Excerpt from Los Alamos County’s Biennial Community Survey. Courtesy Reid Pridhorsky
BY REID PRIEDHORSKY
You may recall that the county published results of its scientific, demographically balanced poll of community satisfaction in February (e.g., see this February 15 story in the Reporter).
While some of the scores are truly excellent (e.g., safety, natural environment), I think that it is important for folks to realize just how bad the quality-of-government scores were. That is, it’s not just me and a few other vocal individuals who are unhappy with our county government. The dissatisfaction is broad.
I am including a figure with five key questions that I excerpted from the survey results. I’ve added the percentiles from elsewhere in that document. For example, for “the overall direction that Los Alamos County is taking”, 35% percent of respondents responded with a positive opinion in 2022 (48% in 2020), which was just 7th percentile among the communities surveyed; in other worse, 93% of communities scored better on this question. “Overall confidence in Los Alamos County government” was 10th percentile in positive responses; “generally acting in the best interest of the community” 7th; “being honest” 13th; “being open and transparent with the public” 13th.
In the category “Los Alamos County government performance”, every single question enjoyed a statistically significant decline in positive responses since 2020.
For a healthy government, ratings this bad would be a hair-on-fire emergency (though of course, a healthy government probably wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place). In contrast, our county council and staff leadership have said almost nothing to the public, let alone shared any specific agenda on what they plan to do about it.
I encourage folks to contact the council to point out you are aware of these awful ratings and demand change.