Candidate seeks to tackle challenges

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Former councilor highlights her familiarity with local projects and issues

By Carol A. Clark

After sitting out the required two-year period following her eight-year run on Los Alamos County Council, Fran Berting is seeking to serve again.

Berting is running on a platform of common sense, fiscal responsibility and vision.             

“The challenges facing the county council now and for the next few years are irresistible,” she said. “Hence I am running for election again to address the challenges for another four years.”  

Berting describes the most important of these challenging issues on which the council must find public consensus as:  

• providing more transparency for public plans and finding ways to awaken the public interest in the early stages of projects;

• providing the citizens with an understanding of the process, funding and progress of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP);

• improving two-way communication between citizens and the council;

• assuring financial responsibility in county government;

• promoting public/private partnerships to help provide the quality of life amenities the citizens expect;

• making the Trinity Place a vibrant reality;

• bringing the Municipal Building to life as another center for downtown vitality;

• providing sustainable affordable housing; and

• continuing regional partnerships for economic development and transportation.

“As the new Municipal Building is being finished, the Trinity Place is taking shape and other CIP projects  are being undertaken, I would like to find ways in which the council and county staff can engage more of the citizens in an understanding of the projects, so that they are comfortable with what is happening in their town,” Berting said. “In addition to new projects, it’s important to continue to upgrade our 50- and 60-year-old infrastructure, using the money we have now that Los Alamos National Laboratory is providing in Gross Receipts Tax to the county. While Los Alamos has come a long way in the last 10 years, we are now at a fortunate point where we can really push forward to implement our vision.”

Her experience serving two terms on council she said helps her to know the background of many of the issues and projects in the county and should assist her in working to move them forward.

“I have many years’ experience in working with the Department of Energy, have studied small business development and have also worked in private industry. Having weathered the Great Depression as a little kid, I am a fiscal conservative, a “string saver” if you will,” Berting said. “I love Los Alamos – its small town atmosphere, its safety, its views and surroundings – and want it to fulfill the citizens’ vision for our community.”

Berting was born and brought up in the small town of Galion, Ohio, spending summers in a log cabin on the wooded shore of a Michigan lake.  

Her last three years of high school were spent in a rural school outside Galion, with 12 classmates and a total of  100 students in the entire K-12 school.

Berting served on county council from 2001 through 2008. She has been a Chamber of Commerce member since 2000 and serves on the MainStreet Futures Committee.

She has served four years on the New Mexico Municipal League Insurance Board, nine years on the  Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board and has served for treasurer for five years of the Los Alamos/Sarov Sister Cities Initiative. Berting has been a member of the Kiwanis Club since 2000 and is slated to serve as the service organization’s president in 2011.  

Berting holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in physics from Smith College, a Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Virginia and a certificate from the Segundo Curso Panamericano de Metalurgia Nuclear in Buenos Aires.

For more information, visit www.chamberorganizer.com/losalamos