Transparency In Local Government And Why You Should Care

White Rock

The departure of Councilor James Robinson from the Los Alamos County Council had some serious ramifications for local government. James, an advocate for transparency, was replaced by appointment. Three the eight candidates stated before Council that they don’t see transparency as an issue, and one of them received the appointment.

Until James’ departure we had usually been winning on the transparency issue for the last two years by 4-3 votes, but that is likely no longer to be the case.

To make matters worse, Councilor Sean Williams, another advocate for transparency, resigned on Sunday. 

Among other things, lack of transparency has led to:

  1. A bad deal with Kroger on Smith’s Marketplace, made without provision for disposition of the old Smith’s building in Mari-Mac
  2. A bad deal for the Convention Center
  3. The Unquarked fiasco
  4. The loss of the Los Alamos Monitor and KRSN
  5. The loss of Automotive Professionals and Fleur de Lys, among others

Lack of transparency is about to lead to another attempt by the county to buy the Reel Deal and CB Fox properties. Land is scarce in Los Alamos, and discussion concerning the disposition of land that belongs to the public must always involve public input.

Please watch out for the announcement this week asking for interest in replacing Sean Williams. Candidates will be announcing their interest who support transparency. Without the public engaging, it is likely another candidate who does not support transparency will be appointed, so please let the current councilors know your preference in letters and public comment.