Getting To Know County Councilor Candidate Melanee Hand

Democratic Candidate For
Los Alamos County Council

Citizens of Los Alamos County, I have the great honor and pleasure serving Los Alamos County as an appointed County Councilor since January 2022.  I gained greater insight and experience performing as a County Councilor, particularly Councilor roles and responsibilities, County processes and protocol, and participation with eight different subcommittees and County boards.  In addition, I was fortunate to hear a great deal of input from citizens on current issues and concerns.

Los Alamos is unique in that we have four adjacent national attractions for people to visit, great mild climate, four seasons, and a safe and secure community.  Los Alamos County is a great place to visit and wonderful place to live.  I will continue to work toward maintaining and improving our citizen’s quality of life by listening to the interests of our citizens that define our quality of life.  I will collaborate with our county government and fellow County Councilors.

I believe that my recent experience on Council, my decades of living and working here, and my work experience and education guide me to making smart decisions for our future. I currently work part time for my husband’s manufacturing business. The Hand family has lived and worked in this county going on four generations, and our kids grew up in Los Alamos County.  In addition to several start-up small businesses on both sides of our family, I come from two generations of teachers.

I retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory after 22 years of service, and I worked as a contractor for LANL fifteen years before that (Zia Company, Pan Am World Services, Johnson Controls, Inc., and Johnson Controls Northern New Mexico).  I performed diverse roles and responsibilities to serve our community and our nation. My work experience includes business and facility operations, environmental stewardship, land use and long-range facility planning, site design, construction, and subcontract management.

I have decades of experience leading a variety of community and team-driven activities, facilitating teams, and performance management. I work to build consensus with team members for decision-making that includes analysis of facts and expert recommendations.  In addition to my paid jobs, I have extensive history contributing to our community through five different County Boards and Subcommittees but also non-profit Boards such as the Los Alamos Mountaineers and Family Strengths Network.

On another note, I recently participated in a League of Women Voter’s Forum. Candidates answered questions that were not shared in advance and we had about a minute to provide an answer. I heard some feedback from citizens who wanted some clarification on two items. 

Regarding trust and integrity of Los Alamos County voting:

I trust the integrity of our election processes in Los Alamos County and the nation and believe every American citizen that meets the criteria to vote should have the opportunity to do so.

Regarding the question about raising the minimum wage to $17.00/hr. in Los Alamos County: 

If the County raises the minimum wage, careful thought by decision makers should include how that will impact business hiring decisions and how those extra wages will drive up costs for all consumers. If our citizens and government can consider spending locally, when possible, it can help local businesses afford to pay workers higher wages.  Many have expressed their disappointment having some businesses close and move away during the pandemic, potentially because there were less customers and income.  More small businesses are popping up as recently reported from the County Economic Development Department.  From 2021 and 2022 the County reports about twenty-seven small businesses that have opened or will open soon.  The County can help businesses through several programs available through the economic development department. 

My campaign contact information is provided below for more information:

Melanee M Hand
Facebook: Hand 4 LAC Council
Phone: (505) 500-4066