BY LAUREN AND DANIEL COUPLAND
Tonight you are interviewing applicants to replace Sean Williams on the County Council. I have read the Los Alamos County Council Appointment Process for Selection of Elected Officials. While the procedure is clear, the criteria and goals are not. Part of my frustration with the previous appointment process stems from this fact that there are no stated goals or criteria that the board will use in making their decision.
As you make this selection tonight, I encourage you to think about what you are looking for in a candidate. What judgement are you using to make your selection? Is it a simple vote based on the emails and public comment? Does the role of the Council Member being replaced factor into your decision? The will of the voters in electing that person?
When the Los Alamos School Board has needed to appoint new members, I have appreciated that they have articulated some of the factors impacting their decision. When School Board President Melanie Colgan was appointed to her seat on the School Board, one factor that was mentioned was bringing in a fresh perspective. The other candidate was a former teacher. At the time President Ellen Specter mentioned that they already had a school board member who was a former teacher, and they looked forward to the new perspective that Ms. Colgan could bring as a nurse.
Transparency has been an issue for the current council. You have heard this time and time again. I urge you to be transparent in your selection process and provide reasons for your selection to the public.
In reading the candidate letters and observing their public comments and role in the community, Aaron Walker stands apart from the crowd. He has been heavily involved in county council meetings and boards. Aaron represents a younger demographic that desperately needs continued representation in the county. Aaron has shown willingness to listen, to engage with community members across the political spectrum. He is well respected by both democrats and republicans, and is the right choice for our community.