COMPLETELY USELESS and a WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS.
For this reason, I call on the County Council to FIRE the consultant responsible for this insult to our community. This type of shoddy work product cannot be paid for with taxpayer dollars.
Any future surveys presented to this community MUST contain unbiased and neutral questions and unidentifiable photos. This is only common sense. Which begs the question, what marching orders were this consultant given? Why did they ignore directions from CDAB that all questions be completely neutral and unbiased when they were formulating their survey initially? Who is responsible for this insult to our community, this waste of taxpayer dollars and this attempted manipulation of public opinion?
The results of this BIASED SURVEY should be placed in the trash as the RUBBISH it is.
County Council, if you fail to act on this issue NOW, you are telling us that you actually intended this manipulation. This would be a violation of community trust and the job that we have entrusted you to do for us. You have been called out for lack of transparency (one of your stated goals) recently. This survey is a gigantic example of not only a lack of transparency, but a full-on attempted manipulation.
Community members- when you get this survey, return it with “I REFUSE TO TAKE THIS BIASED SURVEY !”written in the place that asks you for your opinion (as opposed to the multiple choice that constitutes most of the survey). Look at he questions and ask yourself- would this survey stand up to scientific standards? Are the questions leading you to appear in favor of laws that restrict the use of your property? Are there answers that give the opportunity to appear as in favor or not in favor as you might be?
CDAB, as you know, I resigned my position last night because we were unable to agree to hold the consultant accountable last night. I now beg you to look at the survey together and reconsider my motion to recommend to council that they redirect the consultant to start this survey over with un-baised questions and obscured photos. As Mr Maggiore said, “this is such a low bar, how can we not hold them to it??”
Thank you for your time.