Council's disconnect goes beyond pool

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Dr. Kovalenko’s letter “Discovering the county council’s disconnect” in the Nov. 16 edition of the Los Alamos  Monitor provided an interesting perspective on local politics.
However one felt and voted on the leisure pool project, the gross misreading of public sentiment by the Los Alamos County Council was remarkable.
The fallacy is to believe that 50-70 ardent people showing up for a cause represents the public at large. I offer another example: the endless push for roundabouts on Trinity. Red flags galore have been raised about the entire idea.
It has been met with considerable and consistent public resistance from the very beginning. Detailed studies performed by intelligent Los Alamos residents have demonstrated that roundabouts on Trinity would be detrimental to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The necessary support is once again insufficient to warrant proceeding. If the public requests a vote on a vastly bigger issue than a leisure pool, I predict roundabouts would go down 3:1 if not 5:1.
Yet, council continues to spend money to perpetuate roundabout studies by outside experts. Why is there a disconnect between the broader public and the council?

Anthony A. Amsden
Los Alamos

Too true

Thanks for your astute comments. As one who has observed several cases of "Planning Disconnect", I agree that politics and planning in Los Alamos is sequestered and inadequate. Relatively small interest groups drive the Council to make grandiose plans. Sometimes, enough citizens learn of the plans that seem undesirable or unworkable to generate opposition or a "No" vote. After a great deal of planning effort and spending, the project fails for reasons that seem obvious in retrospect.

Or worse, the drawbacks of a plan slip under the radar and serious problems develop that are quite obvious in hindsight. For a town of substantial creative and rational capabilities, we show a lamentable lack of participation, foresight, and realism in planning. Many of us need to accept (a small) part of the problem, because we (I) would prefer to have somebody else take care of the planning and politics. It would be nice to find ways to increase our "collective intelligence"!