Trying To Remember When It All Went Wrong

Los Alamos

The Rec Bond is the obvious place to begin.  The evening the bond failed didn’t Councilor O’ Leary suggest we just hold another election.  At the pool the next day a member of the Rec Board was telling a local swim coach that the elections results didn’t matter — expansion would continue regardless.  Wasn’t Councilor Maggiore a bit miffed, too, because after endless public debate all this had been pushed through without the Rec Board or County Council ever having calculated the costs of operating an enlarged facility.

That was just the tip of the iceberg.  If you publicly argued against the Bond because maybe you loved our outdoor ice rink or local pools your children would be made to pay at the hands of local sports coaches.  I was yelled at by a local sports club board member for being a hopeless elitist when I was volunteering at a race.  

Council quickly found the money to fund some items which had been included in the bond — a blow to democracy.  Notice the Aquatic Center has been desperate for guards for a long time and is currently hiring uncertified workers to train as guards on the job

Councilor Chandler came campaigning for District 43 to our door not long after this and I told her I would have trouble voting for someone who disregarded the results of a democratic election.  Her opponent at the time was a rabid Trump supporter though.  

Disregarding the results of democracy — isn’t this what our current council is doing with the amusing results of their tainted survey of last fall.  I am pretty sure most of us in the county feel we can manage quite well without hoards of inspectors in little white cars cruising through our neighborhoods.

I made the kids go to various county meetings for years as an exercise in homeschool democracy.  By far the most memorable for absolutely all the wrong reasons was a presentation by the current head of Los Alamos county’s development department and Michael Arellano a few years ago during the NOV crisis.  They pretty much spent the meeting lecturing those present on how we were going to confirm to some silly set of national principles like it or not.

I first drove into Los Alamos in the late eighties and liked the town because it was unique in a quirky scientific mildly European way.  I don’t think any of the endless committees, organizations, or whatever existed back then to manage our downtown.  Downtown simply was.  Times change.  Change is good.  Please let’s put an end to the Councilors’ delusions of reinventing the past.  

Transparency in local government is a virtue.  Secrecy is very bad.  When candidates knock on your door asking for your vote don’t be too polite to tell them.  Get active, get involved, and make our town better.  Transparency in local government has been helped greatly with the emergence of the Los Alamos Reporter’s coverage of the nitty gritty of our Council.  Thank you Ms. O ‘Neill and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow.