Los Alamos County Councilor Sean Williams
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Councilor Sean Williams announced Friday at the North Central Regional Transit District meeting that he is resigning from Los Alamos County Council effective Monday, Mar. 7. He confirmed that in an email Saturday to Council Chair Randall Ryti and County Manager Stephen Lynne.
Williams said part of being a small business owner is that the business becomes your life.
“When I announced my candidacy for the County Council, we had several irons in the fire: A-16-A, the site of the old fire station in White Rock, Metzger’s Mobil. Over the course of 2020, each of these irons cooled, and the fire went out. I guess that may not be right, since A-16-A turned out to be worryingly hot,” Williams said.
A-16-A is the site on DP Road where radioactive LANL legacy waste was found just over a year ago.
“In August 2020, we completed our purchase of Tina’s Range Gear in Santa Fe. This began the long process of design, permits, construction, inspections, and moving the business. We got our Santa Fe business license in December 2021, and moved the shop in January 2022. I had hoped to finish out 2022 on the Council—after all, the requirement is residency, not small business ownership.” he said. “I made one miscalculation here. I’d been commuting to Santa Fe more and more, as the remodel got more intense. The commute isn’t great, but I got used to it. While I live under a significant amount of stress, it’s nothing compared to what Jordan endures. The extremely high standards that make us such a successful auto repair shop are only maintained through sweat—and the vast majority of that sweat comes from Jordan. The commute therefore affects him far more than me.”
Williams said because of this he has drastically accelerated the timeline for moving to Santa Fe, as he thinks any decent husband would.
“While I could, in principle, exploit some loopholes in the County Charter to remain in office, I don’t think that would be very ethical. Therefore, I’m resigning from the Council, effective March 7, 2022,” he said.
Williams said he has always tried to bring a much-needed dose of reality to the County, and that this has made the Council “incredibly contentious”.
“My only regret is that, by resigning, detachment will once again reign unchecked. I do hope that the County stops considering small business owners a nuisance. This also tempers my regret, since while we left the county for economic reasons, the political hostility confirmed for me that we were making the right choice,” he said.
Williams said he is proud of the work the Environmental Sustainability Board got done, and that he was happy to help them with it. He said he hopes the County will take integrated pest management seriously, and that he hopes that “budgetary hand-wringing doesn’t kill bear-resistant roll carts”.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do anything for small business owners, and as I’ve said before, the County is whistling its way down a very dangerous road. Douglas Adams argued that the only people who deserve power are those who don’t want it, and this County demonstrates his wisdom. Further inflating the commercial market, thereby cementing the County as the arbiter of who gets to do business, will be disastrous,” Williams said. “Indeed, one of the problems with siding against small business owners is that we can leave. It’s expensive to move a business, so there’s significant inertia, but you can overcome inertia with enough force. Unfortunately, the only real loser here is the community—so in spite of my happiness, having secured the long-term future of Automotive Professionals, it’s still bittersweet.”
Williams, a Democrat, was elected to Council in November 2020 and his term ends Dec. 31, 2024.