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Los Alamos County

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Animal Shelter 5-27-12

The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of onsite adoptable pets waiting for their forever home. 

Come find a companion that will give you unconditional love.

Be sure to visit lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating. All adoptable pets are spayed or neutered, have their shots and are microchipped.

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News for retirees 5-27-12

Public Works Projects

For more information about the projects listed below, please e-mail  lacpw@lacnm.us, call 

662-8150, or visit the “Projects” link at www.losalamosnm.us. 

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Cone Zone 5-27-12

Public Works Projects

For more information about the projects listed below, please e-mail  lacpw@lacnm.us, call 

662-8150, or visit the “Projects” link at www.losalamosnm.us. 

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Council candidates speak out on economic development -- updated stories and more photos added

By Arin McKenna

The six candidates running for three open spots on the Los Alamos County Council vied for voter support during a forum hosted by the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce and the Los Alamos Monitor Thursday evening.

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Four questions focused on economic growth for the county. Here are some highlights of each candidate’s two-minute responses.

The first question was about how well the recent capital project (CIP) decisions aligned with and supported the goals of the county’s Economic Vitality Strategic Plan (EVSP) and how important it was that the capital budget align with the EVSP.

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County: Fisher begins honing in on development needs

Report evaluates projects

By Arin McKenna

A new report by Economic Vitality Administrator Greg Fisher assesses Los Alamos County’s economic development needs and the possible impact from various CIP projects.

Council had asked Fisher for input on how individual CIP projects might boost economic development. Fisher used a newly acquired software program to evaluate each project. The program arrived too late to generate a report before last week’s CIP meetings, but it does offer some insight into a number of funded and unfunded projects.

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County: Forbes says area is richest in the west

LA ranked fourth richest

Forbes magazine, once again, has ranked Los Alamos near the top of a list of the wealthiest U.S. places. The magazine reports Los Alamos County as the fourth richest county in the states.

According to the magazine, Los Alamos County is the “richest county" in the Western U.S., and is just one of two western states in the top 10.

Los Alamos County has a median household income of $103,653 and nearly 63 percent of the residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. LA’s population is a little more than 18,000 residents.

Most of the richest counties can be found in the Washington, D.C. suburbs.

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Council approves eight CIP projects to move forward -- updated

Two nights of hearings and debate ended with approval of eight capital improvement projects (CIP) in the budget for 2013. The Los Alamos County Council also prioritized projects and determined the order for implementation. 

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County announces updated process for Wednesday's Council meeting

Here is the process and will also have posters announcing this process at the meeting as folks arrive.
 

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Burgess moves to further reorganize county government

In a move to further solidify his management team and restructure the machinations of the local government, County Administrator Harry Burgess announced additional re-organization plans to employees this week.

The moves were primarily housekeeping in terms of reporting structure changes, now that he has promoted Brian Bosshardt and Steve Lynne to be his two new Deputy County Administrators.

Reporting to Deputy County Administrator Brian Bosshardt will be these departments: Community Services, Public Works, and Human Resources. The Human Resources Manager had previously been a direct report to the county administrator.

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Election 2012: Recommendations adopted with two changes

Charter amendments approved for fall ballot

By Arin McKenna

Councilor David Izraelevitz spent some time questioning CRC member Chris Chandler about proposed changes to initiating charter amendments. The CRC applied the same process and restrictions set forth in the initiative section (700) to charter amendments. 

Izraelevitz was concerned about a list of items not subject to initiative and, therefore, from charter amendment, such as capital projects or utility rates. Izraelevitz felt some of these might be appropriate for charter amendment, and was concerned issues such as voting on capital projects might prohibited from consideration. 

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Council weighs guidelines for informing public

By Arin McKenna

At Tuesday’s work session, the Los Alamos County Council considered policy issues regarding spending county resources for disseminating information to the public. How to present opposing views and define the role of advocacy were the core issues. 

Acting County Attorney Brian James began the discussion by clarifying legalities. 

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Council approves realignment, budget

By Arin McKenna

The Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved County Administrator Harry Burgess’ recommendation for reworking some county departments and their functions Tuesday night.

The reorganization involves:

• Merging the Community Development Department and the Capital Projects and Facilities Department into a new single department — the Community and Economic Development Department.

• Transferring the economic development function from the County Administrator Department to the new Community and Economic Development Department.

• Transferring the Airport and Environmental Services function from the County Administrator Department to the Public Works Department.

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Highlights of county code changes

By Arin McKenna

"Special plan (SP) district"

▪ Allows site development regulations in an underlying base zone to be modified up to a maximum of 25% using a special plan (SP) district; these include minimum lot area, setbacks, structural separation, structure height, lot coverage, street frontage and width of lots, and parking;

▪  Removes potential conflict over what residential site development regulations would be applied in the case of a special plan (SP) district in a downtown district zone;

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County: Restructuring is a component in filling ‘acting’ positions

Promotions mark end of holding pattern

County Administrator Harry Burgess created a stir when he announced three staff promotions and proposed a major restructuring of the Community Development Department (CDD) and the Capital Projects & Facilities Department (CP&FD) during budget hearings last week.

“Trying to fill vacant positions has been a big task, especially doing it while trying to prepare this year’s budget,” Burgess said. Nine upper management positions have been filled with “acting” staff for close to 18 months, waiting for the hire of a new county administrator. Burgess took up his post in November.

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County: Administrator weighs revenue reductions against what was achieved

Burgess satisfied with hearings

By Arin McKenna

Harry Burgess found his first budget hearings as Los Alamos county administrator very familiar.

“It’s not all that different from place to place,” Burgess said. “It’s always a balancing act. There are always more needs and desires than resources.”

By and large, Burgess was pleased with the outcome.

“Overall, I thought the process went well. We accomplished pretty much what we wanted within the time allowed. We are still within the proposed budget; we still have a plan to continue to provide the same level of service - something very important in this climate - and not reduce staff.”

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