BY ANNA DILLANE
The petitions I filed with the Los Alamos County Council about code enforcement and the biased code enforcement survey will be heard at Tuesday evenings’s Council meeting at 6 p.m. I’m linking the agenda here.
Interestingly, our next councilor will be chosen right after the petitions are voted on (to fill the seat that James Robinson vacated).
To recap, the County hired a consultant who was tasked with conducting a survey to help inform the rewrite of the nuisance codes.
Rather than creating an unbiased survey and taking the true pulse of our community, the consultant put out a survey that was so biased (in favor of Code Enforcement) that many members of our community (including myself) have come forward stating that they couldn’t even complete the survey for fear that their answers would be used to support stricter code enforcement regulations.
Additionally, the survey featured photographs of local properties that were not adequately obscured to conceal the homeowner’s identity. In fact, a past County councilor’s house was featured as an example of a home in violation of code ordinances. This councilor came forward to the Community Development Advisory Board to complain about this intrusion into his privacy.
This lack of professionalism shown by the consultant hired by the County could have been prevented. The consultant met with members of CDAB in preparation for the creation of the survey. They were told by me and other CDAB members that we wanted them to put out a neutral survey that would adequately gauge the community’s preferences for nuisance codes. We warned them that they needed to obscure photographs so that properties would not be identifiable to local residents. The consultant failed to listen to our directives and went ahead creating this survey that not only failed at its basic mission, but it also set Los Alamos up for lawsuits from residents whose privacy was invaded.
I created the two petitions to the County Council as a way to urge them to 1. take the appropriate action to sanction or fire the consultant for this misuse of public funds. I requested that they direct the consultant to create a survey that is unbiased and uses unrecognizable photographs of local properties. And 2, I requested that they commit to requiring that any future surveys given to this community be presented in an unbiased neutral format that can adequately gauge the response of the participants.
I feel that it is a slap in the face to this community to present us with surveys that don’t even hold up to basic high school scientific inquiry standards.
Join the meeting tonight to see what they do here.