Chiravalle ignores voters, may waste taxpayer dollars

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Last Friday, The Monitor reported that Councilor Vincent Chiravalle planned to introduce an ordinance implementing the recent petition to rebuild the 1967 municipal building in its original form and location.
On Oct. 19, the council displayed great deference to direct (as opposed to representative) democracy when it decided to put that petition to a vote despite the county attorney’s firm opinion that the petition included illegal components.
That decision is already being subjected to legal challenge. Councilor Chiravalle, however, insults the democratic process by proposing an ordinance to bypass a vote.
Councilor Chiravalle is quoted as saying he will not ignore the 1,600 people who signed the petition - but since roughly 8,600 voted in the last election, he does propose to ignore at least 7,000 voters who did not sign the petition. And now that the elections are complete, would not have had an opportunity to vote on the issue in any manner if the ordinance had passed.
Indeed, we do not even know whether everyone who signed the petition is in favor of it or simply in favor of a direct vote on the issue.
Although the opinions expressed here are my own, as a former member of the citizen site recommendation committee, I am very aware of the detailed study that went into selecting the recommended sites, based on criteria set by the council. Virtually all of that information is available for viewing via www.lacmuni.com.
Here I only point out that if the petition election succeeds, the county would require a second building somewhere to provide (less efficiently) for all of the services required by citizens. That and the associated delays, which will lead to rising construction costs as our economy recovers, will result in totally unnecessary expenditures of additional taxpayer dollars.

Terry Goldman
Los Alamos