Wernicke: I’ll Put Transparency And Accountability First

BY JAMES WERNICKE
Libertarian Candidate for
Los Alamos County Council

I am in great need of your support in these final days of the election. I chose to affiliate myself with a party that doesn’t serve entrenched interests, so I don’t have a huge political organization backing my campaign to get the word out. I am instead relying on you to make up your own mind, show up and vote, and tell your friends that there is someone who still believes accountability is a priority. If you want to know more about my positions, see wernicke.com.

Many in our community have expressed the need for much greater transparency and accountability in local government. The lack of transparency and accountability has resulted, among other things, in local government:

Despite the above, there has been little measurable progress toward transparency and accountability. In fact, our Strategic Leadership Plan doesn’t even mention “transparency” or “accountability”, which were scrubbed from our priorities. Until we take transparency and accountability seriously, our government will be exploited as a tool to benefit a few at the cost of the many.

In this light, I suggest we take the following steps to improve transparency and accountability, which I will make a priority if elected:

  • Hold public “office hours” to listen to anyone who walks in.
  • Publish all public information online, on-demand, accessible to all, without any layer of bureaucracy standing in the way.
  • End all closed sessions that do not involve personal privacy or legal strategy.
  • Be resolute in holding government officials accountable to fulfill their duty or resign.
  • Require licenses, inspections, and permits only when absolutely necessary, and retroactively where possible, allowing citizens to address urgent and benign construction without delay. Require permits to be provided within a reasonable timeframe, and require independent public appeals and audit processes.
  • Conduct an independent assessment of the County’s transparency and report a Transparency Score so that citizens can understand how transparent their government is.
  • Use the Open Town Hall forum and free, accessible video-on-demand solutions to make civic discussion more accessible to all.

If accountability is important to you, then please consider some areas where I stand on accountability:

  • I am the only candidate that has answered every question I’ve been asked. I’ll be accountable to not just listen to you, but also have the humility to thoughtfully consider your concerns and ideas.
  • I’m the only candidate not beholden to a party agenda, who will let you live your life in peace, and oppose threats like the nuisance code.
  • My home is my only real estate asset and I am comfortable working for my income. I’ll be accountable to ensure other local citizens and businesses have fair opportunities to own property.
  • I’ll be accountable to support progressive ideas in consideration of all community members’ needs.

Again, I implore you not only to vote on or before November 8 but also to encourage your friends to do the same. We have had many recent candidates who were ready to stand up for the people, but the people did not stand up for them. We get the government we deserve.